Spirited Town out of the FA Cup
Clevedon Town 1 Newport County 3 - WELL, when you are 2-0 down after 14 minutes, your centre back has been sent off and your main striker has to be substituted through a head injury, you can either fall apart or have a go.
Clevedon Town 1
Newport County 3
WELL, when you are 2-0 down after 14 minutes, your centre back has been sent off and your main striker has to be substituted through a head injury, you can either fall apart completely and roll over dead or have a go at the opposition and make a game of it.
In the end Clevedon wisely chose the latter course and the fans ended up with an enjoyable match, spoilt only by an overly fussy referee, which finished with Newport County going through to the next round of the FA Cup by virtue of a deserved win.
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Clevedon went into this match with Tom Billing, Pete Sheppard and Dale Peckham on the bench and with Sean Seavill making an impressive debut in the starting line-up. The visitors, second in Conference South and whose fans dominated the 623 crowd, started well and it took them just five minutes to take the lead when a Danny Rose corner was flicked on by former Seasider Dave Gilroy for Craig Read to slot home at the far post.
Worse was to follow for the Seasiders as less than 10 minutes later they were two down and a man short as Ben Evans caught Kevin Cooper as he was heading for goal and a penalty and a red card followed in rapid succession; Craig Read doing the honours from the penalty spot. If Clevedon fans thought that was the end for their hopes, even worse followed as Aaron Blakemore was involved in a collision and had to be taken off with a cut head, to be replaced by Tom Billing.
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It did not take long for Clevedon to re-group after that disastrous opening and Craig Loxton almost latched on to Tom Billing's flick just moments after his arrival. While Newport continued to control the game, Clevedon never allowed themselves to be outplayed and worked hard to get back into the match, with Tom Billing just failing to hit the target after being set up by Joey Evans on the half hour mark.
Newport were not to be denied though and Craig Reid came close to his hat-trick when heading just wide as the Exiles continued to use their superior numbers and confidence on the ball.
Clevedon came out with fresh determination for the second half, and could have pulled a goal back in the opening stages with Sean Seavill, Lee Molyneaux and Josh Brigham having chances to reduce the arrears.
The match, which had been played in a good spirit throughout, erupted on the hour mark when Josh Brigham reacted to a poor challenge by Newport's Martyn Giles and both players ended up seeing red, Josh for a second yellow, having been booked for dissent as the teams left the pitch at the end of the first period. This skirmish spread to the touchline and Nick Tucker was eventually sent to the stands for protesting.
Ironically the 19 men left on the field then produced the best football of the match as both sides went close to scoring in an end to end spell of good old fashioned cup-tie football, spoilt only by some pedantic refereeing decisions Clevedon's efforts were rewarded in the 79th minute when Tom Billing scored with a low volley, after good work by Sean Seavill, and we were set up for a grand finale. Despite a bold attempt at grabbing an equaliser though the home side's hopes were finally dashed in the closing minutes by a brilliant curling shot by Newport's Nathan Davies and it was then game over.
Clevedon's next league game at The Hand Stadium will be on Saturday October 10 v Banbury United, kick-off 3pm.
More information can be obtained from the clulb's web site www.clevedontownfc.co.uk