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Newport County 1 Harriers 2

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Date: 19-03-13gif Venue: Rodney Paradegif att: 2652gif away fans: 255
Harriers leap to Number ONE

gif Report by Philip Lench
The Harriers finally made the ultimate comeback at fellow promotion hopefuls Newport County tonight when a late, late Cheyenne Dunkley goal saw them reach the very top of the table almost six months to the day that they were rock bottom of the league.  On that day, September 22nd, we had struggled to garner a draw at Alfreton Town but just three days later our first win arrived thanks to Ryan Rowes hat trick at Cambridge and since then we haven't looked back.

Now, with just seven games left to play for us, we seem to be on the cusp of promotion once more and it's totally un-believable.

The game tonight at Newport was originally to have been played at the start of February but was called off on the morning due to a waterlogged pitch.  Tonights game was also in some doubt due to the even worse conditions but the referee deemed the game playable much to the despair of spectators having to watch players sliding around and balls sticking in the mud.  The referee didn't want to take into account the conditions when it came to handing out the yellows from his deck of cards and as early as the third minute Keith Briggs name was entered into his notebook for a sliding tackle that he found hard to halt himself from.

It was County who adapted to the conditions better and one has to assume that they're used to playing on a rice pudding of a pitch week in, week out.  Lee Vaughan was forced into a panic induced error that saw the ball stick in the mud and then nicked from off his feet by Scott Donnelly but Danny Lewis was equal to the shot and blocked it well.

The Harriers were really struggling to take a hold and County were capitalising on our mistakes.  Danger man Christian Jolley should have done better with the chance given to him by Aaron O'Connor when he laid the ball off nicely for him.

O'Connor had a chance of his own soon after when he tried to beat Lewis but his shot went well wide thankfully.  Newport were being profligate in front of goal and surely they would be made to pay.

They paid just a few minutes later.

Anthony Malbon managed to beat their defenders to the ball and, avoiding more of them, he played Michael Gash in for the on fire striker to net the ball from close in.  Against the run of play the Harriers had taken the lead but it wasn't to last.

Jolley went straight up the other end and tried to beat Lewis but the Harriers keeper put him off enough to force him to shoot wide.  That wasn't the case with their next move though and his goal was breeched when Andy Sandell took aim through a ruck of players and the ball nestled home following a deflection that left Danny helpless.

The game settled down slightly after the County goal with only the referee trying to ruin things by booking players needlessly.  Halftime came with the game all square but the pitch still resembling a pig farm.
  HT: 1 - 1
The Reds started the second period with a personnel change when Marvin Johnson came on for Danny Pilkington.  Pilks wasn't having much joy out wide.

The Harriers were the first to try and regain the lead when Malbon sent an effort over the bar while Jolley came too close for comfort when his shot curled onto the upright with Danny well beaten.  Mickey Demetriou then sent in a trademark piledriver but the County keeper, Lenny Pidgeley, was equal to it and saved it easily enough.

County made their first change by taking O'Connor off for Robbie Willmott and it was a pass from him into the path of Jolley that should have seen them take the lead but again the ex AFC Wimbledon man was wasteful and again he sent his shot way off target.  Willmott himself was also guilty of similar wastefulness minutes later when he also sent his shot off target.

With time now ticking down both Newport and the Harriers seemed to be bereft of any ideas to score that all important goal.  The referee was still in a generous mood and had just booked both Lee Vaughan and Chey Dunkley when we were given a last chance to score.

With three minutes of added time to play the Harriers were awarded a corner.  Callum Gittings took it and sent it into a ruck of players where the Newport defender Yakubu was first to it.  He attempted to head it over the bar and comparative safety but only managed to plant it against the crossbar from whence it rebounded straight to Dunkley who made no mistake in grabbing his sixth goal of the season and one of the most important he will ever score.

It was the magic goal that took us to the very top of the Blue Square Bet Conference.
  FT: 1 - 2

 Goal for Newport: Sandell 30
 Goals for Harriers: Gash 27, Dunkley 90



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Latest table and stats here  

Newport County  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Pidgeley     Lewis
Pipe   L Vaughan
Anthony     Demetriou  
Sandell gif     Jackman  
James     Dunkley gif
Yakubu     Gowling  
O'Connor gif     Briggs gif
Minshull   Vincent  
Flynn gif   Gash gif  
Donnelly     Malbon  
Jolley     Pilkington gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Julian     N Vaughan  
Hughes     Williams  
Thomson gif     Gittings gif  
Willmott gif     Rowe  
Griffiths     Johnson gif  

REFEREE:
Mr N Kinseley
Essex





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