A Matty Dolan double ended Bradford City’s unbeaten run in a 2-1 victory for the Exiles in Sky Bet League Two.
The match was played in unusual circumstances. The game was moved to the Cardiff City Stadium to allow the pitch at Rodney Parade sufficient time to recover after it was unable to be re-laid last summer due to Covid-19.
The visitors to Wales named two changes to the side from the 1-1 draw against Bolton. Danny Rowe and Billy Clarke came in for Callum Cooke and Charles Vernam. Gareth Evans returned to the bench after missing out through injury.
The home side made one change from the team that beat Colchester, Aaron Lewis replaced Ryan Haynes.
Newport would also not be playing in this season’s kit. Instead County would be playing in a commemorative kit as it was 40 years since the Exiles played East German side Carl-Zeiss Jena in the European Cup Winners Cup quarter-finals.
An early mistake from Josh Sheehan created an opening for City, Billy Clarke, who forced the mistake, laid it back to Andy Cook, he took the long way round but had his close range effort blocked by Nick Townsend.
The first half had been very cagey as the referee blew his whistle. The away side with the only notable chance of the half but neither had really tested either keeper besides that.
Half Time: Newport County 0-0 Bradford City
After the missed opportunity in the first half, Cook made amends at the start of the Second. A mistake by Priestly Farquharson at the back saw the Bradford Striker intercept the ball and charge towards goal and confidently fired past Townsend.
Connor Wood fancied his chances from far out after a corner kick was cleared away by Newport, his far-out effort was tipped onto the bar by Townsend.
From the resulting corner Paudie O’Connor saw his volley side foot volley just flash wide.
13 minutes from time Newport County equalised through a Matty Dolan free-kick. The set piece was hit sweetly into the top corner by the former Bantam.
However in 90+5 a long-throw into the box was challenged for by Levi Sutton and Ryan Taylor, Newport players claimed that Sutton had used his arm to clear the ball, the referee agreed and gave the penalty.
Matty Dolan stepped up and dispatched the penalty which proved to be the last action of the game.
A second defeat in 16 for Bradford City, a lack of game management was the undoing against a Newport side who didn’t really threaten until the last few minutes. It was a real kick in the teeth for the Bantams tonight, the West Yorkshire side slip to 12th sitting 6 points now off the play-offs. Newport on the other hand stay 6th in the league, sitting on 54 points with four points separating them and automatic promotion.
Full Time: Newport County 2-1 Bradford City
Man of the Match: Elliot Watt