Match Report | Newport County AFC 0 – 2 Grimsby Town

Grimsby Town produced an excellent team performance to beat Newport County at Rodney Parade and make it three league away wins in a row.

The Mariners were in control throughout the game and made their dominance count just after the hour mark when Bryn Morris registered his first goal from the club from a 30-yard free kick.

Harry Clifton then followed up his brace at Walsall last week as he struck again seven minutes from time to make the points safe and seal a deserved first-ever victory for Town at Newport.

All three transfer deadline day signings were involved in Grimsby’s matchday squad, with Burnley loanee Lewis Richardson coming straight into the starting line-up as Alex Hunt and Keyendrah Simmonds began on the bench.

Manager Paul Hurst’s XI showed two changes from last Saturday’s league victory in the West Midlands, with Brendan Kiernan also coming back into the team as Danny Amos and Kieran Green dropped out.

Max Crocombe started in goal, with Michee Efete, Luke Waterfall, Andy Smith and Anthony Glennon forming the defence.  Kiernan, Gavan Holohan, Morris and Clifton were the midfielders, with Ryan Taylor and Richardson linking up in attack.

Alongside new boys Simmonds and Hunt, there was a first appearance on the bench for Niall Maher as he made a return from injury.  Ollie Battersby, Green, Stephen Wearne and Danilo Orsi completed the list of substitutes.

Newport’s team had a very familiar face in former Mariners favourite Omar Bogle, who would be looking to add to the six goals he had already scored since making the move to south Wales from Hartlepool in July.

Richardson had the first opportunity of the game when he met a cross from Kiernan on the right but the striker could only flick his header wide.

A foul on Taylor by Declan Drysdale then gave Town a free kick in a dangerous position to the right of centre, although Glennon’s delivery bounced out for a goal kick.

Town’s bright start continued when Morris won the ball in midfield and found Richardson to start a move which led to a ball into the penalty area from Holohan being headed clear.

Clifton then produced a great save from home keeper Nick Townsend, who tipped the winger’s 20-yard shot over his bar for the game’s first corner on 10 minutes.  Glennon’s ball from the flag bounced through to Efete at the far post and his shot was deflected behind for another corner, which was cleared for a throw-in.

An interception from Smith’s cross-field pass led to Newport’s first chance soon afterwards, as striker Thierry Nevers cut inside and worked an opening before firing over the bar from the edge of the box.

A long throw from Mickey Demetriou was headed clear by Waterfall, before Kiernan did well to win a Grimsby corner on the right but Glennon’s ball beat everybody and curled past the far post for a goal kick.

Bogle chipped over the bar from a narrow angle at the other end on 17 minutes, then a cross from Cameron Norman was headed away by Efete.

A foul on Bogle by Smith gave the hosts a free kick just outside the Town box but Crocombe moved across his line to make a comfortable catch from Bogle’s shot.

Scott Bennett was shown the first yellow card of the afternoon when he brought Richardson down on the Town right on 22 minutes.  The away side were unable to take advantage from the free kick though, as Glennon’s delivery was caught by Townsend.

Bogle flashed a volley wide three minutes later after a Demetriou long throw dropped for him, then a long, over-hit back-pass gave Town a corner on the right.  This time, Glennon’s ball was punched by Townsend and the clearance was completed by midfielder Nathan Moriah-Welsh.

After Town had controlled the opening stages, the game was now moving from end to end at pace, with both sides looking to find a way of breaking the deadlock as the half-hour mark passed.

Kiernan beat Aaron Lewis down the right to create an opening on 38 minutes but his cross was blocked and after the ball was played back into the box, nobody in the pink shirts of the Mariners could force it towards goal and the pressure was relieved when the referee blew for a home free kick.

A stoppage came for Bennett to receive treatment on an injury with three minutes remaining before half-time, then a long throw from Demetriou was well defended as the half moved into three added minutes.

No further chances came before the interval and despite Town looking the better of the two sides so far, they had been unable to make it count on the scoreboard and the game remained goalless.

Robbie Willmott replaced Bennett for the hosts before the restart and a foul on Lewis gave them a free kick on the left two minutes in.  Willmott’s delivery from it was caught by Crocombe.

Glennon fired over the bar from the edge of the box at the other end after a cross had been touched on by Richardson, then a shot from Morris was caught by Newport keeper Townsend after a good build-up by the Mariners.

Town went close to taking the lead when a cross was recycled by Glennon on the left.  His ball to the far post was headed back across goal by Taylor for Richardson but he could not quite get enough power on it to beat Townsend, who pushed it clear.

A cross from Kiernan was headed away and a drive from Morris was blocked for a corner as the visitors continued to push for an opening goal.  Glennon’s ball from the flag was half-cleared by Bogle and when the ball came back into the box, Waterfall headed wide under pressure.

Soon afterwards, a cross from Clifton hit the side-netting after a quick counter-attack, before Moriah-Welsh missed the target from 20 yards after a quickly-taken Newport free kick.

Glennon was tripped by Norman to give Town a free kick 30 yards from goal on 63 minutes and from it, they took the lead as Glennon tapped the ball short to MORRIS and he rifled a low, first-time shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Will Evans replaced Nevers after the goal and the hosts thought they had almost instantly levelled when his cross was headed back across goal by Norman at the far post.  But the officials ruled the ball had not crossed the line before it was hooked clear by Holohan and the Mariners remained in front.

Lewis Collins replaced Drysdale in the home side’s third substitution, before Simmonds was sent on in place of Richardson for Town on 72 minutes.

A stoppage came when Glennon went down with an injury but he was passed fit to continue after receiving treatment.

Chanka Zimba came on for Lewis for Newport with 12 minutes to go, before Kiernan was booked after a coming together near the right corner flag.

Town made sure of the points on 83 minutes, when CLIFTON got the ball in midfield and took it forward before cutting inside and keeping his composure to send a low finish past Townsend and into the net for 2-0.

Clifton could have grabbed another goal two minutes later after a great pass from Simmonds but this time, his shot was blocked by the keeper.

Collins then missed an opportunity to pull one back at the other end as he fired over the bar, before Orsi replaced Taylor for the last three minutes.

Evans was booked for a foul on Smith after the game moved into six added minutes, then Maher came on to make his first league appearance for Town as he replaced Kiernan and Green was sent on in place of Holohan.

Bogle was denied by Crocombe as the hosts aimed to pull a goal back, before the keeper repeated the trick as he dived to stop a header from the former Grimsby striker.

That meant the Mariners were able to celebrate a clean sheet to go with the three points from an impressive win.

Town now return to Blundell Park for their next game, with Crewe Alexandra set to be the visitors on Saturday.


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