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Newport County 0
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Tuesday 22nd November 2016
Football League Two
A pin point free-kick from Sido Jombati in the 87th minute saw Wanderers grab a 1-0 victory at a boggy Newport County and climb to 8th spot in the table, less than a month after they sat 21st in the table.
The second successive away win came after Wanderers made three changes from the starting XI that had sneaked a win at Cambridge the previous Saturday - Jombati coming in for Michael Harriman (injured), Marcus Bean replacing the suspended Dominic Gape, while Garry Thompson was favoured for Adebayo Akinfenwa who took his place on the bench. Barry Richardson was also named as one the substitutes following the loan move of Scott Brown to Eastleigh. Meanwhile Myles Weston remained absent without comment from the Club.
The game went ahead following a late pitch inspection by match referee John Busby who declared the muddy surface in South Wales playable. The pitch did not make this a spectacle and in a an even first half it was Wanderers who went closest on 13 minutes when Joe Jacobson saw a shot hit the outside of the post.
The fiery Bean could count himself lucky for not receiving his marching orders shortly before the break. The Wanderers midfielder had been booked for dissent, along with County's Jack Jebb, on 43 minutes but on the stroke of half-time Bean fouled again but referee Busby gave a final warning when other officials would have whipped out a red card. However, Gareth Ainsworth was taking no risks and replaced Bean at the break with Sam Wood.
The winning goal was a near carbon copy of Jombati's previous free-kicks against Grimsby (August 2016) and Portsmouth (April 2016) - the ball being curled into the top left corner of the opponent's net and giving the 'keeper little chance on all three occasions. This was the first time Wanderers had won three succesive League games for 11 months.
Full-time - Newport 0 Wycombe 1
Speaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "It's funny - the day before games we work on free-kicks around the box. Sido's never in that group. I think we better start putting him in that group and get rid of all the others. Wow, what a free-kick. That was a big wall to get over and he used every inch of the crossbar to get it in. It was brilliant on the bench. I said to the lads on the bench 'I think he's got this' and I was proved right."
"We came here and knew what to expect. The kitman sent us a couple of pictures from when he came to drop the kit off and the pitch was unplayable at that time. I knew it would be a bog, very muddy, not much football played at all. We were resilient and few and far between were the chances for either team, so it was important to take and our Portuguese full-back has done it again."
He added: "I had to go in to the lads at the break and rattle a few cages but to be fair I certainly got a reaction in the second half. There were some brilliant individual performances. Matt Bloomfield, Sam Wood, Luke O’Nien all ran themselves into the ground and I am really pleased to have got out with a win as with 20 minutes to go I would have taken a point.”
"The energy levels were really high and credit to them on a sapping pitch. We were worried about one or two of them after the game on Saturday as we were penned back for long periods and when that happens you run more and do more work. However, it was really pleasing to see the lads’ fitness come through today on a really horrible pitch as well as rotating a couple of the lads who were missing and the strength in depth shone through.”
“It is fantastic to be on this run but Hartlepool are a good side but we seem to do well against them at home. However, it will be a tough game and we will make sure we are ready for that."
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