County Attract Big Attendance, But Slump To Defeat

Newport County manager Mike Flynn. Pic: Getty Images.

County Attract Big Attendance, But Slump To Defeat

More than 4,600 spectators watched Newport County crash to a devastating first defeat at Rodney Parade in 2018.

The Exiles were aiming to breathe new life into their chase for a play-offs spot, but their 2-1 home defeat means they face a massive task if they are to maintain hopes.

Their next clash is against Coventry City at home next Friday (3pm).

Mike Flynn named an unchanged side from the team that secured a 1-1 draw against high-flying Luton Town at Rodney Parade and they stuck with a 3-5-2 formation.

The only change to the match day 18 saw Paul Hayes recover from a calf injury and he replaced Marlon Jackson among the substitutes.

Harry McKirdy fired Crewe ahead after 26 minutes after he won an aerial battle with Mickey Demetriou before calmly firing into the bottom corner from just inside the six-yard area.

The visitors made it 2-0 on the hour when Jordan Bowery scored after a quick counter-attack.

County pulled a goal back when Mickey Demetriou headed in after 81 minutes, but Crewe held on for the win.

Newport slipped one place in the League Two table and are 12th, 10 points outside the play-offs with eight games to play.

The combination of Aaron Collins and Josh Sheehan again impressed, while County produced some excellent spells of passing and were on top in the early stages.

They were denied by inspired goalkeeper Ben Garratt, who made a number of crucial saves.

Manager Michael Flynn made a double Newport substitution with Frank Nouble and Hayes replacing Sheehan and Amond as the Exiles switched to 4-3-3.

But Crewe held on for a victory that should confirm their survival in League Two for another season, condemning County to their first defeat at Rodney Parade in 2018 from all competitions.

Newport County: Day, Butler, Demetriou, White, O’Brien (capt), Willmott, Dolan, Sheehan (Nouble 57), Tozer, Amond (Hayes 57), Collins (McCoulsky 69). Subs not used: Bittner, Pipe, Bennett, Reid

Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Ng, Ray (capt), Nolan, Kirk (Raynes 85), Ainley, Pickering, Green, Lowery (Jones 45), McKirdy (Dagnall 78), Bowery. Subs not used: Richards, Wintle, Reilly, Barlaser

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 4,638 (281 away).

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