Yeovil Town slipped to the edge of the League Two relegation zone on Saturday afternoon, after Neal Marmon's first game in charge ended in defeat. The 1-3 home loss saw a positive first half change into a poor second period, with scoring the opener just after the hour mark as his header came in off the post. Stevenage loanee Ben Kennedy's deflected shot gave Newport a two goal advantage, before Yeovil gave themselves a bit of hope as Tom James flicked home a near post corner. But former Glover Keanu Marsh-Brown sealed the game on 90 minutes with a near post shot that flew into the top corner, to leave his former side out of the bottom two purely on goal difference, as Notts County gained a shock win at Stevenage.
The Glovers went into the match making three changes to the line-up against Milton Keynes Dons, that became Darren Way's final game in charge. Marmon made three like-for-like swaps, with Daniel Ojo preferred to Carl Dickinson, who sat out the game. In midfield Sessi D'Almeida returned from suspension to displace Jake Gray, whilst up front Alex Fisher got the nod over Francois Zoko. The opposition had Josh Sheehan in their starting line-up, with Matt Dolan and Keanu Marsh-Brown on the bench.
The first half was one that saw the Glovers dominate almost entirely. Matt Worthington had a shot deflected over the bar, whilst Tom James also saw his shot on goal deflected out for a corner. Alex Dobre managed the first shot on target, but the ball went straight into Joe Day's arms. That was followed by a Tom James free kick which went wide of the target, before Gabriel Rogers - playing as a wide-right forward, shot over the crossbar with Alex Fisher having set him up.
Tom James has struggled to get his free kicks on target in recent weeks but he flighted one half an hour into the match that forced keeper Joe Day to punch away, as Yeovil kept plugging away. They had dominated Newport entirely for almost the entire half, but the one thing nagging at the back of the mind was that none of their efforts on goal had been clearcut chances. It took the visitors until first half injury time to provide any actual threat, with Robbie Willmott's shot on the angle being blocked for a corner by Josh Grant.
During the second period, things were rather less one-sided, with Yeovil coming out looking a bit more jittery and less assured than they'd been, almost as if they'd spotted that Notts County were 3-0 up at the break against Stevenage. That was emphasised by Gary Warren planting a poor back header into the path of an intercepting Newport player, with Yeovil only being rescued when the final ball into Harry McKirdy resulted in the offside flag being raised.
Just as Newport introduced Keanu Marsh-Brown as a second half substitute, they managed to take the lead with their first shot on target. Dan Butler's cross from the left wasn't tracked and that allowed Robbie Willmott the chance to head home off the inside of the goal post, with the ball rolling across the line to give the Exiles a 0-1 advantage.
Part of Yeovil's problems in the past six months has been about what happens when they go a goal behind. There may have been a change of management, but there remains the same frailty. Four minutes after that first goal, Newport got their second, although it carried a large deflection. Stevenage winger Ben Kennedy has been a menace to Yeovil over the years. He's currently on loan at Rodney Parade, and his shot on goal took a large ricochet off a Yeovil defender who was trying to block the shot, and the end result was the ball looped over Nathan Baxter and into the back of the net for a 0-2 deficit.
Courtney Duffus was introduced as a substitute to try to shake things up, as Sessi D'Almeida - on a yellow card, and having since committed a foul - was withdrawn, allowing Yeovil a chance to play a 4-4-2 line-up with Duffus joining Alex Fisher, whilst fellow substitute Tristan Abrahams, who replaced Gabriel Rogers, joining Alex Dobre on the midfield flanks.
That change looked like a good one when Yeovil pulled a goal back on 73 minutes. A Tristan Abrahams corner was swung into the near post, and Tom James managed to grab his seventh goal of the season, with a first time flicked touch at the near post. At 1-2 and still plenty of time left, the briefly subdued home crowd lifted their voices again, and there was a bit of hope.
With the game now wide open, Keanu Marsh-Brown slipped on the turf after he was put clean through on goal, after another Yeovil defensive error. Then Robbie Willmott's shot was turned over the crossbar by Nathan Baxter. Yeovil's problem was trying to catch the Exiles on the break as time ran out, but they were woefully shot of creativity as the clock ran down. Instead it was Marsh-Brown who got the last laugh, firing into the top corner on the near post, to seal the game on the 90 minute mark - a goal that guaranteed defeat, and with Notts County's win confirmed, one that leaves them above the safety line merely on goal difference. With Macclesfield Town also picking up a surprise point at League Two leaders Lincoln City, it is now firmly a three-team battle for the drop, with six games remaining. An improved first half, but the second half is a reminder that the managerial change has not waved a magic wand over Huish Park at this stage.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 1 Newport County 3.
Scorers: Robbie Willmott (0-1, 62 mins), Ben Kennedy (0-2, 66 mins), Tom James (1-2, 73 mins), Keanu Marsh-Brown (1-3, 90 mins)
12. Nathan Baxter
21. Josh Grant 5. Bevis Mugabi 4. Gary Warren (Capt) 26. Daniel Ojo
8. Matt Worthington 23. Tom James 20. Sessi D'Almeida
15. Gabriel Rogers 9. Alex Fisher 25. Alex Dobre
1. Stuart Nelson (GK) 2. Adel Gafaiti 10. Jake Gray 11. Courtney Duffus (70 mins for Sessi D'Almeida) 13. Francois Zoko (89 mins for Alex Fisher) 16. Tristan Abrahams (66 mins for Gabriel Rogers) 27. Ryan Seager
1 Joe Day
26 Regan Poole 28 Mickey Demetriou 25 Mark O'Brien 3 Dan Butler
19 Ben Kennedy 4 Joss Labadie 16 Josh Sheehan 7 Robbie Willmott
27 Harry McKirdy 11 Jamille Matt
2 David Pipe 8 Matthew Dolan (72 mins for Joss Labadie) 10 Keanu Marsh-Brown (60 mins for Harry McKirdy) 12 Will Randall-Hurren 14 Adebayo Azeez (86 mins for Jamille Matt) 15 Tyreeq Bakinson 22 Andrew Crofts
Yeovil Bookings: Sessi D'Almeida (foul, 26 mins), Alex Fisher (foul, 51 mins), Josh Grant (foul, 54 mins)
Newport County Bookings: Ben Kennedy (foul, 37 mins), Harry McKirdy (foul, 56 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 55%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 4; Corners: 3; Fouls: 13.
Newport County Match Statistics: Possession: 45%; Shots: 8; Shots On Target: 5; Corners: 4; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley (Essex). Assistants: Michael Webb (Surrey) and Darren Wilding (Worcestershire). Fourth Official: Gary Parsons (Hampshire).
Attendance: 3,983 (with 744 Newport County supporters).
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