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Report: Newport 1-0 Wycombe

5 March 2016

Scott Boden's first-half goal was enough to earn Newport County all three points at Rodney Parade.

Wycombe's efforts to bounce back from a 1-0 loss at Cambridge in midweek saw them come close to a second-half equaliser through debutant Rowan Liburd, but ultimately Boden's simple tap-in proved to be decisive.

Gareth Ainsworth handed a start to new loan signing Liburd, who partnered Paul Hayes in attack, while Aaron Pierre and Sido Jombati returned to the back four.

County’s pitch was heavily covered in sand which made the prospect of a slick passing game look remote for either side, but both teams carved out early opportunites to open the scoring.

First Stephen McGinn fired wide with his right foot after Liburd had cleverly chested Sam Wood’s cross into his path, before Ryan Allsop saved well from Conor Wilkinson before Alex Rodman steered the rebound past the post.

Liburd and Wilkinson both saw headers miss the near post at either end but it was the Wanderers striker – and his partner Paul Hayes – who were looking most dangerous, bringing their team-mates into the game and causing a constant headache for the Exiles’ back four.

A chance arrived for Andrew Hughes at the other end when he turned a deep free-kick goalwards but Allsop was well-placed to save, before Luke O’Nien volleyed narrowly over from 20 yards with a well-struck left-footed drive.

But then came the breakthrough and it was a simple finish for Scott Boden, who had also netted in the Exiles’ 2-0 win at Adams Park in October. John Ayina skipped away down the left, beating Sido Jombati for pace, and laid the ball on a plate for Boden to tap home unmarked from six yards on 25 minutes.

The goal rocked the Blues for a short while and there was a further worry when Liburd went down hurt with a knee injury, although he played on and won a free-kick 22 yards out which Joe Jacobson curled wide.

Yan Klukowski was perhaps lucky not to see red when he clattered Luke O’Nien with his arm in an aerial challenge just before the break, receiving a yellow card instead, but the half-time scoreline left the visitors with work to do if they were to get back into the game.

Gareth Ainsworth made a change at the interval, bringing on Garry Thompson for Sam Wood, and it was the substitute who almost fired home an equaliser within four minutes, but his fierce shot from Liburd’s lay-off was turned over the bar by the legs of the keeper.

At the other end, Scott Boden came close to a second when his diving header was well saved by Allsop at the near post, before Wycombe enjoyed a promising spell with Thompson causing problems by running in behind the County backline, and a series of dangerous balls into the box being scrambled away.

Thompson fed Liburd for a shot at goal on the hour-mark but the striker’s powerful hit was diverted behind as the keeper saved with his chest, while Andrew Hughes leathered an opportunity high over the bar as the ball fell to him from a corner.

Liburd could sense his moment was coming and he cannoned a shot against the crossbar from Paul Hayes’ clever pass, but the Exiles retained a threat and saw substitute Jake Gosling’s shot curl over the bar with 20 minutes remaining.

Then Garry Thompson’s low shot was deflected just wide with the keeper beaten as Wanderers edged closer to an equaliser, while Wilkinson’s low shot was well kept out by Allsop to prevent the hosts from sealing the win.

There were a couple of late scrambles which just needed the rub of the green to force the ball over the line, but the killer touch was missing as Wanderers slipped to a second consecutive defeat away from home.

Newport: Day, Holmes, Hughes, Jones, Donacien, Rodman (Gosling 66), Byrne, Klukowksi, Ayina, Wilkinson, Boden (Davies 89).

Unused subs: Green, Barrow,, Morgan, Owen-Evans, Meechan.

Wycombe: Allsop, Jombati (Bloomfield 74), Jacobson, McCarthy, Pierre, Harriman, O’Nien, McGinn, Wood (Thompson 45), Liburd, Hayes.

Unused subs: Richardson, Stewart, Sellers, Kretzschmar, Ugwu.

Referee: Mr Ross Joyce

Attendance: 2,375 (302 from Wycombe)

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