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Rovers 2 Newport 0

17 September 2016

James Coppinger and Andy Williams put Rovers second in the table

Rovers 2
(Coppinger 17, Williams 59)
Newport County AFC 0

James Coppinger maintained his red-hot form with the goal which set Rovers on the way to victory over Newport County AFC.

Coppinger struck a first-half free-kick, which Andy Williams added to after the break, to seal a win which moved Rovers up to second in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Rovers were unchanged, with the only new face being Mathieu Baudry appearaing on the bench.  Darren Ferguson, otherwise kept faith with the starting XI which impressed so much at Morecambe last week.

Marko Marosi needed treatment as the visitors started brightly. A knock-down from Jon Parkin fround Joss Labadie, who found the Rovers keeper diving at his feet - he needed a couple of minutes' treatment but was fit to continue.

Rovers started to come back into the game and it ws little surprise when man of the moment Coppinger opened the scoring.

The attacking midfielder got past several defenders on the edge of the area and was brought down for a central free-kick. Coppinger dusted himself off to take the set-piece.

And it was a vintage effort, as he got the ball over the wall and into the bottom-left corner with Joe Day unable to get anywhere near it.

Rovers did not have it all their own way, with County working hard and providing a real physical threat.

Sean Rigg got in behind just after the half-hour mark, but flashed his effort wide, just before Parkin passed up a glorious opportunity.

Marosi came rushing out to try and get to a long ball, but was beaten to it by Mark Randall who nudged the ball through for Parkin. With only the covering Joe Wright to beat, Parkin's low shot went side.

Rovers had some half chances to double their lead before the break, with Tommy Rowe firing wide at the near post and a powerful drive by Harry Middleton which was too close to Day.

HT: Rovers 1 Newport County AFC 0

Rovers started the second-half brightly, but struggled to get their shots away. Williams did double the advantage just before the hour when he collected a pull-back from Tommy Rowe just inside the area and cooly slotted it past Day.

Rovers felt they should have had a penalty after 67 minutes when Marquis burst past his man in the area then went down under a challenge, but referee David Webb was unmoved.

Newport were not about to give up, though, and Marosi had to be alert to palm away an effort from substitute Rhys Healey.

Williams could have killed the game off after 75 minutes when he found himself breaking through with only one man to beat and Jordan Houghton in support.

He chose not to use the on-loan Chelsea man, though, and tried to slot the ball into the far-right corner... only to see it roll agonisingly wide.

The first minute of injury time arguably brought the visitors' best chance of the match, as a cross dug out by Marlon Jackson on the right again found Healey. A combination of Butler and Marosi managed to clear it off the line to preserve the clean sheet.

FT: Rovers 2 Newport County AFC 0

ROVERS | Marosi, Blair, Evina, Butler, Wright, Middleton (Calder), Houghton, Rowe, Coppinger (Mandeville), Marquis (Longbottom), Williams. ROVERS SUBS | Etheridge,Garratt, Baudry, Beestin. BOOKED | Butler, Wright, Marquis
NEWPORT XI | Day, Rigg (Healey), Jones, Grego-Cox, Parkin (Jackson), Tozer, Turley, Randall, Butler, Bennett (c), Labadie (Compton). NEWPORT SUBS | Bignot, Bittner, Green, Cameron.  BOOKED | Parkin, Butler, Bennett, Turley

ATTENDANCE | 5,254 (266 away)

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