This Boxing Day entailed a trip to Wycombe for Newport County, in an attempt to collect 3 points from The Chairboys. Bringing 3 points home could have taken Newport into a respectable play-off position.
A few changes had to be made to Michael Flynn’s travelling side after O’Brien’s red card, picked up against Lincoln on the weekend which ensured he would miss playing time over the festive period. Ben Tozer took on the role of centre back, as replacement, and Scott Bennett made a start in central midfield. This shift in the squad also saw youth players Jay Foulston and Modou Touray gain a place on the first team bench.
After a strong start to the game, the home side took the lead 15 minutes in. Nathan Tyson managed to turn Newport’s David Pipe and calmly bury the ball under goalkeeper, Joe Day, claiming Wycombe’s 50th goal in 30 games played.
As the game went on, Newport made an effort to fight back, but struggled finishing chances that were delivered. Half time was greeted with the hosts still in possession of a seemingly comfortable lead.
The second half of the game commenced at Adams Park, with County captain, Joss Labadie, looking to alter the score line. Just 22 seconds into the half, Labadie claimed County’s best chance of the game with a strike from 23 yards out. Unfortunately, the shot was sealed by the crossbar and County still trailed.
Just 3 minutes after his attempt at goal, Labadie was booked for a late challenge on Wycombe’s Cowan-Hall, which proved costly in the later stages of the game.
In the 79th minute, Akinfenwa solidified his team’s lead after chesting the ball past Newport’s Demetriou and firing home. This stunning finish added to the striker’s goal tally, which now stands at 12 for the season.
After a declaration of 5 minutes added time, Joss Labadie received his second yellow card of the game, as a result of catching Wycombe’s O’Nein. Shortly after Labadie exited the pitch, the referee blew his whistle to signify full time.
Despite travelling to Wycombe on Boxing Day and picking up 3 points being a major challenge for any League Two side, Newport would have felt like they should have taken a lot more from the game.
Conceding goals seems to be a significant flaw in Flynn’s side and shall be seen as something that needs working on. Newport have now also lost their vice-captain and captain to red cards in consecutive games.
Although this loss somehow managed to lift County two places to 10th in the league, League Two remains competitive, constantly proving that anything can happen.
Did Newport deserve more? Let us know in the comments below!