Newport 1-1 Crewe
Crewe: Garratt, Turton, Guthrie, Davis, Bakayogo, Jones, Bingham (Hollands, 62), Cooper (Ray, 62), Kiwomya, Lowe (c), Dagnall (Ainley, 90)
Unused Subs: Richards, Nugent, Saunders, Kirk
Goals: Kiwomya (16)
Attendance: 2,268 (284)
Alex Kiwomya's third Crewe goal in five games looked as though it had made it two wins from two in the league on the road, only for Sean Rigg to head Newport level late on & condemn the Alex to a third straight draw.
The on loan Chelsea winger scored another contender for Goal of the Season after just 16 minutes at Rodney Parade, but the former Port Vale player Rigg hit back for the home side nine minutes from time.
Steve Davis stuck with the same XI that dominated the 3-3 draw with Hartlepool on Tuesday night, meaning new signing Danny Hollands had to settle for a spot on the subs bench.
Crewe started the match on the front foot, immediately looking to dominate possession, but it was Newport who forced the first opening – Jennison Myrie-Williams bursting to the by-line from the left & smashing a low cross across the face that took a nick and Garratt saved well.
As far as the first half hour went, that was the lot for the hosts though as Crewe took control, forcing the first opportunity on 14 minutes, Kiwomya threading a pass inside from the left, Ryan Lowe dummied &
George Cooper smashed in a shot that was straight at Joe Day & the keeper held well.
But The Alex didn’t have to wait long, 2 minutes to be precise, and it was another world class effort from Kiwomya that broke the deadlock. The winger picked up the ball on the left wing before cutting inside, and on the edge of the box he curled an unstoppable effort into the top corner leaving Day with no chance.
As the half wore on, the Exiles rallied and Mark Randall came close to levelling with a direct free-kick on 31 minutes, forcing Garratt into a flying save to his left to beat away the 20-yard effort.
Despite the home side coming back into matters, it was Crewe who twice came close to extending the lead before the break. First, Lowe capitalised on a poor County back-pass to put the Day under pressure, with the ball falling to Dagnall – but his low shot was dragged wide via a touch off a defender.
Then, two minutes before the break, a lovely move down the left also paid dividends. Kiwomya passed to Bakayogo who picked out Lowe in the box – the talisman cushioned into the path of the onrushing Kiwomya who took a touch before dragging his shot wide of the near post.
Crewe began the second period on the front foot again and almost doubled the lead on 51 minutes, James Jones having a low 18-yard shot cleared off the line by his name-sake Darren Jones with Day beaten.
Newport then came on strong again though and twice came within inches of equalising, Sean Rigg first on 58 minutes sending a header from a corner bouncing off the top of the crossbar.
Three minutes later and it was another corner causing the problems, this time big Jon Parkin flicking towards goal from six-yards, only to be denied by a heroic reaction save from Garratt to turn the effort over the bar.
Heading into the final 15 minutes, Crewe had a golden chance to kill the game off. Lowe read a Darren Jones mistake perfectly to skip through one-on-one, but County keeper Day made himself big to block the striker’s shot.
The home side's best route to get back into the game was through set pieces and aerial bombardment, and it was a right wing cross onto the head of Rigg that levelled the contest on 81 minutes, steering his header low into the corner past Garratt.
Both sides pushed for the winner in the closing stages, but neither side were able to find it & the contest ended level.