Late late show for a point
09 February 2013
After his first game in charge as caretaker, Dale Belford took his side to Rodney Parade, Newport, for a clash with the top four side whose home is now that of the town's rubgy side.
Belford made two changes to the side that started defeated Gateshead with subs from the match Adam Cunnington, Danny Lloyd coming in for the injured Peter Till and Scott Barrow.
On the bench, Kyle Perry, joining just 24 hours previously, would be hopeful of a run out in his second spell at the club.
After Belford had inadvertently directed a stray ball onto the head of the fourth official with a well timed clearance from the dougout, County got the game underway and Newport immediately made headway down the left, cut inside, and Donnelly fired home from 12 yards inside the left hand upright with Tamworth and the visiting fans barely able to catch a breath.
And so The Lambs restarted proceedings but soon found themselves on the back foot again as the home side pressed forwards and kept the pressure on, and the ball in the Tamworth half without really causing too many problems in the final third of the field.
However a corner was forthcoming on 14 and Kelly had two attempts to create an opening but none was forthcoming.
On 18 Cunnington was brought down on the right corner on the box and set up Kelly with a dead ball which he curled just off target and Pidgeley was happy to watch it go past his left hand upright.
Newport won a corner on 24 which caused some problems for the Lambs defence, but Gudger was able to clear and a foul by Hendrie on Minshull on the right wing on 26 gave Sandell a left footed freekick. Crow fired the ball goalward and it ricocheted off Marshall before being cleared to Hendrie who was fouled in the centre circle.
Then on the half hour, Newport doubled their advantage. Tom Marshall was booked to needlessly kicking the ball away on the halfway line after the referee had blown for a foul against him and from the dead ball on the County right wing Breeden punched clear but Anthony picked his spot from the edge of the area to make it 2-0.
For the second time in two games, Sam Oji came on to replace an injured teammate when, following a pair of County corners on 37, Thorpe fell awkwardly into the net and had to be taken from the field on a stretcher.
Byfield was brought into the action shortly before 5 minutes added time was shown as Kerry was unable to continue following a challenge which left him hobbling off the pitch, and Hendrie picked up a yellow card following a challenge on Minshull on the halfway line shortly afterwards as the half ended without further incident.
Before the second could commence, Breeden's net had to be attended to by the ground staff and The Lambs got the game back underway.
But it was the home side who looked the liveliest again with Sandell trying two left footed strikes from distance which could have caused problems if they had been more on target as Newport enjoyed a lot more of the possession all over the field.
With ten gone in the second half , Lloyd looked to make a run down the left wing but found his way blocked and the covering defender was booked for his efforts. Lloyd dusted himself down and sent the freekick long forcing Pidgeley into his first real save of the match, but it was easy for the keeper although he was roundly applauded by the home faithful for his efforts.
As the hour ticked over Cunnington tried a left footed swielling shot from the left of the box but missed his kick and the ball rolled back to Pidegely without causing him any bother at all.
The Lambs took a corner on 65 but while Kelly's ball to Marshall past the far post was pin point, the defenders header couldn't get through.
And a similar header from a similar dead ball by Kelly, this time a freekick on the left, on 67 saw Marshall head for goal but Pidgeley was equal to it.
The home keeper then spent a protracted period of time on the floor with what appeared to be cramp and had to leave the field on a stretcher to a round of applause on 72.
This spurred The Lambs on and Hendrie fired home right footed form the edge of area on 73 to half the deficit (1-2, 73 mins)
Perry entered the field of play with 12 to go and Tamworth found a new impetus in their game and there was some good interplay between him and Wright and Cunnington as they went in search of a second and equalising goal.
A corner was forthcoming as the clock turned into the 90th minute but Newport cleared and broke away only to let themselves down with a poor final ball between Crow and Washington.
Crow glanced a header wide of the mark as six minutes added time was shown and when the ball made its way up the other end and into the box Perry was brought down allowing Cunnington to level the tie from the penalty spot much to the disapproval of the home fans, but the obviouos delght of Belford's squad and the travelling faithful .
Tony BREEDEN (GK), Marcus KELLY, Tom MARSHALL, Adam CUNNINGTON, Lee HENDRIE (capt), Tommy WRIGHT, Lloyd KERRY (Darren BYFIELD 45), Duane COURTNEY, Connor GUDGER, Danny LLOYD (Kyle PERRY 78), Jonathon THORPE (Sam OJI 37)
Subs: James WREN (GK), Stuart HENDRIE
Newport County Team:
Lenny PIDGLEY (Alan JULIAN 72), David PIPE, Ismail YAKUBU, Lee MINSHULL, Danny CROW, Andy SANDELL, Michael FLYNN, Byron ANTHONY, Christian JOLLEY (Conor WASHINGTON 88), Robbie WILLMOTT, Scott DONNELLY (Ben SWALLOW 82)
Subs: Tony JAMES, Will EVANS
Referee: Mr. K. Johnson