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Match Reports

Newport 2-1 Swindon Town

Town fall to a frustrating defeat despite taking lead on Saturday

3 February 2024

Match Reports

Newport 2-1 Swindon Town

Town fall to a frustrating defeat despite taking lead on Saturday

3 February 2024

Swindon Town fell to a first defeat under Gavin Gunning with a frustrating 2-1 away defeat to Newport County on Saturday afternoon.

Paul Glatzel opened the scoring with a well-taken finish straight after the second half started, but two goals later on in the second period for Newport from Will Evans and Seb Palmer-Houlden gave the Exiles the victory.

Town named an unchanged team to the side which defeated Bradford City back at The County Ground last weekend, with plenty of new faces amongst the bench this afternoon.

January signings Zach Elbouzedi, Sean McGurk, Aaron Drinan, the return of Harry McKirdy and defender Tom Brewitt returning left plenty of optimism going into the game against Newport, with Swindon hoping to build on improved performances shown in Gavin Gunning's first game back in charge last Saturday.

It was a promising start for Swindon as they looked to be the side that looked the more threatening attacking-wise, with midfielder Dawson Devoy almost scoring his second goal in as many games.

The Irishman took charge of a clever free-kick that almost caught out Nick Townsend in the Newport goal but unfortunately bounced back off the post, and Swindon were unable to capitalise on the chance just four minutes in.

Three minutes later, Swindon created another opportunity, as a neat move constructed on the right-hand side of Town's team allowed Paul Glatzel to shoot but see his effort blocked, before midfielder Jake Cain could only see his effort on the rebound held with ease by Nick Townsend.

Play began to open up after these two chances for Swindon, but Town still looked the more controlled of the two, as both Saidou Khan and Cain again could find room for efforts on goal, which unfortunately did not result in the game's opener.

Dawson Devoy was next up to try and break the deadlock in the first half, but after a neat move, was unable to guide his effort goalward which resulted in going over the top of the Newport crossbar in the 31st minute.

The home side responded with a chance of their own four minutes later, as Seb Palmer-Houlden turned and fired an effort goalward that Town's Jack Bycroft was able to get down to and parry away from danger well.

There was still time in the first half for one more opportunity for Swindon before the break, when Dawson Devoy was released down the right-hand side and teed up Rushian Hepburn-Murphy who, (in a similar fashion to Devoy's earlier effort), could only fire his swivelled effort over the Newport crossbar.

A first half which saw plenty of chances for Town to take the lead, as they looked to make these count in the second half and build on what was a pleasing overall performance so far.

Half-time: Newport 0 Swindon Town 0

The second half started and finally, Swindon made their pressure pay, by opening the scoring in the game through Paul Glatzel 30 seconds in.

After a clever ball over the top found Paul Glatzel through on goal, the forward showed great composure to slot the ball past the onrushing Newport keeper Nick Townsend and give Town the ideal start to the second 45.

But, it wasn't long before Newport replied and found the equaliser that came as a bit of a sucker-punch to Swindon, with Will Evans finding the back of the net in the 53rd minute.

Just minutes after coming on, debutant Zach Elbouzedi had his first chance to run at his full-back, and after teeing up Glatzel, the latter's volleyed effort was cleared by the Newport defender just before it could roll into the back of the net for his second of the game.

Jack Bycroft was called into action once again three minutes later, with an acrobatic save to his left-hand side to deny Bryn Morris just past the hour mark.

As we reached the latter stages of the contest, fan favourite Harry McKirdy and recent exciting addition Sean McGurk were introduced to the game as Town pushed for a winner late on.

In the 72nd minute, another chance came Swindon's way with speedy forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy driving at the Newport defenders, before firing a 25-yard effort that he unfortunately dipped and dragged wide of the post.

Town were left to rue their missed chances, as Newport sprung forward on an attack of their own, with Seb Palmer-Houlden able to score his side's second just a minute after Hepburn-Murphy's effort down the other end.

A long ball was latched onto by the young forward for the Exiles, with initial claims of an offside raised by the Town defenders, but Palmer-Houlden showed impressive composure to take the ball onto his left-hand side and slot past Jack Bycroft who looked to make it as difficult as possible for the Bristol City loanee.

Gavin Gunning looked to make one more attacking change with 15 minutes left to play, with deadline day signing Aaron Drinan allowed to show what he can do and get his new side back in the game.

A minute later Town's best chance since falling behind came and one that Sean McGurk will feel that he can make better of next time around.

After good wing-play by Zach Elbouzedi, he cut the ball back for the youngster, who took a touch to compose himself and create the space inside the Newport penalty area, but regrettably saw his whipped effort just go wide of the near post.

Harry McKirdy saw a flicked header go wide from a corner five minutes later, before almost making it a dream return within seven minutes of stoppage time.

The unpredictable forward drove towards the Newport back-line with the ball, before firing an effort from a similar distance to Hepburn-Murphy, but frustratingly saw his effort bounce back off the post, with no one in Swindon colours able to react to the rebound and get Town back into the game late on.

Sadly, this was to be Swindon's final chance to get something out of the game, as the side will take a lot of optimism in what the freshly-formed side will bring for the second half of the season, with Salford at home next for the latest league test next Saturday.


Newport County A.F.C: Townsend, Lewis (Payne 84), Delaney (C), Clarke, Evans, Morris, Bennett (Charsley 45), McLoughlin, Wildig (Jephcott 84), Baker, Palmer-Houlden (Zanzala 84)
Goals: Evans 53, Palmer-Houlden 73
Subs not used:
Maxsted, Waite, Jameson

Swindon Town: Bycroft, Blake-Tracy, Khan, Glatzel (McGurk 68), Hepburn-Murphy (Drinan 75), Cain (Brewitt 54), Kokolo (Elbouzedi 54), Devoy, Godwin-Malife, McCarthy, Austin (C) (McKirdy 68)
Glatzel 46
Subs not used:
Brann, Minturn

Referee: Matt Corlett

Attendance: 5,912 (1,309 away fans)

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