Match Report: Newport County 2-4 Oldham Athletic

Newport County remain top of the League Two table at Christmas, despite falling to defeat after two late goals from Oldham Athletic in a 4-2 loss at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles went ahead on two occasions against Harry Kewell’s side, but the Owls always had a response with both Davis Keillor-Dunn and Connor McAleny netting, before goals from Alfie McCalmont and Zachary Dearnley secured all three points for the visitors.

Newport’s on-loan midfielder Scott Twine continued to impress, scoring the opening goal after 14 minutes and setting up Scott Bennett with a delightful pass from range before the Bennett fired home in the 41st minute.

Irish striker Padraig Amond had a chance to give his side the lead for the third time in the game, but Amond was denied from the penalty spot with 20 minutes remaining by Latics ‘keeper Ian Lawlor – a moment that proved to be decisive at full-time.

On-loan defender Brandon Cooper looks to play out from the back at Rodney Parade (Image Credit: Nicola Johns/@nicnacnoopixs)

Michael Flynn’s side started well after a spell of early pressure from the visitors, with a wonderful strike from on-loan youngster Scott Twine putting the hosts ahead after just eight minutes.

The enigmatic Twine found himself with a little bit of space from distance on his favoured right-foot, and unleashed an impressive effort into the top-right corner past the helpless Ian Lawlor in the Oldham goal. 

Despite Twine’s early strike, Newport County would find themselves level again following some suspect defending that handed Davis Keillor-Dunn with an opportunity in front of goal.

The midfielder remained composed from close-range to finish past Nick Townsend from a tight angle into the bottom-right corner and level the scores in the 14th minute. 

Lewis Collins is put under pressure by Latics defender Ben Garrity (Image Credit: Nicola Johns/@nicnacnoopixs)

Goal scorer Twine would turn to provider, as the 21-year-old attacker found the marauding Scott Bennett with a fine through ball – Bennett eventually made solid contact with the ball and fired home a crucial goal with just four minutes remaining in the first-half to restore the lead. 

It was almost a perfect ending to the first-half for Michael Flynn’s side, as Twine came close to doubling his goal tally for the afternoon from close-range. but the midfielder’s strike went wide following Liam Shepard’s pin-point delivery from the right-flank with just moments left in the first-half.

Goalscorer Scott Twine tries his luck from a free-kick (Image Credit: Nicola Johns/@nicnacnoopixs)

County struggled to grow into the opening stages of the second-half and were duly punished by the visitors, who had looked the more likely of the sides to get the next goal.

That very goal would come from a moment of magic, as former Everton and Cardiff City attacker Connor McAleny fired on his right-foot from 30-yards-out, with a cruel bounce leaving Nick Townsend with no chance as McAleny claimed his eighth goal of the season.

Michael Flynn’s side were reinvigorated following the goal, with the Exiles determined to find a second-half winner and remain top of the League Two table going into Christmas.

They were handed a chance back into the game, as substitute Padraig Amond was given golden opportunity to get an all-important goal for his side, as County were handed a penalty in the 70th minute after Jamie Devitt was fouled in the box.

Amond, who has netted on five occasions this season stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his effort was poor and saved by Lawlor at a crucial point in the game.

Jamie Proctor tries to shield the ball from Oldham’s Sido Jombati (Image Credit: Nicola Johns/@nicnacnoopixs)

The Exiles were handed a cruel blow five minutes from time, as Alfie McCalmont capitalised on a swift counter-attack, firing into the bottom-right corner under pressure in the box.

The game was put to bed three minutes into added time, when Zachary Delaney opened his body up and curled his strike into the bottom-right corner to net a crucial goal and put his side out of sight, handing Newport County only their fourth league defeat of the season.

Newport County: Townsend, Haynes (Abrahams 86′), Cooper, Willmott (Ellison 69′), Sheehan (C), Bennett, Proctor (Amond 60′), Twine, Collins (Devitt 68′), Demetriou, Shephard.

Subs not used: King (GK), Dolan, Longe-King.

Oldham Athletic: Lawlor, Clarke, Borthwick-Jackson (Barnett 45′), Jombati, Piergianni (C), Garrity, Keillor-Dunn, Grant (Dearnley 72′), Ntambwe, McAleny (McCalmont 73′), Bahamboula (Hamer 87′). 

Subs not used: Bilboe (GK), Whelan, Fage. 

[Feature Image Credit: Nicola Johns/@nicnacnoopixs]

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