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Mike in like Flynn to net Newport winner
Wycombe Wanderers 0, Newport County 1.
MIKE Flynn extended Wanderers’ winless run at Adams Park to five League Two matches with an excellent first half goal.
The veteran midfielder scored with a superb first time lob as an impressive Newport County side kept up their bid for back-to-back promotions with a hard-earned victory at Adams Park.
Wanderers had their moments in a competitive Boxing Day encounter but they were again guilty of profligate finishing when they were able to create chances.
In truth the Welsh side were the better team and fully merited their victory, as their fluid 3-5-2 system enabled players to continually switch positions and keep Wanderers on their toes throughout the game.
They did the bulk of the attacking early on but weren’t able to create too many clear cut openings, with Flynn being crowded out by Anthony Stewart and Kortney Hause as he shaped to shoot from the edge of the box and Adam Chapman sliced horribly wide on the volley.
Dean Morgan then grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck as he turned former Wanderer Andy Sandell inside out after latching onto a ball out the back and hammering in a shot that was fumbled by Lenny Pidgeley, but Jo Kuffour was unable to pounce on the follow-up and Pidgeley was eventually able to cling on.
The visiting keeper then went walkabout outside his area and Kuffour’s shot was blocked as he tried to take advantage, and by the time Pidgeley was back on his line he was able to stop Stuart Lewis’s effort.
Newport responded from Blues’ best spell of the match as Robbie Willmott’s corner picked out Jolley loitering outside the far edge of the box, and the striker was desperately unlucky to see his deft volleyed lob bounce away to safety off the underside of the bar.
But the Exiles did take the lead thanks to another moment of great quality. Chapman lifted the ball over the top of the home defence and into the path of Flynn, who expertly flicked it first time over the head of stranded Wanderers keeper Matt Ingram and into the net.
If that was sublime, Wanderers almost levelled in ridiculous circumstances as three defenders missed a Matt Bloomfield pass and Kuffour spun away from Pidgeley, only to see his curling shot hooked off the line by David Pipe.
The lively Jolley, this time popping up on the right, had an on-target shot headed away by a diving Anthony Stewart and Flynn hammered an effort from the resulting corner over the roof of the stand.
The first half ended on a sour note for Blues as Morgan pulled up with what looked like a hamstring strain, being replaced by Matt McClure.
The substitute had the first clear sight of goal in the second half as he stole possession from a defender, glided past the next man like he wasn’t there before having his effort blocked by a fine tackle from Ryan Jackson. The ball was fed back into the middle and Marvin McCoy powered a header just the wrong side of the post.
A pinpoint free kick delivery – awarded for a foul by Sandell – from Nick Arnold was superbly smuggled behind by Harry Worley with Stewart looking odds-on to bring the scores level, before Ingram got down low to turn the ball away from Willmott as Jolley once more beat his marker.
Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth made two last changes to his side in a bid to snatch an equaliser and one of the replacements, Paris Cowan-Hall, skewed an effort wide from the edge of the box as County struggled to clear their lines from a sustained spell of pressure from the hosts.
Newport made a change of their own as Tom Naylor came on and his first touch was a scorching low volley that fizzed inches the wrong side of the upright.
Deep into four minutes of added time Ingram almost showed his team mates where the back of the net was as his shot from a corner was blocked, with the ball rebounding up to Billy Knott – but the Sunderland loanee was unable to keep his shot down and with it went any hope Blues had of an equaliser.
Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Hause, Stewart, Wood, Arnold, Lewis, Bloomfield, Kretzschmar (sub Knott), Morgan (sub McClure), Kuffour (sub Cowan-Hall). Substitutes not used: Horlock, Johnson, Doherty, Scowen.
Attendance: 3,513 (423 from Newport)
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