Goals: Amond (15′) Tozer (35′) Mullin (62′)
Two first-half goals from Padraig Amond and Ben Tozer proved to be enough for Newport to see-off promotion chasing, Swindon Town for their first home win since January.
The hosts, Newport County headed into this encounter with virtually nothing to play for but were still playing for their pride. After last week’s disastrous game against Stevenage, the Exiles were looking to make things right and a first home win since January would do the trick.
The visitors, Swindon Town were looking to strengthen their play-off push as they knew that a defeat at Rodney Parade would damage their quest for the top seven. Before the game, Robins’ new manager, Phil Brown had won one game in six and knew they’d had to pick up form if they didn’t want to spend another season in League Two.
The first chance of the afternoon fell in the favour of the hosts as Ben Tozer almost opened the scoring. After a good spell of possession, Tozer decided to take a shot from twenty-five yards out. However, the midfielder’s effort flew just over the bar – causing Stuart Moore no problems in the net.
In the 15th minute, the deadlock was broken as Padraig Amond managed to net his 12th goal of the season with a sublime finish from the edge of the area. A whipped cross from David Pipe was excellently controlled by the Irishman who then lobbed Moore on the volley to give the Exiles the lead.
The next chance of the game wouldn’t arrive until the 31st minute when Scot Bennett came to the rescue for County. Scott Twine would’ve surely equalised for the visitors from a few yards out if it wasn’t for some excellent defending from Bennett to keep Newport in the lead.
Only a few minutes later, Tozer then headed in his third goal of the season to put Newport 2-0 up before half-time. An excellent and precise pass from Ben White found the head of Tozer who neatly nodded into the bottom right corner of the net.
After the break, County started to look a bit shaky as Swindon finally had their first real chance of the game. In the 57th minute, Donal McDermot tried his luck from range as he struck the crossbar from the edge of the box.
The visitors managed to pull one back in the 64th minute through Paul Mullin. A whipped cross from the corner of the area from McDermot managed to find the head of Mullin who gave the Robins hope with still twenty-eight minutes left to play.
However, the comeback didn’t look to be on as four minutes later, the visitors were reduced to ten men. Rollin Menayese was shown a second yellow card after his late challenge on Newport forward, Aaron Collins.
Deep into stoppage time, Swindon were given a corner and chose to send their goalkeeper, Moore up for it. The corner was cleared to Tozer and with no one guarding the empty net, the whole ground were urging the midfielder to shoot from the halfway line.
The confidence-fulled playmaker gave the crowd what they asked for… the effort looked goal-bound but an odd last bounce took it away from the net and struck the post.
It didn’t matter in the end as County managed the hold on and grab their first home victory since January. The result now sees the Exiles rise to 12th and look set for a steady mid-table finish for this League Two campaign. The visitors, Swindon Town are now 9th and three points outside the play-offs with three games left to play.
(Featured image: Newport County AFC)