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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

12 August 2023 Venue Rodney Parade Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | Newport County 4 Rovers 0

12 August 2023

Rovers continue to seek the first league points of the season after a disappointing 4-0 defeat at Newport County.

Three goals inside the first quarter had the hosts firmly in command and Rovers never really got to grips with the game, despite a plethora of changes of personnel and the system.

And a fourth goal just four minutes after the break put paid to any hopes of what would have been a remarkable comeback.

Grant McCann made just one change to his starting XI as he rewarded those who had helped to spark cup heroics at Hull City in midweek. Skipper Richard Wood replaced Tom Anderson, who took his place on the bench alongside new signing Mo Faal.

Just like on Tuesday, Rovers fell behind early. Towering striker Seb Palmer-Houlden nudged Joseph Olowu out of the way inside the box and slotted home well with six minutes on the clock.

But unlike in midweek, there was to be no Rovers rally.

Palmer-Houlden was close to doubling the advantage moments later after latching onto a well-weighted pass from Scot Bennett but dragged his shot wide.

Rovers struggled to deal with the press of the hosts and enjoyed very little meaningful time on the ball in the first half. Deji Sotona embarked on a surging run off the right but hooked his shot off target from the edge of the box.

And by 15 minutes, Newport were further ahead. Ian Lawlor failed to deal with a scuffed strike from McLoughlin and Will Evans darted in to turn home.

The hosts’ third on 22 minutes was a comedy of errors. After failing to deal with a ball into the box decisively, the Rovers defence looked to hack clear and Olowu fired into the back of Richard Wood, with the ball deflecting home.

McCann took decisive action on the half hour mark as he sent on Anderson and Joe Ironside while switching to a back three.

Wood headed on target from a Luke Molyneux corner in the closest Rovers came to getting off the mark before the break. Sotona fired well over from a short corner routine while Bryn Morris could not quite catch a volley correctly at the other end.

Before any half time team talk could take affect, Rovers found themselves four goals down.

Evans was afforded far too much time and space on the edge of the box and he drilled a low effort in at the far post.

McCann introduced new signing Faal on 53 minutes alongside Tommy Rowe. And the West Bromwich Albion loanee provided rare moments of positivity with driving runs from deep carrying the ball.

Rowe headed wide on the hour mark but Rovers continued to lack fluency, leading to a real lack of consistent threat.

Palmer-Houlden fired wide from a good position as Newport threatened to extend their advantage.

Arguably the best effort from Rovers of the afternoon saw Rowe sting the palms of Nick Townsend with a powerful drive from a Sotona cutback but that was as close as they came to finding a consolation.

Rovers: Lawlor, Bailey (Ironside 30), Wood (Senior 67), Olowu, Maxwell (Anderson 30), Sotona, Broadbent, Biggins, Roberts, Molyneux (Rowe 53), Miller (Faal 53). Subs not used: Bottomley, Nixon.

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