21 April 2012
Dave Pursglove's match picture album here
HAVING won the five previous away games, Alfreton Town were left disappointed by their single-goal defeat in South Wales on Saturday on their final trip of the season.
Newport County were able to celebrate their survival in the Blue Square Bet Premier with their slender win, which consigned Hayes & Yeading United to relegation alongside Darlington, Bath City and Kettering Town.
The game though was marred by Darran Kempson's horrific injury in the 19th minute, the Alfreton skipper needing five minutes of treatment before being aided off the pitch and then having to go by ambulance to hospital, but he was later allowed to travel home with the team having suffered concussion.
Kempson was replaced by Connor Franklin, with Anton Brown moving from his original position of left-back into midfield while Seamus Conneely dropped into the back four.
Leigh Franks surprised the home side in the eighth minute with a huge throw, aided by eight lanes of athletics track to gain momentum, which reached the back post only for Paul Clayton to head wide.
Five minutes later Franks propelled another phenomenal throw from the half-way line almost to the by-line where Danny Meadows squared for Clayton to have his shot saved by home keeper Karl Darlow.
Foley did well to side-step Meadows in the 28th minute, but his cross was too deep, then four minutes later a brilliant tackle by Theo Streete halted Jake Reid's progress from David Pipe's through-ball.
A low drive by Ryan Charles from the edge of the area on 34 minutes was turned behind by Dan Lowson, back in goal for his first game since Alfreton's last away defeat at champions Fleetwood Town on February 25.
Newport though took a 38th minute lead after some sloppy defending with Meadows' header going straight to Charles, and then the normally reliable Conneely directed his clearance straight to Foley.
After a jink on the edge of the area Foley fed the ball inside to Romone Rose, and he steered his shot low into the far corner of the net from 16 yards.
Four minutes after the interval Connor Franklin's throw almost lured Gary Warren into heading past his own keeper, then in the 54th minute Lowson had to punch clear after Pipe's throw had veered off Streete.
Clayton almost profited from a mix-up between Darlow and Ismail Yakubu after chasing a through-ball from Franks, then on 67 minutes Lowson had to claw away Foley's inswinging corner at the back post.
Charles' deep cross looped up off Streete and again had to be diverted away by Lowson with Meadows putting the loose ball safely behind, then Nathan Jarman volleyed wide from Conneely's pass at the other end.
Six minutes from time Lowson tipped over a Jarvis header from a Darryl Knights cross, then in the 86th minute Jake Moult was twice denied by Darlow from two stinging volleys.
First of all Brown nodded down Franks' through-ball for Darlow to save at his near post, with the resultant corner taken by Josh Law reaching Moult only for the midfielder to be thwarted again by the on-loan Nottingham Forest keeper.
Alfreton Town Team:
Dan Lowson, Theo Streete, Leigh Franks, Darran Kempson (Connor Franklin 23), Seamus Conneely, Anton Brown, Jake Moult, Daniel Meadows (Josh law 74), Paul Clayton, Anthony Wilson, Adam Cunnington (Nathan Jarman 73).
Substitutes not used: Jamie Mullan, Nathan Arnold
Newport County AFC Team:
Karl Darlow, David Pipe, Gary Warren, Ismail Yakubu, Andrew Hughes, Romone Rose (Nathaniel Jarvis 46), Sam Foley, Lee Minshull, Max Porter, Ryan Charles (Darryl Knights 72), Jake Reid.
Substitutes not used: Glyn Thompson, Paul Rodgers, Elliott Buchanan.
Goal: Newport County - Romone Rose (38 mins)
Yellow cards: Alfreton Town - Theo Streete and Anthony Wilson
Man of the Match: Anton Brown
Referee: Mr Barratt