Stevenage Borough denied on opening day

Tom Pett. Picture: Danny Loo

Tom Pett. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Stevenage Borough 3 Newport County 3

Stevenage Borough were denied victory on the opening day of the season after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser at the Lamex Stadium.

Debutant Dan Newton looked to have secured all three points when putting the hosts 3-1 up with less than 20 minutes to go.

But Newport hit back soon after and snatched a point with almost the last kick of the match to frustrate the hosts.

Dale Gorman had the first sight of goal, in front of a crowd of 2,650, slicing wide from 25 yards on six minutes, but Borough took the lead soon after when Tom Pett chased a poor back pass from Scot Bennett, rounded keeper Joe Day and slotted into the net.

The home side dominated play for a spell after that but had Fraser Franks to thank for a near-post block to deny Frank Nouble on 23 minutes.

The visitors went close to levelling three minutes later when a deep free-kick into the box came back off the crossbar and Nouble smashed the rebound over from close range.

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And Joe Fryer came to Stevenage’s rescue with a brilliant save to deny Matty Dolan’s free-kick on the half-hour mark, before also keeping out Reynolds at his near post.

Fryer was called into action again on 38 minutes to save Nouble’s header, but Stevenage then saw Samuel head wide at the other end, before Luke Wilkinson made a vital challenge to deny Newport a breakaway chance.

Joe Martin stopped Nouble in his tracks within two minutes of the restart, with Wilkinson producing a brave header as a dangerous ball was sent into the box.

But the respite was brief for Borough as Nouble stabbed home an equaliser from close range after a Newport corner was not cleared.

Stevenage were soon over that setback, though, as Wilkinson went on a strong run and was brought down in the box by Bennett, allowing Gorman to smash home from the penalty spot on the hour.

And it was 3-1 on 71 minutes when Dan Newton found the net with a composed finish after Gorman’s deflected shot span over his head.

Newport gave themselves hope just five minutes later when Mickey Demetriou fired home an unstoppable long-range effort from 30 yards for their second goal of the afternoon, but Newton was close to converting Martin’s whipped cross.

Stevenage could not hold on to their lead, though, as McClouskey fired home in the fourth minute of innjury time to send the visitors back to Wales with a point.