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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

13 February 2024 Venue Rodney Parade Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Newport 1-3 Notts

Langstaff (2) and McGoldrick cap outstanding team display

13 February 2024

Goals from Macaulay Langstaff (2) and David McGoldrick capped an outstanding team performance as we dominated one of the division's form teams on their own patch.

Jodi Jones continued his incredible form, laying on both crosses for Langstaff to head home either side of the break, with Langstaff turning provider for McGoldrick to score our second before the interval.

Will Evans denied us a clean sheet with a well-taken penalty at the death.

But there was to be no miraculous comeback as we left south Wales with a deserved three points.

Stuart Maynard made two changes to the side that suffered defeat at home to Gillingham last time out – and they came with a change of shape as we shifted to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Luca Ashby-Hammond was given his debut in goal, while Lewis Macari was handed a start at right back.

To Macari’s left were central defenders Jaden Warner and Aden Baldwin, with Kyle Cameron moving to full back.

John Bostock and Scott Robertson shielded the back four and, from left to right,  Langstaff, Dan Crowley and Jones looked to supply McGoldrick leading the line.

Aidan Stone and Aaron Nemane had to settle for places on the bench alongside the returning Adam Chicksen, Lucien Mahovo, Jim O’Brien, Sam Austin and Junior Morias.

Jones claimed the game’s first shot on eight minutes, cutting in from the right and seeing his 20-yard effort fizz off the slippy surface and into the grateful grasp of Nick Townsend.

Newport responded with a decent spell of pressure but, on 18 minutes, they should have been behind as Crowley did brilliantly to release Jones down the right and the winger produced the perfect low cross for McGoldrick to shoot first time eight yards out. He couldn’t keep the ball down, though, and a big chance was gone.

But, shortly after Robertson was unfortunate not to capitalise on Bostock’s excellent dinked pass into the penalty area, we were deservedly ahead as two of our most attacking threats combined to devastating effect.

Jones was the architect, receiving the ball in a tight area before dancing past several defenders and standing a cross up into the middle. Langstaff had a lot to do but found the right power and direction on his header to put us in front.

We came close to a second on the half-hour as Robertson did brilliantly to emerge from midfield with the ball before supplying McGoldrick ahead of him. The forward took a clever first touch to set up the shot on his right foot and he whistled the ball narrowly wide of the near post.

Shortly afterwards, McGoldrick showed superb awareness to release Jones into acres of space. The winger skinned the recovering defenders yet again and watched on as his cross was headed back across goal by McGoldrick. The ball was half-cleared to Robertson, whose shot into the turf was held by Townsend.

But the keeper was beaten again moments later as we once again found joy down the right-hand side – this time Langstaff getting the beating of his man and crossing low for McGoldrick to tap home from close range.

That proved to be the final big moment of an excellent first half – and we nearly opened the second with a third goal as a sloppy Newport pass was punished by a slick interchange between Jones, McGoldrick and Crowley as they worked the ball to Langstaff. His snapshot was clumsily saved by Townsend and the hosts managed to clear.

Shortly afterwards, Langstaff saw another shot deflect off a defender and against the stanchion as we continued to look the more likely side to score the next goal.

A nervy moment followed, however, as Ashby-Hammond allowed a header to slip through his hands and on to the roof of his net – but Bostock was well positioned to head the resultant corner clear.

We were soon back on the offensive and made it three just before the hour in similar style to how we scored the first, Jones this time cutting on to his left foot and once again watching on as Langstaff’s header found the net.

And the hosts had Townsend to thank for a world-class save to prevent them from going four behind moments later as Robertson did brilliantly to bring the ball out from midfield and fizzed a pass into McGoldrick. The forward worked the ball on to his right for the shot superbly – but it was met with a stunning save from Townsend, who dived low to his left to keep his team’s hopes just about alive.

Maynard’s first changes came on 71 minutes as the outstanding McGoldrick and Jones made way for Austin and Nemane – and that was followed by a triple sub as Cameron, Bostock and Macari made way for Chicksen, O’Brien and Morias.

A clean sheet would have made it the perfect evening but it evaded us at the death as the referee spotted a foul in our area, allowing Evans to reduce the arrears.

But any chance of a comeback fizzled away when Ashby-Hammond saved from Shane McLoughlin, ensuring Maynard had his first win in charge.

STARTING XI: Ashby-Hammond; Cameron (Chicksen 84'), Baldwin, Warner, Macari (Morias 84'); Robertson, Bostock (O'Brien 84'); Langstaff, Crowley, Jones (Nemane 71'); McGoldrick (Austin 71')

SUBS: Stone, Mahovo

ATTENDANCE: 4,426 (423)

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