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Match Reports

REPORT: Newport 0-1 Stevenage

7 April 2018

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Stevenage made it three games unbeaten and seven points out of nine, as Chris Whelpdale got his first goal of the season in a 1-0 win at Newport.

It was a classic strong away performance from Stevenage as the players controlled the contest and chances throughout.

Why change an unbeaten formula? Dino Maamria used that logic as team-sheets were exchanged with the same side selected for the third game in row. Four points from the previous two games, away at Grimsby and at home to Barnet providing a solid base for the new manager to work with.

The Stevenage boys got off to a fast start as they harried and hustled their way around Rodney Parade, putting pressure on the Newport goalkeeper and defence early on.

Luke Wilkinson was the first to cause panic at the back for County as he beat keeper Joe Day to Martin’s free-kick, but his flicked header just fell the wrong side of the post.

With Danny Newton and Alex Revell leading the line, Stevenage went the aerial route to look for an opener and it was an approach that seemed to be working.

Newton had the goal at his mercy after Day missed his punch but the striker’s contact wasn’t ideal and it was hooked off the line.

Newport had a few chances of their own and should have took the lead themselves when a untimely pass to Wilkinson put the centre-back under undue pressure, before being robbed of the ball.

Fortunately as the ball came into Amond - just 10 yards out - his finish flew over the bar and into the terrace.

The second big Newport chance came when Robbie Wilmot curled high and wide from the edge of the area, after some nifty footwork by Collins to split two defenders before picking out the pass.

But it was Boro who looked the most likely to score and Newton saw his second goal-bound shot cleared off the line, after another failed Day clearance fell to the striker, who took his time but couldn’t find a way past Mickey Demetriou who was ready and waiting.

From the resulting corner, Luke Amos forced Day into action as the ball fell to the Spurs loanee who sorted out his feet quickly before being thwarted by the keeper.

Just as it looked as though Stevenage would have to settle for a goalless first half, Chris Whelpdale stepped up for his first goal of the season as he headed in Ronnie Henry’s cross towards the back-post. Good play from Amos in the build up as he waited for the captain on the overlap who put it in the perfect place.

Just rewards for a high tempo first half from Dino Maamria’s men.

It was so close to a blockbuster start to the second half as Newton let off an outrageous volley which had Day scrambling before palming away for a corner.

Newport fans were soon calling for a penalty after Frank Nouble went down under Ben Sheaf’s challenge. The referee wasn’t impressed though and Ollie Yates went onto irate the home support further, by turning down a couple of handball claims over the next five minutes.

County would start to pile on the pressure though and Ben Tozer had a good opportunity to draw his side level as he headed over from a Newport corner. 

With 25 minutes to go, Stevenage had a golden opportunity to open up the advantage. After Joe Day came flying out of his area to clear the ball, he miss-timed his challenge and the ball came down to Kennedy.

With the keeper out of his box and just a couple of defenders between him and the goal, Kennedy played it inside to Whelpdale who rather than going for goal, went to pass the ball towards Revell it had just too much on it.

Dale Gorman came on for Ben Kennedy to try and shore up the midfield and another Newport penalty appeal was soon turned down, much to the relief of the 102 Stevenage supporters who made the long trip down.

As the game came towards its conclusion, another wave of Newport attacks had to be stemmed as David Pipe fired his half volley wide but it was all rather comfortable for Stevenage as they managed to keep the Exiles at arms-length throughout the game.

Newton had the final chance to kill the game off as he tried to flick the ball over Day, after a smart ball through over the top of the defence. Just too much on the effort as it floated onto the roof of the net.

Matty Godden got some more minutes in him as he came on for Ben Sheaf and Stevenage were able to see out the rest of the game and post a first road win under the new boss.

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