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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT & GALLERY: NEWPORT COUNTY AFC 1-1 LUTON TOWN

Town come from behind to take a point at Rodney Parade

17 March 2018

Town fought back from a goal down to take a point against Newport County this afternoon – a result which sees the Hatters maintain second spot in Sky Bet League Two.

Josh Sheehan scored after two minutes to give the Exiles an early lead, before Dan Potts' header brought the game level midway through the first half.
Nathan Jones made two changes from the side that drew in midweek against Coventry, with Luke Gambin and Elliot Lee coming in for Flynn Downes and Harry Cornick.

The Hatters got off to the worst possible start after County's Sheehan put the hosts in front early on. Aaron Collins sprinted down the left before cutting past Jack Stacey, then shooting from an angle which Marek Stech parried away, but Josh Sheehan was there to follow it up 12 yards out, firing it through a crowd to put the hosts 1-0 up.

The Hatters came very close to responding six minutes later as Luke Gambin's neat touch to Elliot Lee gave the striker space to run at the Newport defence. The forward got an effort away from 16 yards – it deflected off a Newport defender, Danny Hylton looked to get a touch but Joe Day did well to palm it out for a corner.

Alan Sheehan – making his 400th career appearance – took it, Potts headed it down before managing to get a shot away but it was headed away from goal, before Gambin blazed over from 22 yards.

Aaron Collins persisted to threaten down the left and very nearly assisted in a second goal after 15 minutes, as he got past Berry before crossing to the back stick for Padraig Amond to head, but a combination of Stech and the post stopped the Exiles extending their lead.

Town got a deserved equaliser after 23 minutes when Dan Potts rose highest in the Newport box six-yards out to head in from Alan Sheehan's cross from a corner – the left-back's seventh goal of the campaign.

That fired Jones' team into life and it could have very easily been 2-1 to the Hatters just two minutes later when James Collins ran at the Newport defence before cutting on to his left, he looked for the bottom right corner, but Day somehow got a touch and sent the ball behind for a corner.

It was the Town striker again finding space out on the left after a great chipped pass from Stacey with ten minutes of the first half remaining. Collins got it into his right boot before curling it looking for the top right corner, but hit the crossbar.

After an entertaining opening half, it was a tightly contested second, but with very few chances for either side.

Town again threatened from a corner routine as Hylton met Sheehan's near post cross, but his effort was just wide to the left of Day's goal 53 minutes in.

Substitute Frank Nouble went close to giving Mike Flynn's side the lead with nine minutes to go, as he got an effort away from the edge of the box with the Town defence on the back foot, but it was a comfortable save for Stech in the end who dived to his left to gather.

Town went very close to snatching it a minute into stoppage time when substitutes Jake Jervis and Alan McCormack combined on the right, with the latter nutmegging Dan Butler before crossing in low, but the hosts managed to clear it away.

The result means the Hatters have now drawn four of their last five, sitting five points clear of fourth placed Wycombe Wanderers, with eight league games to go for the Town.

Newport: Day, Butler, Demetriou, O'Brien, White, Willmott, Tozer, Sheehan (Nouble 70), Dolan, Amond (McCoulsky 86), Collins.

Subs not used: Bittner, Jackson, Bennett, Reid, Pipe.

Goal: J Sheehan 2'

Yellow: Dolan, O'Brien

Town: Stech, Stacey, Cuthbert, Sheehan, Potts, Rea, Berry, Gambin (McCormack 87), Elliot Lee (Cornick 68), Hylton (Jervis 84), Collins.

Subs not used: Justin, Mullins, Olly Lee, Shea.

Goal: Potts 23'

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 3,512

Away: 589


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