Date: 22nd October 2016 at 9:26pm
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Two penalties from Graham Carey helped Argyle to a deserved 3-1 win against a very physical and robust Newport County team.

Jordan Slew added a third goal for the Greens who are now unbeaten in 12 league games and four points clear at the top of League Two, this was also the sixth away win in succession.

Argyle had to contend with several rough challenges from a Newport team now managed by Graham Westley, one elbow on Gary Miller was particularly bad. Jon Parkin, on the one occasion he used his foot rather than his elbow, scored a superb goal for Newport that deceived a stranded Luke McCormick.

Newport had keeper Joe Day sent off in the 37th minute for bringing down Jordan Slew, it wasn’t his day.

But we made hard work against a very average and niggly 10 man team although we do have a very good habit of digging out wins.

The game was a battle throughout, under Westley Newport have become a very physical and direct team – full of elbows and pushing. Their one tactic was to hit the ball long to Parkin up front or rely on their huge long throws. To be fair throws did cause some concern in our defence but as the game wore on we got better at dealing with them.

In a rough and tumble game like this strong players are needed and none more so than midfielder Yann Songo’o. He stood up to be counted with headers and tackles which allowed our more creative midfielders to play.

Manager Derek Adams started with his usual 4-2-1-3 formation but with Carey on the right and Slew on the left and Craig Tanner in behind Jimmy Spencer.

As against Stevenage we played the long ball in the early stages just to play the percentages and play in Newport’s half.

Tanner had a shot go wide and Slew did the same with a header, both should have scored.

Carey was ineffective on the left and struggled to influence the game.

Adams switched to 4-4-2 and put Carey on the left and Tanner on the right.
Almost immediately Slew won a penalty after Day rugby tackled him, he was the last man and received a red card. Former Argyle keeper James Bittner was the sub keeper and his first job was to pick the ball out of the net after Carey scored the penalty.

We were the better team at the start of the second half although Parkin nearly caught McCormick off his line with a long range shot.
McCormick didn’t learn his lesson because minutes later Parkin did it again but from a more difficult angle and the shot beat the stranded McCormick at his near post.

Nevermind because Carey danced through the Newport defence, he was brought down and put away his second penalty to make it 2-1.

Slew made the game safe when Spencer broke free and passed to Carey who crossed to the unmarked Slew who slotted home.

Newport nearly added a second goal in injury time when McCormick dithered and decided to race back into his area but luckily the final ball was poor.

Slew had a good game and could have scored three, he gets into good positions and just needs to bring some composure at those crucial moments. Carey had a much better second half but needs to cross or pass rather than beat another player.

The two centre backs, Sonny Bradley and Nauris Bultvitis stood up to physical challenges and Ben Purrington is turning into a fine and reliable defender.

It was a shame that on his 300th game for Argyle McCormick had difficult time, however he’s still the best keeper in League Twp.

A final word on Songo’o. The game was taylor made for him, heading, tackling, closing down, players like him don’t get noticed.

Well battled lads. Keep it going.

Newport are in trouble at the bottom of the table so it’s understandable that they are playing in this type of way but I don’t think they will win many friends or points.

Man of the Match – Songo’o.

McCormick 5, Miller 7, Bulvitis 7, Bradley 7, Purrington 7, Songo’o 8, Fox 6, Carey 7, Slew 7, Tanner 6, Spencer 6. Subs Jervis 6, Smith 6, Donaldson n/a.