MATCH REPORT: NEWPORT COUNTY 1 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 2
Two second half goals from Uche Ikpeazu and Luke Berry saw the U’s claim their first league win of the 2016/17 season at a blustery Rodney Parade in Sky Bet League Two.
Three changes were made to the starting line-up from last Saturday’s game against Morecambe, with Mark Roberts, Max Clark and Jake Gosling replacing Josh Coulson, Conor Newton and the injured Piero Mingoia.
The game started scrappily, and despite United battling against a strong wind, Ben Williamson had the first attempt on goal with a shot from 20 yards just wide of the post.
However, just a minute later a long throw from Ben Tozer for Newport, which was a common feature of the afternoon, threatened the United box. The ball was cleared by Leon Legge but was delivered straight back in behind United’s back four for Rhys Healey to head past Will Norris.
Neither team created any clear cut chances until Luke Berry was pulled back just before the half hour mark. Adam McGurk stepped up from 25 yards to fire a fierce free kick against the bar with the home keeper well beaten. Newport again threatened from a set piece and Will Norris was forced into making a terrific save on 35 minutes, as he spread himself wide to save a point blank header from a corner.
United made two substitutions at the break, bringing on Uche Ikpeazu and Greg Taylor for Ben Williamson and Jake Gosling, allowing Harrison Dunk to push further forward.
In the 61st minute Kyle Cameron fouled Ikpeazu down the right flank, and Medy Elito stepped up to whip in a wonderful cross that was converted by Ikpeazu with a header into the bottom right corner to score his first goal for the club.
The goal gave United momentum, and they nearly scored soon after as some neat build up play finished with a venomous drive by McGurk from 20 yards, forcing Joe Day into a smart stop to his right. This was followed up by another delivery by Harrison Dunk in the 74th minute which was met by a powerful Leon Legge header which whistled just over the bar.
United continued to drive forward, with Ikpeazu holding the ball up well and forcing the Newport defence further towards their own 18-yard box.
Finally, United got the goal their work in the second half deserved. In the 83rd minute, Medy Elito was brought down on the right hand flank and stepped up to deliver a cross into the box. A goalmouth scramble followed as Newport cleared the ball off their own goal line multiple times before Luke Berry acrobatically turned the ball over the line.
The U’s defended resolutely for the remaining ten minutes, and despite six minutes of extra time, managed to comfortably see out the game for their first league win of the season.