Kevin Ellison scored on the opening day for Newport. Pic: Getty Images.

Newport County’s Kevin Ellison Starts Season No.24 With Goal No.160

By Rob Carbon

Michael Flynn had his faith in 42-year-old striker Kevin Ellison rewarded with an opening day 1-0 victory at Oldham.

County experienced late delight in Sky Bet League Two as Ellison’s goal handed them a gritty away win in his 24th season of professional football. It was his 160th goal.

The hosts were without five key men due to Covid-19 protocols as well as injuries and lacked the necessary spark up top in the absence of Dylan Bahamboula and Hallam Hope.

Flynn said: “Oldham will give a lot of teams a tough game. We didn’t create too many clear cut chances but we just thought Kev would get on the end of one of the crosses, which he did.

“It’s been a tough week. Wayne (Hatswell, assistant manager) has had to bury his aunty. My dad had a suspected heart attack yesterday. We have had Matty Dolan go down injured, Courtney Baker-Richardson go down, we have had a tough week.

“We had nowhere to train Wednesday, so that’s made it all worthwhile.

“We controlled the game, we didn’t really create enough but it’s always like that at the beginning of the season.

“We have played a lot better than that and lost, so I am delighted with the three points.

 

“We are away for a few weeks and the main thing is that we got three points, I don’t care how it was done against a dangerous Oldham team.

“Keith Curle is quietly putting together a good squad, they were missing a few players today through Covid and I was glad of that because they were big players.”

County gave debuts to defenders Cameron Norman and James Clarke and forwards Jermaine Hylton and Timmy Abraham yet it was the summer signing in midfield from Bristol Rovers, brought in to fill the void left by Wales international Josh Sheehan, that earned Flynn’s special praise.

“Ed Upson controlled the game and was always on the ball. He is a slightly different player to Josh, he looks forward a lot more while Josh switches the play a little more,” said the manager.

“We’ve got to adapt because you are not going to be able to afford a Josh Sheehan, we were just very fortunate that he happened to play for us. He has gone on to bigger and better things at Bolton.”

There were clamours for a red card in the first half as Carl Piergianni seemed to hold the neck of Cameron Norman and push him to the floor but both were instead handed bookings by referee Tom Nield.

 

County came close to breaking the deadlock in the 57th minute when Mickey Demetriou nodded Robbie Willmott’s free-kick past Danny Rogers but he was adjudged to have been offside.

Oldham attempted to seize the advantage with a Piergianni header from Nicky Adams’ free-kick but his effort went over the bar.

And Newport eventually got their just rewards when, after a number of Latics errors, Ellison sprinted forward on the counter-attack in the 88th minute and his glancing header beat the goalkeeper.

 

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