Newport County 0-1 Salford City: Exiles mugged by last-gasp substitute strike

Newport County were mugged by Salford.

By Max-Drinkwater-James

Newport County were mugged by an injury-time winner as Salford City supersub Matthew Smith struck the only goal of this clash in the 92nd minute.

Smith, who replaced former Stoke City midfielder Matthew Lund in the 82nd minute of the game, produced a real poachers finish to snatch all three points for the visitors.

It was the hosts who nearly found the breakthrough on numerous occasions in the opening moments of the match with a Omar Bogle header wide of the mark being the Exiles’ best chance.

County enjoyed good spells of possession early and Harrison Bright might have done better with a header that was easily met by Alex Cairns in the Salford goal.

The visitors nearly broke the deadlock against the run of play after some great pressure in the Newport penalty area from Elliot Watt, but youngster Nelson Sanca with some great last-gasp defending managed to keep the Ammies out.

The visitors started to turn the momentum in their favour with a slew of chances towards the latter stages of the first-half.

A poor free-kick from Callum Hendry was deflected off the County wall and into Townsend’s grasp.

The last chance of the half should’ve seen Salford head into half time a goal to the good. Only frantic defending from Townsend and Matt Baker denied the Ammies twice in a matter of seconds from only yards out.

The home following thought they should have been awarded a penalty early in the second half when Matty Bondswell was brought down inside the area.

Referee Ed Duckworth was quick to waive away the shouts much to the dismay of the Exiles faithful.

Newport then came just inches away from taking the lead through Omar Bogle.

Bogle, who won the initial free-kick, curled his effort just wide of the top corner from the set-piece.

The 137 travelling Salford fans were left rueing missed opportunities, with the visitors lacking any real conviction in the final third.

But late on, after a couple of earlier misses, Smith made himself the hero.

Junior Luamba swept the ball into the penalty area and Smith rifled the ball into the back of the net to snatch the three points.

For Salford their next fixture sees them host Harrogate Town whilst County face a trip to Bradford in the final game week of the League Two season.