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30 August 2014

Sandell strike condemns Blues to defeat

It was not a game full of clear-cut chances, although Jed Wallace and Ricky Holmes both went close for the Blues.

Substitute Andy Sandell grabbed the winner six minutes from time when he curled home a 30-yard free-kick.

Pompey’s unbeaten league start came to an end as Newport struck late to secure all three points.

The visitors had yet to taste victory this season, but were first to threaten when Chris Zebroski sent in a low ball that Lee Minshull could not convert at the near post.

Ben Chorley returned to skipper the team in defence, while there were also starts for Paul Robinson, Nicky Shorey, James Dunne, Danny Hollands and Craig Westcarr.

Andy Awford made six changes from the side that exited the Capital One Cup at Stoke during the week.

Then, from the resulting corner, Jackson’s fierce goalbound strike was superbly stopped by the Pompey keeper.

First he kept out Robbie Willmott’s follow-up drive after a long throw from Ryan Jackson had been headed against the crossbar by Kevin Feely.

Paul Jones produced an impressive performance at the Britannia Stadium and he was in top form again to deny County twice on 14 minutes.

The wing-back burst clear down the right and picked out Taylor with a perfectly-placed pass, but the striker’s drilled shot flew inches past the post.

A moment of magic from Wallace almost conjured up a goal for the Blues on 27 minutes, however.

Newport were looking more likely to break the deadlock and Adam Chapman was next to try his luck, volleying over after Ryan Taylor could only partially clear.

Robinson was then just unable to make a connection with Holmes’ corner as the hosts began to move through the gears.

It was Holmes who came close to netting just before the break when his free-kick caught the top of the wall and forced County keeper Joe Day to get down quickly to his left.

Pompey 0 Newport 0 Half Time:

And Westcarr flashed an effort narrowly wide as the Blues began to exert some pressure on the Newport defence.

Day was then forced to make a fine stop to keep out Wallace’s thunderous left-footed shot from just outside the box.

And they had a decent opportunity on 53 minutes when Holmes swung a corner that Joe Devera was unable to divert on target.

Pompey looked to get on the front foot at the start of the second half and were constantly on the attack.

Awford made his first substitution on 72 minutes – and it was an attacking change as Holmes made way for Miles Storey.

County still looked dangerous on the break, though, and Christian Jolley was not too far away with a 20-yard effort that curled wide.

A second switch then followed for the Blues, with Hollands making way for Nigel Atangana in the middle of the park.

Wallace, meanwhile, was still proving a menace and sent in a great low ball across goal that Mark Byrne did well to get clear. Jones; Devera, Robinson, Chorley (c); Wallace, Dunne, Holmes (Storey 72), Hollands (Atangana 78), Shorey (Barcham 85); Taylor, WestcarrPompey (3-5-2):

Andy Barcham came on for Shorey as Awford made one last roll of the dice, but Pompey were not able to grab a late equaliser.

But it was Newport celebrating on 84 minutes when Sandell – who had not long come off the bench – fired in a free-kick that evaded everyone on its way into the net.

Day; Feely, Jones (c), Hughes; Jackson, Minshull, Chapman, Byrne, Willmott (Sandell 80); Jeffers (Jolley 66), Zebroski (O’Connor 66)Newport (3-5-2):

Brezovan, Butler, Ertl, Awford Subs not used:
Dunne, Devera, Chorley, Wallace  Booked:

Sandell 84Goals:

Pidgeley, Yakubu, Flynn, Klukowski Subs not used:
Minshull, Byrne, Hughes, Chapman, Sandell, O'Connor Booked:) 16,191 (641 away fansAttendance:

Lee Collins Referee:

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