2nd September 1986
FL Cup R1 2nd Leg
Newport County (Away)
Football League Cup
1st Round 2nd Leg
Newport: (0) 1 (Gibbins)
Exeter. (0) 0
(Newport win 1-0 on agg.)
Roger and out!
Match Report by Trina Lake
EXETER CITY are out of the Littlewood Cup. A 69th minute Roger Gibbins goal was enough to put Newport County through from last night's first round second leg at rain-soaked Somerton Park. City paid dearly for missing their chances in last week's goal-less first leg.
They never really got on top last night and Newport gradually made their greater as experience tell City slowly ran out of what few ideas they started with on how to break down the resolute Third Division side. They played nowhere near as well as in the opening three matches of the season and learnt what may be a timely lesson - bad performances get punished.
Even Tony Kellow's arrival as substitute for Darren Gale after 52 minutes failed to work its usual magic as it slowly became a question of when and not if Newport could score. City defenders cleared off the goal-line twice before Gibbins finally broke the deadlock with a well-directed header past John Shaw and just inside the far post. Newport made the running for most of the match but City's defence, with Sean Priddle deputising for the injured Nick Marker, stuck to their task well and restricted the home side to few scoring chances. Aidan McCaffery was a tower of strength at the heart of City's rearguard action. His calm authority eased the tension around him and he even survived a strong penalty appeal for a 40th minute challenge on Gibbins. City's best spell of the match came mid-way through the first half when Gale pulled away from his marker well to steer a shot just wide, Paul Batty saw a cheekily curled shot pushed out of the top corner by goalkeeper Mark Kendall and Dean Roberts headed wide from a good position. There was little useful service for the front men to feed on however and not much coming through from City's midfield to threaten Newport. In the second half New- port tightened their grip with right back Linden Jones at the heart of every dangerous move with his adventurous excursions into attack. He zipped in one fierce long-range shot that Shaw had to tip over the bar and smacked a vicious free kick that the 'keeper couldn't hold.
Mick Vinter followed up on the rebound but McCaffery was there to clear off the line and from the resulting corner Danny Keough stopped a Gibbins header from squeezing inside the post. Finally, soon after Brendon O'Connell had replaced Roberts, Newport scored the decisive goal and fittingly their three most influential player were involved. John Lewis and Linden Jones worked a neat short corner with Lewis sending a perfect cross for Gibbins to help himself to an early birthday present he is 31 -on Saturday. City were give brief hope of an equaliser when Ken- dall flapped at a Keith Viney corner but Keough and Batty both had shots blocked when the ball ran loose.
As well as the upset of their first defeat of the season, City also had Ro- berts and Steve Harrower booked.
Newport County: Kendall, L. Jones, P. Jones, Berry, Peacock, Mullen, Staniforth, Gibbins, Vinter, Carter, Lewis. Subs Mardenborough, Sugrue.
Exeter City: Shaw, Pugh, Viney, Priddle, McCaffery, Watson, Batty, Gale, Roberts, Keough, Harrower. Subs Kellow (on for Gale 52 min), O'Connell (on for Roberts 66 min).
Newport: Kendall 6, Jones, L. 7, Jones, P. 7. Berry 6, Peacock 6, Mullen 7, Staniforth. 6, Gibbins 7, Vinter 7, Carter 6, LEWIS 8.
Exeter: Shaw 7, Pugh 7, Viney 6, Priddle 6, McCaffery 7, Watson 6, BATTY 8, Gale 64 (sub. Kellow 6), Robert 6 (sub. O'Connell 5). Keough 6, Harrower 6.
Referee: B. Stevens (Stonehouse)
- Newport County, Exeter City's, victors, have a money-spinning pairing with Everton