Blue Square Bet Premier
Tuesday 22 February 2011 - Twerton Park - kick off 7.45pm
|| Robinson, Simpson, Rollo (c), Jones, Ruddick, Jombati, Connolly, Canham, Phillips, Murray (Hogg 71), Watkins (Brown 77).
subs not used: Hendry, Hart, Borhy.
|man of the match:
||Murray (9), Phillips (22)
||S Burt (Northampton), M Rushton (Pewsey), A Neil (North Cheam)
|league position: 14th
||next match: Southport (H)
Report taken from
Old rivals Bath City and Newport County shared four goals at Twerton Park this evening, with all the goals coming in a breathless first quarter of the game.
City’s Scott Murray opened the scoring after a howler from visiting keeper Glyn Thompson but some shambolic defending at the other end gave Yemi Odubade the chance to level for Newport.
A brilliant strike from Newport centre-back Wayne Hatswell put the away side – chasing their first league win of 2011 – the lead but City drew level through Lee Phillips inside a minute.
The home side had the better of proceedings after that but there were no more goals, although Gethin Jones went desperately close to grabbing a late winner to follow up his injury-time effort that settled the reverse fixture at Spytty Park on New Year’s Day.
New signings Leigh Henry and Jonathan Brown were handed places on the bench by manager Adie Britton, whose selection hand was restricted by a number of injuries.
Top-scorer Kaid Mohamed was not fit enough to face the club with which he once spent a loan spell, while Joe Burnell’s rib injury also kept him out of the squad.
Phillips returned from a groin injury to partner the recalled Murray in attack and the latter could not believe his luck when he was handed the chance to open the scoring on nine minutes.
City had made the brighter start, with Marley Watkins volleying across the face of goal with less than a minute on the clock, but there appeared to be little danger when Andrew Hughes helped a stray ball back to keeper Glyn Thompson. However, the long-serving custodian missed his kick and Murray gleefully raced on before drilling the ball into an empty net from the edge of the box.
The hosts’ lead lasted only four minutes as Newport drew level in similarly comical fashion. Keeper Ryan Robinson and his defence stood like statues as Graeme Montgomery got in front of a hesitant Sekani Simpson to hook in a cross from the byline on the left, handing an unmarked Odubade the chance to finish emphatically from six yards.
If the first two goals had been gift-wrapped, the third of the evening was an absolute screamer - and it came from an unlikely source. Newport defender Hatswell stayed upfield after putting in a cross that was inches too high for Gary Warren and lashed a left-footed thunderbolt into the top corner of Robinson’s net from 25 yards after Hughes’ long ball was only half cleared by the City back line.
But Newport were caught cold straight from the restart and had shipped an equaliser within 50 seconds. Marc Canham helped the ball forward and Phillips muscled clear of the last defender before finishing expertly into the far corner.
Jones headed a Murray corner just wide two minutes later, before Newport’s Charlie Griffin and Phillips swiftly entered referee Stuart Burt’s notebook for kicking the ball away and a late challenge on Warren respectively.
The final 15 minutes of the first period failed to live up to the opening half-hour, however, although Warren squandered the chance to restore Newport’s lead when Robinson’s failure to deal with Montgomery’s deep free-kick saw Jamie Collins head the ball back across goal.
Newport showed plenty of attacking intent at the beginning of the second half, with the explosive pace of Odubade causing the City defence a few headaches. The on-loan Stevenage man sent an angled drive just over Robinson’s bar after shrugging off the attentions of Ruddick on the right.
City, playing down the slope towards the Bath End, responded with a good spell of pressure and Canham had a shot from distance blocked before Sido Jombati saw a first-time effort deflected wide.
Substitute Tom Miller’s long throws caused a few moments of alarm for City, with a header from Warren dropping just wide of the far post on the hour.
Watkins’ downward header from a right-wing Murray corner was too close to Matthews at the other end, before Phillips failed to find the finish to match his excellent approach play after outwitting Warren 30 yards from goal.
Britton introduced Lewis Hogg for Murray and debutant Brown for Watkins in a bid to freshen up his attack and City started to turn the screw as the minutes ticked down.
Canham saw a curling free-kick turned around his near post by Thompson after being fouled by Collins on the left and Simpson’s cross from the opposite flank flew just wide with the keeper rooted to the spot.
City went even closer with three minutes to go. Canham delivered a free-kick deep into the box and Jones diverted it goalwards before seeing his shot take a touch off a defender and go behind for a corner with the home contingent in a crowd of 1,551 preparing to celebrate another late winner.
Newport had the best chance of the four minutes of stoppage time, with Miller planting a firm header wide from Danny Rose’s right-wing cross.