Yeovil Town completed their week in South Wales tonight, with a 3-1 win over Newport County that continues their good pre-season form. Having played seven fixtures, all against lower league opposition, the Glovers have clocked up five wins and two draws, and gained victory tonight thanks to two first half goals from Reuben Reid and Nathan Ralph, whilst Reading loanee Gozie Ugwu got his fourth in pre-season as he netted in the second period, with Newport's goal coming late on from the penalty spot as Andy Sandell converted after a handling offence.
The first half saw a somewhat experimental starting line-up with trialist James Clarke getting another chance to impress as a centre-back. The line-up saw Gozie Ugwu and Nathan Ralph tried out as wingers, whilst Ed Upson rested his legs on the bench. There was only one player missing, with Gavin Williams still out with a calf injury - Dominic Blizzard got his first pre-season outing as he recovers from a broken hand.
The game's opening goal came from Nathan Ralph's advanced position on the field, as his cross into the box gave Reuben Reid the chance to finish from close range with quarter of an hour gone. Overall the first half was played at a slightly slow pace at times, with Yeovil passing well, but without serious end product, even if Gozie Ugwu should have extended Yeovil's lead when his header on goal was blocked. County's chances were rarer, with Mike Flynn having the best chance for the home side.
Yeovil doubled their lead when former Newport County hero Sam Foley crossed into the box, and Nathan Ralph was on hand to head powerfully home, just as the game went into first half injury time. Foley got an excellent reception from the home supporters, and even received a Fair Play Award from the club prior to kick-off, but did not allow room for sentimentality once he got on the pitch.
Half time brought a significant reshuffle with four players coming on at the break and a series of substitutions. Luke Young came on as a right-winger, allowing Gozie Ugwu to go up front, whilst the introduction of Ed Upson and Rohan Ince allowed Sam Foley to move out onto the left wing. The substitution of Richard Hinds and Jamie McAllister allowed Nathan Ralph to drop deep down to left-back, whilst Curtis Haynes-Brown took a central position.
Within five minutes of the restart, Yeovil went further ahead, with Reading loanee Gozie Ugwu getting his fourth pre-season goal. Collecting a Rohan Ince pass, he controlled it well, beat his marker and confidently fired home to set up a 3-0 scoreline.
The second half had a higher tempo to it, with the Glovers looking a more organised unit and midfield pairing Ed Upson and Rohan Ince powering forward at times. With five minutes to go though, that organisation was disrupted somewhat as Max Porter's tackle on Ince left the Chelsea man in pain and needing to leave the field, looking distinctly unimpressed by the situation.
Perhaps surprisingly Yeovil played out the remaining time with just ten men rather than make another substitution, or reintroduce any of the substituted players. During that time, the home side pulled a late goal back - Jefferson Louis' shot was handled by James Clarke, gifting Newport a penalty. Andy Sandell took it, and scored past Gareth Stewart to give the Exiles a late consolation on the night.
Final Score: Newport County 1 Yeovil Town 3
Scorers: Reuben Reid (14 mins, 0-1), Nathan Ralph (45 mins, 0-2), Gozie Ugwu (50 mins, 0-3), Andy Sandell (89 mins, 1-3).
12. Gareth Stewart
2. Luke Ayling, 4. Richard Hinds, 18. James Clarke, 3. Jamie McAllister (C)
19. Gozie Ugwu, 6. Dominic Blizzard, 14. Sam Foley, 16. Nathan Ralph
9. James Hayter, 11. Reuben Reid.
1. Marek Stech, 7. Keanu Marsh-Brown, 8. Ed Upson (46 mins for Dominic Blizzard), 15. Lewis Young (46 mins for James Hayter), 17. Rohan Ince (46 mins for Richard Hinds), 20. Curtis Haynes-Brown (46 mins for Jamie McAllister).
Attendance: 729 (including 13 Yeovil fans).
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