Bristol Rovers 1-3 Newport County: New boss Rowberry enjoys perfect start

Bristol Rovers 1-3 Newport County: New boss Rowberry enjoys perfect start

James Rowberry’s tenure as Newport County manager began with a fine 3-1 win at Bristol Rovers.

The former Cardiff City coach was officially unveiled as Mike Flynn’s full-time successor on Tuesday and his first game in charge couldn’t have gone any better, with Dom Telford the Exiles hero.

Telford struck in either half to add to a County opener from Courtney Baker-Richardson as the Welsh side headed back over the Prince of Wales Bridge with all three points.

Brett Pitman got one back for Rovers, but County were deserving winners.

Ollie Cooper made a bright start in the County midfield and Mickey Demetriou was forced into a smart block to keep the score at 0-0. Baker-Richardson also went close.

Rowberry was dealt an early blow when his captain Matty Dolan was forced off injured. Dolan had his thigh strapped for the match, but his departure didn’t help the visitors. Finn Azaz came on.

Then came two goals which Rowberry will surely remember for a long time. County’s first came when Robbie Willmott played in Jake Cain, who stayed cool and passed across goal.

Baker-Richardson, formerly of Swansea City, was the beneficiary as he made it 1-0. Soon the Exiles had doubled their advantage as they looked full of confidence.

This time it was Baker-Richardson whose shot was saved and it rebounded to Telford, who flicked the ball up and volleyed into the net in superb fashion.

Telford should have made it 3-0 and his miss proved crucial before the break as Rovers – who had been all over the place – halved their deficit.

On the half-time whistle, Willmott lost possession, Rovers broke clear, and Pitman made County pay.

Rowberry would have been disappointed with the goal given how well his team had played.

Joey Barton’s men started the second half with momentum and Pitman should have made it two both for Rovers and himself, but he couldn’t just quite get enough on a cross.

Sam Nicholson was the next player to attempt an equaliser, but he skied his shot as County lived dangerously.

So, it was hugely against the run of play when County moved two goals clear just past the hour mark.

Rowberry’s men counterattacked and Azaz passed to Telford, who did the rest for a smash-and-grab strike on the break.

It gave County a lead they held on to as Rowberry and his players rightly celebrated at full-time.

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