Stevenage still searching for a second win after going down to Newport County
- Credit: David Loveday/TGS Photo
An early penalty proved decisive as Stevenage fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Newport County in League Two.
Tristan Abrahams got it on eight minutes but it was poor fare and another match that left Boro with more work to do on the training pitch.
It is not quite a crisis at the minute but just one win in seven, that on day two of the season, has seen Boro slip further and further down the table.
They now sit 18th, just one point above the relegation places.
There were five changes following the 1-0 loss at Forest Green Rovers including a first start for on-loan QPR forward Aramide Oteh.
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It was his nominal strike partner Danny Newton who almost made it a perfect start when he got in down the right with less than 90 seconds gone.
His first-time effort was dinked over Nick Townsend but came off the face of the crossbar and bounced out.
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And six minutes later it was Newport who were celebrating.
I’ve often argued that there is no need for a report to say a penalty was disputed because they virtually all are if we’re honest.
That is except this one which is as obvious as you’re likely to see.
Liam Shephard did well out on the right wing for County and when space opened up in front of him, he duly charged into the box.
That charge was halted by a flicked foot, tripping the wing-back and sending him sprawling to the floor.
Abrahams did the rest and rolled the ball to the right of Jamie Cumming.
And as far as threats on goal in the first period that was about it.
Romain Vincelot and Elliot Osborne both flashed shots high over the top while at the other end Abraham could have had a second after Luke Prosser misjudged the flight of the ball but with the far corner looking invitingly he hit it too close to Cumming.
Both sides suffered from crosses that were overhit and it was only really Newton’s all-action display and harrying that looked like it might be a profitable source for Boro.
He had the last shot of the half which was closer but still off target.
It was a brighter start to the second period from the home side with Oteh and Jack Aitchison combining on the break for the latter to shoot across goal.
Townsend got down to make the save but the ball ran loose, fortunately for Newport just away from the charging Oteh.
The loanee was far brighter and far more industrious in the opening 10 minutes, using his quickness to great effect.
It wasn’t bringing too many more chances but at least the threat was there.
The Stevenage bench were very clear in why there was a lack of chances, as manager Alex Revell implored his side to get the ball into the box more.
However, the usual flurry of substitutions midway through the half ended that threat and completely changed the momentum, as Newport took more control.
They really should have double their lead with 20 minutes to go but an unmarked Brandon Cooper failed to connect with a corner and Stevenage could scramble it clear.
Oteh’s day ended on 74 minutes as he was replaced by Tyrone Marsh and Boro’s last change was to bring on Inih Effiong for Remeao Hutton.
The big striker did start to hold balls up which did allow Stevenage to push further forward.
The tempo increased too and one scramble in the box, all of which started with the sub looking for space to shoot on the edge of the box, ended with Newton looping a shot up and over.
Scott Cuthbert couldn’t connect to a free-kick and another ball into the box ended with a foul being given on the keeper.
Ultimately though the late surge was too little, too late and leaves Boro looking over their shoulders at the clubs below them.
Stevenage: Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Vincelot (Read 62), Cuthbert, Prosser, Osborne, Newton, Hutton (Effiong 80), Aitchison, Oteh (Marsh 74).
Subs (not used): Johnson, List, Smith, Marshall.
Booked: Osborne 30, Cuthbert 38
Newport County: Townsend, Haynes, Demetriou, Dolan, Cooper, Shephard, Labide, Sheehan, Twine (Bennett 68), Janneh (Willmott 84), Abrahams (Amond 65).
Subs (not used): King, Barker, Ellison, Proctor.
Goal: Abrahams (pen) 8
HT: Stevenage 0 Newport County 1
Referee: Lee Swabey (Plymouth)