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Match Reports

Newport 1 Pompey 2

29 March 2014

Newport 1 Pompey 2

Andy Awford led Pompey to their first victory in more than a month at Rodney Parade.

The major decisions certainly went the Blues’ way, as they were awarded a penalty and saw their opponents reduced to nine men.

Ryan Taylor won and converted the spot-kick before Adam Chapman saw red for a late lunge at debutant Danny Hollands.

Jed Wallace then headed home a second, but Ismail Yakubu reduced the deficit for Newport after the interval.

The hosts pushed forward in search of an equaliser, although Darcy Blake’s dismissal for a second bookable offence meant they were always up against it.

Caretaker boss Awford made three changes from the side beaten at Rochdale during the week.

Johnny Ertl was handed his first start in exactly three months, replacing Toumani Diagoura following the midfielder's Brentford recall.

Taylor came in for Patrick Agyemang up front, while Joe Devera made way for Hollands as Jack Whatmough dropped back into defence.

It was the hosts who looked more dangerous in the opening stages and Andrew Hughes failed to find the target a couple of times before Trevor Carson gathered Robbie Willmott’s angled drive.

But the Blues threatened a few times themselves, as Ricky Holmes created a hat-trick of chances.

First Taylor diverted his cross narrowly over before another ball into the box was nervously dealt with by County keeper Ian McLoughlin.

He then did well to steal possession and feed Wallace, but the teenager – playing just behind the lone striker – got the ball caught under his feet and could only scuff an effort wide.

But Pompey did take the lead on 22 minutes after Taylor was dragged back by Kevin Feely inside the Newport box.

Referee Steve Bratt pointed straight to the spot and TAYLOR picked himself up to confidently send the ball into the bottom corner.

The official had another decision to make moments later when Chapman produced a nasty two-footed lunge on Hollands and was promptly shown a red card.

And the Blues made the most of their numerical advantage by scoring a second on 39 minutes.

Hollands started the move with a pin-point pass from deep that picked out Holmes, whose fine cross from the left was headed home by WALLACE.

Newport thought they had the chance to pull a goal back before the break when Chris Zebroski went down in the box under Bondz N’Gala’s challenge.

But rather than award a second penalty of the afternoon, Bratt instead showed a yellow card to the Exiles winger for diving.

Half Time: Newport 0 Pompey 2

The home fans wanted the numbers evened up early in the second half after Taylor had been penalised for a foul on Lee Minshull.

But Bratt decided just to warn the goalscorer and Awford immediately replaced him with Jake Jervis.

Newport came close to halving their deficit on 59 minutes when Minshull headed narrowly wide after meeting a free-kick.

Whatmough then picked up an injury and limped off to be replaced by Sonny Bradley in the centre of Pompey’s defence.

Jervis might have strengthened the visitors’ advantage following a quick break on 68 minutes, but could not get enough power on his shot and it was comfortably saved by McLoughlin.

Instead it was County celebrating a goal soon after as substitute Yakubu bundled Willmott’s far-post corner over the line from close range.

Awford made his third and final substitution on 79 minutes as skipper Ertl made way for Agyemang.

And there was soon a Newport player leaving the pitch, although no-one came on to replace Blake after he was shown a second yellow card – and subsequent red – for a foul on Agyemang.

Holmes almost scored from the resulting free-kick, but McLoughlin got down quickly to palm clear his low drive.

Newport still threw men forward as they tried to snatch an unlikely point, but the Blues held firm much to the delight of their travelling support.

Newport (4-4-1-1): McLoughlin; Naylor (Sandell 86), Feely (Yakubu 55), Blake, Hughes; Zebroski, Flynn (c), Chapman, Willmott; Minshull; Crow (Jeffers 57)
Goals: Yakubu 73
Sent off: Chapman (straight red), Blake (two yellow cards)
Booked: Zebroski
Subs not used: Howe, Holloway, Porter, Jolley

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Carson; Alfei, N’Gala, Whatmough (Bradley 64), Shorey; Ertl (c) (Agyemang 79), Hollands; Wallace, Fogden, Holmes; Taylor (Jervis 52)
Goals: Taylor 22 (pen), Wallace 39
Booked: Taylor, Hollands, Fogden
Subs not used: Smith, Devera, Racon, McCabe

Referee: Steve Bratt

Attendance: 4,261

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