Wilkinson’s sword too sharp for Exiles

Newport County 0-1 Leyton Orient

A week on the training ground reaped dividends, on Saturday, as Jobi McAnuff’s O’s recorded a fine win on a carpet of a surface at the home of the Bluebirds, thanks to Conor Wilkinson’s second-half strike.

With Newport’s Rodney Parade ground deemed unfit for league football, the O’s fine passing game benefitted from a Premier League-style surface.

McAnuff revealed: “The biggest thing we’ve had this we has been time, on the training ground. With so many games, we haven’t had that recovery time. It was also good to back at Cardiff, after a few years away.”

Orient did well to contain the Exiles, before Nicky Maynard forced Vigouroux into a fine, low 17th minute save, before Matty Dolan’s set-piece, ten minutes later, struck Vigouroux’s far post, with Jamie Turley nearly putting the rebound into his own goal.

Newport continued to dominate and Aaron Lewis’s 41st minute fine, low and inviting cross failed to find any takers, with Vigouroux frantically scrambling to cover.

Upfront, the O’s were totally punchless, with Wilkinson’s weak back header, on the stroke of half-time being the only save Nick Townsend had to make.

Having made the change at the interval, with Hector Kyprianou replacing Oussumane Cissé – on a yellow card for a retaliation – McAnuff’s charges were very much on the front foot.

Wilkinson had served intent, on 53 minutes with a stinging drive, which Townsend did well to divert away for a corner.

Barely eight minutes later, Wilkinson slid home Dan Kemp’s skimming cross – but the assistant flagged for offside – quelling the O’s initial joy – although Danny Johnson clearly hadn’t made contact.

Referee, Samuel Barrott then consulted his assistant and after a nervous interlude, pointed to the halfway line – prompting wild Orient celebrations.
McAnuff added: “I’ve got no problems officials consulting each other – just as long as they reach the right decision – which – in our opinion – they did.”

Wilkinson’s goal clearly lifted the East Londoners and apart from Vigouroux pawing Josh Sheehan’s late drive around for a corner, and several decent clearing punches, as Newport threw the kitchen sink at the visitors, they held out for very well deserved away win.

McAnuff admitted: “For us – now – it’s about us picking up points as quickly as we can. We could have won more games, and there’s many we have been ‘in’ for long periods.”

Orient travel to Carlisle this Tuesday (kick-off 6-30pm) and McAnuff said: “On the back of today’s win, we go there full of confidence. Even though we’re at the back end of the season and it [the play-offs] is an outside chance – we must make sure we’ve got something to go for.”

Newport County: Nick Townsend, Aaron Lewis (Dom Telford 56′), Priestly Farquharson, Micky Demetriou, Liam Shepherd, Matty Dolan (Joe Ledley 56′), Scott Bennett (Kevin Ellison 66′), Joss Ladabie (Capt), Josh Sheehan, Jake Scrimshaw (Ryan Taylor 56′) Nicky Maynard (Luke Gambin 56′) Subs not used: Tom King (GK), Padraig Amond

Leyton Orient: Lawrence Vigouroux, Tunji Akinola, Jamie Turley, Dan Happe, Joe Widdowson, Jobi McAnuff, Oussumane Cissé (Hector Kyprianou 46′), Daniel Kemp, Conor Wilkinson, Danny Johnson Subs not used: Sam Ling, Josh Coulson, James Dayton, Louis Dennis, Jayden Sweeney

Referee: Samuel Barrott
Assistants: Andrew Laver and Robert Dabbs
Fourth Official: Michael Begley

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Rowland Lyons

Email: [email protected]