Newport County 2-1 Harrogate Town: Late header saves league leaders
Photo by George Wood

A late header from Brandon Cooper helped Newport County to a 2-1 win over ten-man Harrogate Town at Rodney Parade.

The visitors looked to be hanging on for a point following Josh Falkingham's red card before the break as goals from Padraig Amond and Will Smith saw the two sides level deep into the second half.

  • Story of the match

Amond opens scoring after positive start

Newport dominated the opening stages and were ahead after 30 minutes as Amond grabbed his third league goal of the season.

Following some good passing play from Joss Labadie and Liam Shephard, the forward latched on to the latter's ball into the box and slotted past James Belshaw.

Falkingham sees red

Things got worse for the visitors eight minutes later after they were reduced to ten men.

Appearing to dive following a challenge, midfielder Falkingham was shown a second yellow card by referee Paul Howard for simulation.

Harrogate level just before the break

But they were level just before the break when Dan Jones connected with a corner and directed the ball into the path of Smith who was on hand to prod the ball over the line.

Cooper heads in the winner

An underwhelming second half saw limited chances for either side as the visitors looked to hang on to full-time.

But they were unable to keep hold of another important point when Cooper latched onto a cross from a corner and headed past Belshaw on 88 minutes.

  • Match Stats

Newport County 2-1 Harrogate Town (Amond 30', Smith 44', Cooper 88')

Newport County

Townsend; Cooper, Bennett (Devitt, 81'), Demetriou, Shepard (Wilmott, 60'), Haynes, Sheehan, Labadie, Twine, Amond, Abrahams (Proctor, 60')

Unused subs: King, Baker, Webb, Ellison

Harrogate Town

Belshaw; Burrell, Smith, Hall, Jones, Thomson, Falkingham, Kerry, Kiernan (Kirby, 40'), Martin (Beck, 85'), Muldoon

Unused subs: Cracknell, Lokko, Walker, Stead

  • Takeaways

Newport extend stay at the top

Despite an overall frustrating afternoon for Michael Flynn's men, the result does move them five points clear at the top of League Two following Cambridge United's 2-1 defeat to Crawley Town.

The focus will now shift to Tuesday night, as the Exiles face play-off chasers Carlisle United at Brunton Park.

Late disappointment for Harrogate

You'd imagine that Harrogate boss Simon Weaver will feel slightly disappointed by that result.

After seeing his side hold on for what seemed like a very impressive point away to the league leaders, their hard work was undone by Cooper's late header.

That result leaves Town 10th, ahead of their game with Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday.