MATCH REPORT | CAMBRIDGE UNITED 3 NEWPORT COUNTY A.F.C. 2
Cambridge United produced a stunning fight back to defeat Newport County AFC 3-2 in Sky Bet League Two at the Cambs Glass Stadium.
A Ryan Bird double had given the Exiles a lead after the first 55 minutes, before the returning Barry Corr and captain Leon Legge headed in levellers during the second half, before Mark Roberts popped up to fire in a dramatic last minute winner.
In the opening stages, Will Norris was forced to make a sublime save, the keeper clawing Craig Reid’s angled header away from danger.
The U’s then went on to have the better chances on goal in the first 45 minutes of the encounter. Twice Paul Lewis came close with a pair of first half headers, once of which was blocked on the line by the visitors.
Luke Berry and Roberts also came close to opening the scores for the U’s but again last ditch defending from Graham Westley’s men denied the hosts an opener.
In fact it was to be the side from South Wales who would break the deadlock two minutes before half time, when former United striker Ryan Bird nipped in at the front post to beat his marker and finish past Norris.
Shaun Derry’s men were close to an instant leveller when a deep cross by Jake Carroll found its way to Roberts at the far post but the defender once again saw his effort cleared just inches short of the goal line.
The U’s faithful finally enjoyed the moment that had been 13 months in the making, when Barry Corr took to the field after half time marking his home return and United led by the striker began the second period well with Harrison Dunk flashing a shot across the face of goal, before Joe Day produced a stunning save to deny Mingoia from close range.
However, Bird doubled the Exiles lead on 56 minutes sweeping home Pipe’s cross with an excellent finish.
United showed hastily their grit by pulling a goal back in quick time, Corr again in the prime position to bullet a header into the ground and past Day following a perfect cross by Mingoia.
Derry’s men sprung into life and registered an equaliser in similar fashion eight minutes later, when Leon Legge powered a header home in front of the NRE from O’Neil’s delivery.
With United banging on the door during the final quarter of the clash, their moment came in the last minute when Mitch Rose clattered through Luke Berry in the area, handing the U’s a penalty whilst the Newport man receiving a red card for his sins.
Barry Corr was denied the chance to register the winner having been asked to leave the field by referee Trevor Kettle due to a blood injury, leaving George Maris to step up from 12 yards. The winger saw his strike saved by Day but Mark Roberts was on hand to smash the ball into the net and secure a thrilling win for the U’s.
Cambridge United: Norris, Davies, Legge, Roberts, Carroll (Maris, 82 mins), Mingoia, O’Neil, Lewis (Corr, 45 mins), Dunk, Berry, Williamson (McDonagh, 62 mins)
Newport County: Day, Butler, Reid (Gordon, 79 mins), Samuel (Barnum-Bob, 45 mins), Sheehan (Owen-Evans, 45 mins), Pipe, Flynn, O’Brien, Demetriou, Rose, Bird
Attendance: 4,175 (153)
Vindis Man of the Match: Piero Mingoia