FOR THE second time in a fortnight, Swindon Town were denied a goal at home and subsequently crashed to a two-goal loss against Newport County.

Mark O’Brien netted for the visitors from a corner 38 minutes into the contest, before Jamille Matt rounded off County’s scoring with less than 10 minutes remaining when poking home Padraig Amond’s accurate cross.

The result has dropped Richie Wellens’ men to fifth in the League Two table, with 20 points secured from 11 fixtures.

But, tough times no doubt lie ahead with next week’s visit to Bradford followed by a home tie against Plymouth before a trip to in-form Crewe.

One enforced change was made by Wellens before kick-off – Kaiyne Woolery replaced Keshi Anderson, who failed a fitness test in the week after picking up a knock at Cambridge.

Town were dealt a major blow five minutes into the game when Dion Conroy was forced off the field after colliding with County skipper Labadie.

The 23-year-old immediately fell to the ground in visible pain clutching his right knee, and held his hands in his head before two members of Town’s medical team aided him off the pitch.

Adam May came on as Conroy’s replacement – Grant filled the void centre back role with the option of using Tom Broadbent snubbed.

Conroy’s absence understandably unsettled Town. Five successive corners had to be dealt with before Fryers’ under hit back pass almost left the defender red-faced as Abrahams narrowly missed out on poaching the ball from underneath McCormick’s feet.

Fifteen minutes passed before Town had their first sight on goal. An accurate cross from the right by Isgrove was nodded down by County’s defensive duo – visiting ‘keeper King reacted quickly to prevent an own goal.

Richie Wellens was left seething four minutes later when Labadie’s effort from the edge of the D was guided wide of McCormick’s right post.

The manager’s frustration was birthed from an incident seconds earlier, when Grant was handled to the ground – no free kick was given.

Town had their next chance to score mid-way through the second half. Ellis Iandolo’s excellent run into the penalty area – a copy of his stunning assist at Cambridge last week – fooled three County defenders.

But the left back’s eventual cross was this time deflected off himself for a goal kick.

Lloyd Isgrove went close shortly after the game ticked past its half-hour mark.

After blocking attempts from Yates and Woolery, County’s defence – Haynes specifically – was helpless when the twisting and turning Isgrove unleashed a powerful right-footed effort on the right side of the visitors’ penalty area.

King fisted the ball behind his near post, before the corner was appropriately dealt with.

Isgrove was again at the centre of the game’s attention when a poor challenge on Labadie prompted a momentary pause – the winger was fortunate to escape picking up a card.

County won eight corners in the first half – one was bound to hit the visitors’ target.

And so that proved on 38 minutes as Mark O’Brien turned in a County corner from the left at the back post.

Further chances for McNamara and Labadie could’ve doubled the visitors’ lead, but it was the all-action Isgrove who entered half time pondering his late effort most.

McCormick’s longball forward picked out the winger, who hurried into the visitors’ penalty area before King made a reaction save.

A goal down at half time, no changes were made.

Referee David Rock came under immense criticism from home fans when a push on Woolery outside the 18-yard box was waved on.

It didn’t stop Town pushing forward, though – a passionate Noel Hunt even waved both hands up at the Arkell’s Stand pleading for support.

And that support came, but it couldn’t quite guide Isgrove’s effort from the penalty spot below King’s bar after he received possession in isolation from Hunt’s cross just before the hour mark.

County were weathering a major storm at this point – Iandolo blasted an effort from 15 yards over King’s crossbar too.

The storm was weathered, and one change was made by each manager with 20 minutes of play remaining.

Doughty came on for Woolery, while County’s top scorer Amond replaced a tiring Abrahams.

Little happened in the 10 minutes that followed – County calmed noticeably calmed the game’s tempo down before Reid came on in place of Rose.

Wellens’ tactical tweak proved disastrous, as Amond, crossing from the right, picked out Matt – marked by Reid - on the edge of the six-yard box.

Matt’s effort was poked into McCormick’s right corner, doubling the visitors’ lead – and prompting home fans to leave early.

County required no incentive to push for a third, as they held onto their lead - winning 0-2. 

Swindon Town: Luke McCormick, Zeki Fryers, Danny Rose (Tyler Reid, 79’), Lloyd Isgrove, Jerry Yates, Kaiyne Woolery (Michael Doughty, 70’), Ellis Iandolo, Rob Hunt, Dion Conroy (Adam May, 8’), Eoin Doyle, Anthony Grant.

Newport County (5-3-2): Tom King, Ryan Haynes, Joss Labadie (Matthew Dolan, 86’), Kyle Howkins, Robbie Willmott, Josh Sheehan, Jamille Matt, Dan McNamara, Tristan Abrahams (Padraig Amond 71’), Scott Bennett, Mark O’Brien.