The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jef­fer­son Lake To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

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

PIC­TURES: Pete Nor­ton

ALL SMILES: Gary Dee­gan is con­grat­u­lated by Roy O’Dono­van FIN­ISH­ING TOUCH: Roy O’Dono­van slots home for Northamp­ton

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