A crowd of almost 250 saw Newport exit the Buildbase FA Vase at an eventful 4th round match after conceding a late winner to 10 men Bradford Town.
Newport took to the field after a three week lay off due to the Christmas festivities and two postponed matches. Top striker Charlie Urry was suspended for running up five yellow cards, Jared Wetherick was unavailable as were the cup tied players Liam Triggs and Liam Newbold.
Newport started brightly with a couple of early chances, one from a free kick that just went over and a Mark Taylor lob that did the same.
Bradford got going and by the 11th minute they should have taken the lead. Karim Rendall was found unmarked at the back post and his goal bound downward header was acrobatically tipped away by Gary Streeter.
At the other end a shot from Josh Younie was hit straight at keeper Phillips.
In a midfield collision Darren Powell picked up a knee injury but struggled on.
Newport had a great chance when a mistake in the Bradford defence presented the ball to Josh Younie but he was crowded out from shooting. The Newport striker was able to lay off a pass to the incoming Mark Taylor who’s on target shot was cleared by a Bradford defender in the six yard box.
Darren Powell had to leave the pitch for treatment and on 18 minutes was substituted by Jacob Reynolds. The youngster immediately in action hooking a shot over the bar.
The game turned on its head on 28 minutes. A great ball over the top by Scott Sampson for Younie to chase brought Bradford keeper Charlie Phillips out of his box and as he attempted to chest the ball, it bounced up off the pitch and caught him half chest – half arm. Referee Mr Hughes immediately gave the handball shortly followed by a red card.
It took over three minutes for Bradford to make the decision and substitution where the unfortunate Will Hailston had to go off allowing Bradford manager Danny Greaves to come on and take over in goal. Although many people thought it was a “no choice” move, a quick check of Mr Greaves CV soon identified that he was a goalkeeper and a very experienced one at that, Bristol Rovers and Forest Green Rovers being amongst his former clubs. The free kick flashed the wrong side of the post although the new keeper had it covered.
As the 4th official indicated 5 minutes of added time, Bradford had a great chance when experienced striker Sam Jordan was through one on one with Streeter but once again the big keeper came out on top.
In injury time Will Quigley was shown a yellow card for a late tackle.
Half Time: Newport 0 Bradford Town 0
Bradford started the second half the brighter and another great chance for Sam Jordan saw his header clip the outside of the post before going wide.
Newport pushed forward to make the numerical advantage count, Scott Sampson narrowly missing out with a header.
At the other end Bradford were useful on the break and one attack brought about a free kick just outside the box. Rickie Scott’s resulting effort just being tipped over the bar by Streeter.
Newport brought on Aurele Beya for Lewis Wright as the game started to open up. It was now almost end to end stuff. Dan Cottle weaving his way into the box bringing out another great save from Streeter. At the other end A Conner Kelly free kick was saved down low by Greaves. Another break from Newport saw a dangerous cross from Kelly superbly held at full stretch by Greaves.
Bradford’s Dan Cottle was shown a yellow card in a midfield skirmish.
As the game appeared to be heading for extra time the deadlock was broken on 80 minutes. Karim Rendall switched from the right to the left wing and got behind his marker. Taking the ball to the byeline his low hard cross was half blocked and the loose ball fell to the incoming Mark Wall who slotted it past Streeter. The travelling contingent of 60 or so Bradford fans behind the goal were ecstatic.
Bradford immediately brought on Martin Lenahan for Dan Cottle and Newport brought on George Holmes for Will Quigley. Newport quickly tried to get the ball forward but were frustrated as Bradford sought to run the clock down. This brought yellow cards for Aiden Sainsbury and Jacob Reynolds. On 90 minutes Bradford brought on Alex Monks for Karim Rendall. The fourth official indicated five minutes of added time but Bradford were able to maintain possession and keep the ball away from danger. Amazing scenes at the final whistle as almost the entire Bradford squad rushed to join in with their celebrating supporters behind the Newport goal.
Full Time: Newport 0 Bradford Town 1
Newport: Streeter, Turkington, Quigley (Holmes), Sainsbury, Pearce, Sampson, Powell (Reynolds), Taylor, Younie, Kelly, Wright (Beya).
Bradford Town: Phillips, Moon, Scott, Peck, Fletcher, Chandler, Rendall (Monks), Wall, Jordan, Cottle (Lenahan), Hailston (Greaves).
Referee: Mr S Hughes
Newport Man of the Match: Gary Streeter