EXILES TAUGHT HARSH LESSON
AFTER their first away league game for more than 25 years, Newport County supporters were left wondering quite how their side had been beaten.
Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium provided the venue for the Exiles’ first road trip since their return to the Football League, and on it they were beaten by a 3-1 scoreline.
It was a result that was brutally harsh on Newport, who had the majority of the possession and the chances but who found home goalkeeper Matt Duke in inspired form.
Duke was only beaten in the game’s final minute, by Conor Washington, and that after making a string of excellent saves.
By that point, Northampton had scored three goals of their own – through debutant Jacob Blyth, and Irish duo Roy O’Donovan and Gary Deegan.
And that produced a scoreline that the visitors’ manager Justin Edinburgh felt was far from a fair reflection of the contest. He said: “Their goalkeeper was man of the match but we shouldn’t be giving him the chance to make some of the saves that he did.
“The scoreline is very harsh on us but we gave a good account of ourselves, I thought. But the scoreline is a harsh one and doesn’t reflect the nature of the game, really.
“The performance was good and we put Northampton on the back foot for long periods.
“But we had a ten-minute spell in the first half when we lost our way a bit.
“There were chances here to get goals and we just haven’t taken them. “I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded but it’s a learning curve for us.
“If we continue to play like that we’ll pick up more points than we lose.
“I’m sure we’re capable of competing in this division and I think that in the first couple of games that we’ve played we’ve shown that.”
For Northampton manager Aidy Boothroyd, the win is the first of the season for his side and continues their excellent home form of last term.
The Cobblers boasted the second best record on their own ground in League Two across last season, and look in good shape to continue such home comforts this time around. And Boothroyd said:“It is a relief considering our big players are out but it was a tough game and sometimes you need a game like that to make you realise what football is all about.
“You come back from your summer and you have to make sure you hit the ground running because teams like Newport will be at it, and they really were. “For the first 15 minutes it was like the Alamo and we were just doing what we could to keep them out.
“They were very, very good and I was very impressed by the way that they started the match. “But in the end I really do feel that the result was deserved from our point of view.”
NORTHAMPTON: (4-4-2): Duke 9, Amankwaah 8, Tozer 8, Collins 7, Widdowson 6, Emerton 7 (Demontagnac 77 5), Deegan 7, Carter 6, Morris 8, O’Donovan 6, Blyth 6 (Toney 73 6) Subs not used: Snedker, Moyo, Dias, Hooper, Moyo
NEWPORT: (5-3-2): Stephens 5, Pipe 6, Hughes 6, Yakubu 6, Worley 5, Sandell 6, Porter 5 (Crow 62 5), Chapman 5 (Willmott 79 4), Minshull 5, Zebroski 6 (Washington 79 7), Jolley 5
Subs not used: Flynn, Jackson, Bittner
ALL SMILES: Gary Deegan is congratulated by Roy O’Donovan FINISHING TOUCH: Roy O’Donovan slots home for Northampton