REPORT: Cheltenham 1-1 Newport
Cheltenham Town took a share of the points at the LCI Rail Stadium after a last minute equaliser from Newport County striker Jaanai Gordon. The Robins remain 20th in the table, four points above the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone.
The Robins started the stronger of the two sides, with both Billy Waters and Kyle Wootton causing problems in the Newport defence. Although there were not many clear cut chances in the opening exchanges, with Scott Brown and Joe Day not seeing much action at either end of the pitch.
It took just under 20 minutes for the first chance of the game. Newport striker Craig Reid found himself with a bit of space level with the penalty spot after a throw in from the left hand side, but the 31 year-old's volley harmlessly flew over Brown's crossbar.
16 minutes later Newport had their second chance to take the lead. Another long throw from the Cheltenham right hand-side this time fell to Sid Nelson on the edge of the box, but his shot was easily saved by Brown.
The second half continued in much the same fashion as the first. Newport with more of the attacking threat, but Gary Johnson's men stood firm in defence. First Brown dropped a Darren Jones free-kick, before another goal mouth scramble was cleared well by Onariase.
Cheltenham fashioned their first attempt on goal 13 minutes into the second half. This time it was the Robins with a dangerous throw into the box and Will Boyle's deft flick left Day stranded in the Newport goal, but it looped just over his crossbar.
This gave Gary Johnson's men a burst of confidence and they took the lead on 63 minutes. A beautiful Dan Holman chip came off the angle between post and crossbar, and came back to Kyle Wootton who slotted his rebound in the bottom corner.
Cheltenham had a lot of defending to do after they took the lead, with Newport piling on the pressure. Onariase, Boyle and debutant Plavotić all at their best in the heart of the Robins' defence.
The most clear cut chance for County in the second half came with just nine minutes of normal time to play. A corner from the right hand side found the head of Darren Jones, and his powerful effort was cleared off the line by new boy Plavotić.
Ex-Cheltenham Town loanee David Pipe almost equalised for the visitors as he was found at the back post, but his header was directed straight into the arms of Brown.
County finally managed an equaliser in stoppage time. The ball dropped to Jaanai Gordon on the edge of the six yard box and he slotted past Brown to take a share of the points back to South Wales.
Cheltenham Town: Brown (GK), Barthram, Pell, Waters, Boyle, Rowe, Wootton (Wright 78'), Onariase, Holman (De Girolamo 78') , Plastic, Davis. Unused subs: Storer,Munns, Kitscha (GK), Hall, Dayton.
Newport County AFC: Day (GK), Butler (Rigg 63'), Jones, Reid (Sheehan 76'), Nelson, O'Brien, Rose, Bird, Williams (Gordon 68'). Unused subs: Samuel, Owen-Evans,Demetriou, Bittner (GK).