Newport County 3-2 Northampton Town
Saturday, September 13th 2014
The Cobblers came very close to getting themselves out of jail once again on Saturday but a late fight back wasn’t enough to cover up some of the earlier deficiencies that led to a second league defeat of the season. Newport had raced into a three goal lead and it always looked as though if we were to complete a stunning turnaround it would have been rough justice on the home side who had convincingly come past a Cobblers side strangely off colour for three quarters of the game.
Perhaps it was the fact that the so far inspirational Kaid Mohammed had to stay at home after picking up a foot injury and Matt Duke was ruled out of a start through a thigh problem but if we’re relying on too many individuals to perform then any hopes of a run at the top end of the table this season may fade quickly.
There seemed a bit of imbalance in midfield with Darren Carter returning to fill in for Mohammed and the home side settled well and deserved their eighteenth minute lead. It was one of those thorns in our side that put the Exiles in front as well – Chris Zebroski always seems to find his way onto the score sheet when he takes on the Cobblers and he did so once again by scrambling in the opener.
After Joe Day pulled off a good save to deny Ivan Toney the home side took a two goal lead to leave us with even more to do. Darren Jones’ shot took a nick off Ryan Cresswell to sail past stand in keeper Jordan Archer and by half time we’d not done enough to force any kind of fight back.
Chris Wilder brought on John-Joe O’Toole and Danny Alfei at the break to try and re-shape but the next goal was always going to be a big one. Unfortunately it went to the Exiles as Lee Minshull met a free kick to head home and all but end the game as a contest.
To be fair to the Cobblers, we gave ourselves some hope at least. Third substitute Lawson D’Ath manoeuvred into position and blasted it home from distance for 3-1 with fifteen minutes to play. Ten minutes later and a grand stand finish was in the offing when Marc Richards scored his fifth of the season by converting Alfei’s cross. One final chance fell to John-Joe O’Toole but Day stood tall to deny him, meaning that the good mini-run we were on comes to an end.
That temporary bubble has now popped and we’re left trying to take the only real positive we can in that we fought back and could have nicked something where a year ago we would have undoubtedly rolled over. Only a proper bounce back will fully work us through this defeat, though, and luckily we have a big chance to do just that on Tuesday night and then again on Saturday with two home games hopefully providing us with just the tonic.
Consigning this to the history books, in other words, is the best bet before we go again back at Sixfields.