Newport County 1-1 Morecambe

Michael Rose. Picture: Matt RushtonMichael Rose. Picture: Matt Rushton
Michael Rose. Picture: Matt Rushton
A superb free-kick from Michael Rose earned Morecambe a battling point at bottom of the table Newport County.

The experienced midfielder caught almost everyone in the ground out with a 35-yard effort that flew past home ‘keeper Joe Day who was expecting a cross into the area but was caught out at his near post.

It was a tough evening for Jim Bentley’s side who were second best for much of the first half and Newport took the lead in the 19th minute through the scrappiest of goals.

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The Shrimps struggled to clear their lines and the home side saw two efforts blocked before the ball fell neatly for Aaron Williams at the far post and the striker made no mistake from close range with a neat finish to beat Barry Roche from six yards out.

The goal had been coming for the hosts, the Exiles having been denied what looked to be a clear penalty on 13 minutes when Ryan Edwards handled in the box but the appeals were waved away by referee Graham Salisbury.

From there Craig Reid saw two efforts well saved by Roche as Graham Westley’s side dominated the early stages of the game.

After a sluggish start Morecambe came into the game and forced a string of corners.

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Edwards headed one just over and Burnley loanee Alex Whitmore saw a similar effort go the wrong side of the crossbar.

That improvement continued into the second half, Luke Conlan forcing Day to tip over at full stretch with a cross-cum-shot.

Rose fired a warning shot with a free-kick on 59 minutes that forced Day into a decent save before his cheeky goal just after the hour.

Newport staged a late rally on the Morecambe goal and Roche was forced to make a brilliant save from Edwards as his team mate diverted a left-wing cross towards his own goal on 82 minutes.

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At the other end Rhys Turner looked set for a run on goal but the ball held up in the mud while Aaron Wildig headed straight at Day from a good opening.

In the end however a draw was a solid result on a battling night for Jim Bentley’s side.

It leaves them 15th in League Two having lost just once in 2017.

Newport, with six draws in their last eight games, are three points adrift at the bottom and six from safety.

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Newport: Day, Pipe, O’Brien (Owen-Evans 71), Demetriou, Samuel, Rose, Flynn, Butler, Reid (Jackson 90) Williams (Gordon 79), Bird. Subs not used: Bittner, Bignot, Parselle, Bojaj.

Booked: O’Brien

Morecambe: Roche,.Wakefield, Whitmore, Edwards, Conlan (Molyneux 83), Rose, Fleming, Ellison, Wildig (Evans 83), Turner, Mullin (McGowan 71). Subs not used: Nizic, Hedley, Jordan.

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 1,989