Ipswich Town 0-1 Newport County - Match Report
Tuesday, 10th Aug 2021 21:43
Paul Cook fell to his first home defeat as Town boss as Newport County beat a much-changed Blues side 1-0 at Portman Road in the first round of the Carabao Cup. Timmy Abraham’s fourth-minute goal was enough to see the Exiles through, however, Town, who ended the game with 10 men after James Norwood suffered a knock with all three subs made, dominated and had more than enough opportunities to win the game.
Centre-half Luke Woolfenden was the only survivor from the XI which started the 2-2 with Morecambe on Saturday.
Tomas Holy was in goal with Janoi Donacien, a sub against the Shrimps, skippering at right-back with Woolfenden and Corrie Ndaba the centre-halves.
Bailey Clements was handed his second senior start, his first having come in the same competition two years ago, at left-back.
In central midfield, neither Lee Evans nor Rekeem Harper was involved and Idris El Mizouni started alongside Cameron Humphreys with the 17-year-old handed his senior debut.
Armando Dobra was on the right, and Sone Aluko, also making his debut, were in the wide roles with Louie Barry, another debutant, behind Saturday’s last-gasp goal hero Macauley Bonne, who was making his full debut for his hometown club.
Kayden Jackson and youngsters Matt Ward, Fraser Alexander and Albie Armin were among the subs.
Newport boss Michael Flynn named an entirely changed XI from the one which beat Oldham 1-0 away in their opening fixture at the weekend including seven youth products. Ex-Blues midfielder Ed Upson was on the bench.
Prior to kick-off both teams and staff took a knee in protest against racism and inequality to applause from the Portman Road crowd.
Town went close to going in front in the third minute when Dobra brought the ball forward from a central area and hit a low shot across Exiles keeper Nick Townsend but off the outside of the post.
However, a minute later, the visitors went in front. Finn Azaz beat Aluko on the right of the area following a free-kick and crossed low for the unmarked Abraham, the younger brother of England international Tammy, to deftly flick past Holy.
Town quickly looked to get back on terms and in the seventh minute a cross from the right fell to Dobra, who hit a well-struck shot which Townsend batted away. The ball reached Donacien and the St Lucia-born full-back sent it back in for Bonne, who headed into the ground and over.
Newport threatened a second in the 12th minute when Jordan Greenidge turned the ball wide to Kevin Ellison, then burst into the area and only a timely intervention from Woolfenden prevented the Exiles forward from having a free shot at Holy from inside the area.
Chances were coming at both ends in an open early phase of the game. On 14 Barry broke into the area on the right and teed-up Aluko to his left but the Nigerian international, who was making an off-the-pace start to the match, air-kicked.
The ball eventually reached Clements breaking forward from left-back but his shot flew wide with Bonne trying to divert it goalwards with his head.
In the 18th minute Azaz belted a 25-yard free-kick deep into the lower tier of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.
Two minutes later, Humphreys cleverly beat his man a third of the way inside the Newport half, then threaded an incisive pass through to the breaking Clements to his left. The academy product sent in a low ball but awkwardly for Bonne and keeper Townsend was able to claim.
On 21 Aluko was booked for a foul on Christopher Missilou, then Barry and Dobra combined well on halfway and the Albanian U21 international burst away towards goal but shot against a defender when returning the ball to the on-loan Aston Villa man might have been a better option.
Town were well in control and looking threatening going forward but with their approach breaking down with the final pass or decision. On 24 Humphreys found Barry at the far post with a lofted ball but the linesman’s flag had been raised.
Just after the half hour, an Aluko corner from the right eventually fell for Bonne at a tight angle and the Ipswich-born striker smashed a shot off the outside of the post.
Newport started to see more of the ball and space in the Town half when breaking. On 34 Holy grabbed Abraham’s low cross ahead of Greenidge.
Five minutes later, Aluko, who was finding his way into the game, feinted his way into the area and fed Donacien to his right. The right-back crossed for Bonne, who headed wide.
On 41 Aneurin Livermore was booked for a foul on Dobra just to the left of the penalty box. El Mizouni took the free-kick and hit a low effort at Townsend’s post which the keeper did well to get down to and push wide.
In the penultimate scheduled minute Donacien, who had had a good half, slipped Barry in on the right of the area and the Villa youngster shot into the side-netting at a tight angle.
Town continued to create opportunities in injury time with Bonne rising high to nod to Townsend’s right from Donacien’s right-wing cross but without enough power to concern the keeper.
The half ended with the visitors still in the lead although with the Blues having had plenty of chances.
Despite having gone behind for the second game in a row, Town quickly got control of the game and had had more than enough opportunities to be on terms having hit the woodwork twice, but will feel they should have been sharper with their finishing.
At the other end, Newport had served warning that a second goal was far from an impossibility on a number of occasions with Abraham and Greenidge both having caused problems.
Five minutes after the restart, Bonne battled for the ball on left of the Newport area and it fell for Barry, who blazed over when he will feel he should have done better.
Town thought they’d levelled in the 51st minute when Humphreys sent over a cross from the left which Bonne headed home, but with the linesman’s flag raised.
Three minutes later, the Exiles were forced into a sub with former Blue Upson, the scorer of Town’s 2005 FA Youth Cup-winning goal, replacing Livermore, who had picked up a knock.
Town made their first chance in the 56th minute when Aluko, who had got more into the game after a slow start, was replaced by Scott Fraser.
Just before the hour, a slick Blues move ended with Humphreys, who had certainly made his mark on his debut, playing a pass in behind a defender into Clements’s path on the left and the full-back sent over a dangerous low ball which Townsend grabbed ahead of Barry, taking a kick to his head as a result.
Town continued to look for the equaliser with the second half having been played almost entirely at one end of the field. In the 63rd minute Dobra cut in from the left and struck a powerful shot which was destined for the top corner until Townsend got up and across to superbly paw it wide.
That was Barry’s last action of the game, the England U18 international having shown why he is so highly rated, as he and Bonne, who will feel he should have scored his second Blues goal, were swapped for Norwood and Jackson.
There was a scare for Town on 67 when Ndaba outside-edged a clearance from Lewis Collins’s right-sided cross towards his own goal but fortunately close to Holy, who claimed.
The Blues will wonder how they didn’t get level in the 72nd minute. After a neat interchange on the right, Fraser left his man for dead on the byline, then cut across to Dobra six yards out. The forward took a touch when he probably should have shot first time and his effort was blocked by the keeper.
The save looped to Jackson and his header arced towards goal but without enough power to prevent it from being cleared off the line.
Town created another great opportunity in the 77th minute when Dobra fed Clements to his left from where the left-back beat his man and crossed to Norwood, who headed over at the near post having appeared to be nursing an injury.
Moments later, the striker made his way to the tunnel, leaving the Blues down to 10 men with all three subs having been used.
On 81 Abraham became the latest in a long line of Newport players to take to the turf for treatment for what appeared to be no other reason other than to hold the game up, much to the annoyance of the Town support.
Blues chances had become rarer since losing a man but with four minutes left on the clock, Dobra won a corner on the left which was sent over by El Mizouni and Donacien headed high and wide.
Newport saw out five minutes of injury time, indeed they pressed for a second and won two corners, to end Town’s Carabao Cup run at the first hurdle yet again.
The Blues had dominated, particularly in the second half when the game was like a training exercise for long spells, but were let down by bad decisions and bad finishing.
Town are next in action in League One against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Town: Holy, Donacien (c), Woolfenden, Ndaba, Clements, El Mizouni, Humphreys, Dobra, Barry (Norwood 64), Aluko (Fraser 56), Bonne (Jackson 64). Unused: Hladky, Armin, Alexander, Ward.
Newport: Townsend, Clarke (c), Lewis, Hall, Abraham, Azaz (Collins 64), Ellison (Telford 73), Missilou, Greenidge, Woodiwiss, Livermore (Upson 54). Unused: Ovendale, Hillier, Lewis, Karadogan. Referee: Neil Hair (Cambridgeshire). Att: 6,154 (Newport: 131).
Photo: Matchday Images
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