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Newport County
Newport County
Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers
Date: 06/03/2018 7:45 pm    Attendance: 2862    Venue: Rodney Parade

Match Report: Collins rescues a point in six goal thriller

Lee Collins celebrates his equaliser

Five first-half goals and one in the second resulted in a hard-fought point for FGR at Rodney Parade.

An own goal by Dan Butler gave FGR an early lead but they were soon trailing thanks to goals from Butler and Paul Hayes.Gavin Gunning then offered FGR a way back into the encounter before Hayes added a second before the break. It looked like it might end that way but with eight minutes remaining, Lee Collins struck an equaliser.

Manager Mark Cooper had the luxury of being able to name the same side that beat Crawley Town 2-0 10 days prior, with no place back in the starting XI for club captain Lee Collins.

It was his namesake Brad Collins who was forced into action early on as Padraig Amond latched onto a loose backwards header from the FGR defence with less than a minute on the clock and the visiting stopper had to get down well to block the initial shot before jumping back to his feet to push a follow-up effort behind for a corner.

Amond went close again moments later as he rose to meet an in-swinging, fourth-minute corner but he couldn’t direct his free header on target.

Despite the early chances for the Welsh side, it was the visitors who opened the scoring after just six minutes. Haydn Hollis swung a delightful cross towards the back post and although the ball in was just deflected over the head of Christian Doidge it landed at the feet of the surprised Butler who could do nothing but watch as his touch bounced over the line and into the Newport goal.

FGR’s celebrations, however, did not last long as just three minutes later they were pegged back. A County corner was swung in and although Doidge was able to nod clear, as the ball dropped to the edge of the area, Butler couldn’t wait to redeem himself and curled a deflected effort into the far corner of Brad Collins’ goal.

The visitors then found themselves behind after 16 minutes as, once more from a corner, Newport had the ball in the net. This time it was Hayes who profited as he latched onto a flick on towards the back post and couldn’t miss as he flicked the ball home from five yards.

Forest Green looked to have found a second goal with the half-hour mark looming as Chris Clements struck a volley from the edge of the area and a Joe Day parried the strike back into the area, but Doidge was denied by an unbelievable tackle from Ben White to prevent a certain goal for the Rovers hot-shot.

At the home of Newport Gwent Dragons RFC, this game too looked to be heading for a rugby score after half an hour as FGR doubled their tally for the game to draw level from the resulting corner through Gunning.

Farrend Rawson nodded Dayle Grubb’s corner back into the mixer and although Reuben Reid couldn’t direct his shot on target, Gunning was there to slam home the loose ball.

With half time just around the corner, Newport took the lead for a second time.

As FGR failed to clear, the ball was played back into the area and Brad Collins, although making a fine save to push Mark O’Brien’s shot away spectacularly, the stopper couldn’t prevent the follow-up from Hayes flying into the goal.

With less than 15 minutes to play, the hosts almost put the game out of sight as Marlon Jackson found space in the area but his first-time effort was well blocked by Gunning.

Having come on as a second-half substitute, club captain Lee Collins levelled the scores with just eight minutes to play as he, after some neat interplay with Reid on the edge of the area, calmly dribbled into the area and slotted home off the post with his left foot.

Report: Noah Dougherty

Image: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images


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Results & Fixtures

v Grimsby (H)

Grimsby Town

05/05/2018 3:00 pm

League Two

Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
19 Yeovil 46 -16 48
20 Port Vale 46 -18 47
21 Forest Green 46 -23 47
22 Morecambe 46 -15 46
23 Barnet 46 -19 46
Last updated: Sat 05 May 2018 17:00 pm

Vital Statistics

Date 06/03/2018 7:45 pm
Competition League Two
Home/Away Away
Full Time Result 3 - 3
Half Time Score 0 - 0
Man of the Match
Scorers Gavin Gunning
Lee Collins
Referee Christopher Sarginson

Team Sheet

Forest Green Rovers
Newport County
Player Goal (min) Sub Off
Gavin Gunning C
Farrend Rawson
Haydn Hollis
Alex Bray
Chris Clements
Dayle Grubb
9 58
Reuben Reid
Subs Goal (min) Subbed
5 81 65
10 77
17 58
Tahvon Campbell
Cameron Belford