After the euphoric nature of last Saturday’s demolition of Morecambe which saw the Railwaymen top of the league after the opening round of fixtures, yesterday saw expectations head back towards Earth after a defeat to Newport County at Rodney Parade.
Manager David Artell made one change from last week with captain George Ray missing out due to a back injury with his place in the team going to full-back Nicky Hunt coming into the team, Perry Ng moving into the centre of the back-line as a result.
Crewe almost took the lead after 18 minutes as left-back Harry Pickering hitting the post from a free-kick before the only goal of the game saw Pádraig Amond head home a left-wing cross from Mickey Demetriou from just inside the area 12 minutes before the break. The visitors could have levelled around the hour-mark as James Jones was fouled in the area but stand-in captain Paul Green missed from 12 yards.
We have 2 home games this week with League 1 Fleetwood Town on Tuesday in the EFL Cup before a league game against MK Dons on Saturday, either side of the opening U23 Professional Development game between the Alex and Charlton which takes place at the ground on Wednesday afternoon.
What can we learn from this game?
Just as last week’s game was easy with Morecambe sitting off us and allowing us time and space to attack, Newport were in our faces and made it really difficult to break them down with being compact. Whilst last week’s game saw Morecambe give us the time and space to do what we liked with the ball, it was a case that we did exactly the same thing as Jones came inside to match up against the 3 in midfield of the Exiles’ allowing space over on the Newport left for Dan Butler (and even central defender Demetriou for the goal) to exploit.