A stoppage time strike from Newport County captain Joss Labadie inflicted a painful 2-1 defeat on Cambridge United, after a Jevani Brown stunner looked to have given the U’s a deserved point.
United lined-up with five changes as Paul Lewis, George Taft, Ade Azeez, Jevani Brown and George Maris returning to the starting eleven.
The latter had United’s best opportunities during the first 45 minutes. However, he failed to find the target when both Medy Elito and Ade Azeez pulled crosses back to the forward.
The former Barnsley man did force Exiles keeper Joe Day into a save midway through the half, when he out-paced David Pipe down the left before prodding a shot at the near post.
However, moments before the half time whistle was blown by referee Chris Sarginson, the visitors broke the deadlock when Shawn McCoulsky tapped home from close range after David Forde had saved the initial Newport shot at goal.
Piero Mingoia was introduced at the break for the U’s and had an early opening at goal , after Lewis nodded down Jake Carroll’s deep cross, but the diminutive winger could only lift his half volley over the bar. Lewis was then denied an equaliser himself, when Day produced a magnificent stop to claw the midfielder’s header off the line.
It was Jevani Brown who continued to be United’s danger man though and minutes after he played Azeez through one-on-one who missed the target, the 23-year old smashed a phenomenal strike past Day in what looked like certain to secure a hard-earned draw for Shaun Derry’s side.
It was not to be though, with Joss Labadie in the right place to knee the ball into the empty net after David Forde had saved a Newport free kick with his right boot to give the visitors all three points.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Taylor, Taft, Carroll, Lewis (Dunk, 74 mins), O’Neil (Mingoia, 45 mins), Maris, Brown, Elito, Azeez
Newport County: Day, Pipe (Willmott, 55 mins), Butler, Labadie, White, Dolan, Nouble, Tozer, McCoulsky (Amond, 85 mins), O’Brien (Bennett, 45 mins), Demetriou
Attendance: 3,632 (143)
Vindis Man of the Match: Jevani Brown