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Match Report: Newport County 2 Walsall 1
Here is our Match Report from Saturday's League Two clash between Newport County and the Saddlers.
The Saddlers were looking to extend their recent unbeaten run as they made the trip across the border to Rodney Parade, where they took on Michael Flynn's Exiles.

Newport County began the game brightly, seeing much of the early ball, though they were unable to create anything to really test the Walsall defences, with the Saddlers finding it almost impossible to gain the ball from their hosts.

With just nine minutes on the clock, Newport found the breakthrough; Mickey Demetriou capitalising to poke home from close range as Walsall failed to clear the danger following a corner kick.

The home team continued to dominate, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position in the fifteenth minute as they continued to press, but captain, Matt Dolan, sent his effort sailing high over the crossbar.

Eighteen minutes into the contest, Edward Upson became the first player to see yellow, as he received a caution for a foul on Emmanuel Osadebe.

The Saddlers began to see a little more of the ball as the game continued, but the Exiles still looked the more likely side to score, with Alex Fisher seeing an effort sail wide from just outside the area in the twenty-first minute, before Dominic Telford found the side netting with a shot from inside the area moments later.

Walsall created their real chance to level the scores in the twenty-seventh minute, as Hayden White crossed the ball into the box, but unfortunately Tyrese Shade was unable to capitalise and the score remained unchanged.

Newport had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, as they looked to extend their slender lead, with Saddlers shot-stopper, Carl Rushworth making a save to deny Cameron Norman as we reached the half hour mark.

Rushworth was again called into action in the thirty-ninth minute, as Oliver Cooper looked to extend his side's lead with a curling effort, but the Walsall 'keeper was alert to the danger and made an easy save.

Walsall won a free-kick in a promising position late in the half, as Jack Earing drew a foul from Aneurin Livermore, but Newport's defences were able to clear the danger and nothing would come of the opportunity.

Newport were awarded a penalty in the forty-fifth minute, as White was penalised for a foul on Demetriou inside the area. Dolan stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Rushworth read it well and pushed the ball clear to keep his side in the game.

Two minutes into added time, Walsall equalised. A well-placed cross from Osadebe picking out Shade who struck a powerful effort past Newport shot-stopper, Nick Townsend in the County goal to level the scores.

That would be the final action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores tied at one-goal-apiece.

HT
NCAFC
1-1
WFC
 
The teams returned unchanged following the interval, and the game got back underway. Walsall began the second-half brightly, seeing much more of the ball than they had during the opening forty-five, though they were unable to make the most of their possession.

Nine minutes into the half, Newport were able to create an opportunity to reinstate their earlier lead, as Telford picked up the ball in shooting range and looked to find the bottom corner, but Rushworth was alert to the danger and got down well to keep the effort out.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, County opted to make their first change of the afternoon; Alex Fisher making way as Courtney Baker-Richardson took his place.

Just two minutes later, the Saddlers also chose to make their first substitution of the game, with goal-scorer, Tyrese Shade making way for Brendan Kiernan.

The Saddlers continued to improve as the game wore on, with Earing seeing an effort deflected into the path of Miller in sixty-fourth minute, with the latter then cannoning a shot off the crossbar, as the visiting side looked to get ahead for the first time in the game.

With sixty-five minutes on the clock, Newport chose to make a second change to their line-up, with Aneurin Livermore making way for Finn Azaz.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without really testing their opposition defences, though that changed in the seventy-first minute, when Rushworth was forced to make a save to deny Telford as he looked to turn a Cooper cross home.

The Saddlers had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, where they won a corner, which Earing swung into the box for Phillips, whose headed effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the seventy-seventh minute, allowing both Rollin Menayese and Liam Kinsella to receive treatment.

It was soon decided that Liam Kinsella would not continue, with Sam Perry taking his place. The home side also took their opportunity to make their third and final change of the afternoon, with Edward Upson making way for Christopher Missilou.

Both sides looked for a late winner as time ebbed away, with Monthé seeing an effort blocked in the eighty-third minute, before Rushworth denied Telford once more up at the other end moments later.

With eighty-seven minutes on the clock, former Saddlers captain James Clarke all but secured all three points for Newport as he rose highest to head home a cross to the far post.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, but though the Saddlers won a corner kick moments before the full-time whistle sounded, they were unable to add to their tally and the game ended with Newport County winning by two-goals-to-one.

A disappointing afternoon for the Saddlers, who struggled to gain a foot-hold for much of the first-half before turning in a markedly improved performance during the second forty-five, only to see any points taken from them in the final few minutes.

FT
NCAFC
2-1
WFC
Demetriou (9')
Clarke (87') 
Shade (45+1')
 
REF
Lee Swabey (Devon)
ATT / AT
3,825 (547) - Rodney Parade
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