Walsall 0 Newport 3 - Report
Newport County ended Walsall’s unbeaten League Two run at the Poundland Bescot Stadium thumping the Saddlers 3-0 with three first-half goals.
Mat Sadler’s expressions from the sidelines summed up an afternoon of frustration for the home side as Saddlers fans were left heading for an early half-time break after goals from Seb Palmer-Houlden, Will Evans and Harry Charsley inside the first period.
Moreover, a late sending-off for Owen Evans further added to Walsall’s misery.
Walsall had not lost in their last five home league games as Sadler made one change to his side that faced Gillingham a week earlier as Ryan Stirk replaced Jack Earing in the starting 11.
It took just three-minutes for Newport to claim the lead, and in cruel circumstances, as Bryn Davies’ shot took a huge deflection off Palmer-Houlden who earned his name on the scoresheet.
Josh Gordon squandered a golden opportunity to level the game before Will Evans added a second for the Exiles a minute later and on the 15-minute mark. The away-side top-scorer danced his way through the Walsall defence before finding the top-left corner with his effort.
Tom Knowles looked to inspire a comeback cutting inside and causing problems for Newport as Liam Gordon made several darting runs forward through towards the box, but Walsall’s finishing let them down.
Townsend denied Josh Gordon and Ryan Stirk’s free-kick before Mo Faal pounced on a defensive error from Newport but was off-target with his effort.
It went from bad to worse for the Saddlers in the 39th-minute as substitute Charsley headed home from close-range and gave the Exiles a 3-0 lead. And, it was close to being four on the stroke of half-time as James Clarke’s header hit the bar.
Entering the second half, Mat Sadler introduced Aramide Oteh and Jack Earing. Newport’s Morris looked to add a fourth goal for his side with a long-range effort, but his shot evaded the target.
Earing’s run presented Faal with a shooting opportunity, but his effort was blocked before Knowles’ curling effort was held easily by Townsend in the 57th-minute.
Six minutes later, Liam Gordon looked to challenge the away side with another attacking run down the left-side before Knowles’ effort was deflected away for a corner.
The 25-year-old blasted an effort into the side-netting in the 74th-minute as Walsall looked to claw a goal back, but it never came for Mat Sadler’s side.
Newport’s Shane McLoughlin tried for a fourth approaching the 80th-minute before Jamille Matt replaced Faal in a desperate effort to salvage something from the game. And, Walsall were beaten comfortably as goalkeeper Evans was sent off for handling the ball outside the area in the 86th-minute.
Walsall: Evans (red card 86), Okagbue, Farquharson, Daniels, Comley, Knowles (Smith, 88), Hutchinson (Tierney, 70), Stirk (Earing, 46), L Gordon, J Gordon (Oteh 46), Faal (Matt, 81).
Subs not used: Smith, James-Taylor, Allen,
Newport County: Townsend, Clarke, Delaney, Baker, McLoughlin, Bennett, Lewis, Wildig (Charsley, 15), Morris, Palmer-Houlden (Zanzala, 78), Evans (Jephcott, 78).
Subs not used: Maxted, Payne, Waite, Jameson,
Referee: Lee Swabey
Attendance: 5,454 (701)