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Exeter City extend unbeaten run

Grecians held to fourth successive league draw

Nearly one month after their last win, the Grecians came into today’s game looking to end the tedious streak of draws they endured as of late.

Newport on the other hand, came to St James’ Park to try and continue their fine defensive performances which had seen them keep consecutive clean sheets in their last two games. One player who was hoping to be the thorn in Newport’s side today was City’s Samuel Nombe, who came into today’s matchup with four goals in his last four games.

The match began with a good tempo; however, temperatures were flared early on when Colin Daniels’ poorly timed challenge on Oliver Cooper ended what looked like a promising attack for Newport. This saw Daniels in the ref’s book after 4 minutes of play.

After the opening 10 minutes of play, it was evident where Newport posed a threat. Both their wing-backs: Cameron Norman and Ryan Haynes, kept getting in behind City’s Colin Daniel and Josh Key. This resulted in a couple dangerous crosses into the box early on. 

The threat of Haynes down Newport’s left side was causing too much of a problem for City. After 12 minutes of play Newport found the breakthrough. A wonderful passage of play started with Newport’s back three dictating the ball for some time. Eventually, the dangerous Haynes drove down the left flank with ease, leaving his man for dead. This was before he rolled it to Cooper who took no time to pass it on the edge for Robbie Willmott, who cut onto his left-side before rolling it across Cameron Dawson’s goal to make it 1-0 to Newport. It was safe to say this goal fairly reflected the opening of the game. Newport were ahead with a deserved lead.

Newport looked comfortable for the first 20 minutes in total. They were comfortably passing out from the back and City were being frustrated by the Exiles. 

City finally got their first chance of the game in the 21st minute when Dieng won the ball in the centre of the park, he then found Collins who hit low and wide from about 25 yards out.

A minute later City’s fortunes changed. A poor goal-kick from Joe Day resulted in City skipper Matt Jay picking the ball up from just past the centre circle. He drove forward at the Newport back line before passing it into the net with ease. The score was 1-1 with 22 minutes played.

After the goal, it seemed the pendulum turned in Exeter’s favour. Nombe was next to come close when Owura slotted him in on goal. The chance resulted in a corner after Nombe’s effort was well blocked. The momentum was fully with the Grecians.

Despite Exeter dominating the run of play, Courtney Baker-Richardson found himself in plenty of space down Exeter’s left-hand side. With no one closing him down, he unleashed a venomous effort which City keeper Cameron Dawson made a meal of. The ball trickled into the net silencing the Big-Bank. All of a sudden, City found themselves a goal down again.

The score was 2-1 to Newport after 28 minutes.

Josh Key began to make his presence known towards the end of the half. He showed his pace and ability down the right-hand side and looked a real threat going forward. He helped spark some city pressure towards the break, and on 43 minutes Brown and Archie Collins linked up well before

Newport goal scorer Baker-Richardson stopped any potential counter attack with a lazy foul. Resulting in him getting a yellow card.

The score at the break was Exeter 1-2 Newport.

City started the second half much better than they did in the first half. The ball was largely in Newport’s half as City began to dominate.

54 Minutes in, the ball fell to city’s man in-form Sam Nombe. He cut in from the left-hand side before firing it across goal into the bottom corner. City were level only 9 minutes after the interval.

Exeter 2-2 Newport

Straight after the goal, Matt Taylor switched to five at the back when he brought on Grounds and Caprice for Daniel and Edwards. Caprice’s energy was made known as he picked up the ball on numerous occasions down the left-hand side. However, it was down City’s right where the next chance occurred. On 59 minutes, after successive passes, Josh Key whipped in a dangerous cross which Matt Jay could only flick wide. The momentum was very much with City.

In the 69th minute, Key and Jay linked up yet again. This was after Josh Key dispossessed Ryan Haynes who seemed to be beginning to tire. Key then crossed in to the box, only for Jay to miss the target again.

With not much to shout about for the next 10 minutes, substitute Finn Azaz started a silky move in the 82nd minute, where he found Ed Upson who then calmly slotted in Cooper. His effort though saved by Dawson. This was Newport’s best chance of the half.

The game finished Exeter City 2-2 Newport County


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