- Adebisi stunner puts Alex ahead
- Last-gasp Brook strike earns draw
- Railwaymen finish 13th in table
Lachlan Brook’s 93rd minute strike salvaged a point for Crewe Alexandra at Newport County, in the final game of 2022-23.
After a goalless first half, Crewe hit the front when Rio Adebisi brilliantly curled home his third of the season from distance.
But Newport thought they had won it when top-scorer Omar Bogle struck on 77 and 91.
However, Brook popped up in the dying seconds to rescue a share of the spoils for the visitors.
It was the least Crewe deserved after a decent display, and they have finished 13th in League Two.
Lee Bell made four changes to the side that beat Bradford. There were recalls for Courtney Baker-Richardson, Luke Offord, Charlie Finney, and Adebisi, at the expense of Rod McDonald (ill), Joel Tabiner, Kelvin Mellor, and Zac Williams.
Newport, who started the game one point and two places behind Crewe, had a lucky escape inside the first two minutes when Christopher Long got to the byline and crossed for an unmarked Dan Agyei, but the Crewe man couldn’t convert at the far post.
Agyei went even closer just before the quarter-hour mark. He cut a path between two defenders before sending a curler which looked destined for the top corner until keeper Nick Townsend tipped it onto the bar.
Adam Lewis brought an easy save from keeper Tom Booth, and Finney had to win a vital header from under his own bar as the home side pressed.
On 36 minutes Cameron Norman surged in from the County right but Booth made a super double save to keep the scores level.
Crewe had to defend nine corners in the first half, and did so with conviction. Bogle’s header from the final one of the first 45 was comfortably held by Booth.
The Railwaymen hit the front in stunning style on 56 minutes when Adebisi cut inside from the right and unleashed a superb curling effort which found the top corner and left Townsend with no chance.
Will Evans fired over from a good position as Newport tried to respond, but Brook was only narrowly wide at the end of another Crewe attack at the other end.
Connor O’Riordan made a vital block to deny James Waite as the Newport sub looked poised to level.
On 74 minutes Crewe hit the woodwork for the second time, after good hold-up play from Baker-Richardson teed up Brook, but the forward’s strike cannoned off the upright.
And two minutes later it was 1-1 when referee Anthony Backhouse adjudged that Charlie McNeill had been felled in the area, and Bogle made no mistake from the spot.
Booth made a brilliant one-on-one save to claw away a Calum Kavanagh shot as the clock ticked down,
Newport thought they’d won it when Bogle forced home his second of the afternoon after a scramble in the box, on 91 minutes.
But they had reckoned without Brook, who arrived was on hand to collect Agyei’s pass and smash home the equaliser on 93 minutes.
Newport (3-5-2): Townsend; Bennett (Moriah-Welsh, 69), Baker, Demetriou; Evans, Norman, Lewis (Waite, 69), Charsley (McNeill, 55), Wildig; Bogle, Rai (Kavanagh, 55).
Subs not used: Day, Bowen, Stokes.
Crewe (4-3-3): Booth; Adebisi (Colkett, 78), O’Riordan, Offord, Finney; Thomas (Uwakwe, 65), Finnigan (Griffiths, 78), Brook; Agyei, Long (Tabiner, 54), Baker-Richardson (Williams, 78).
Subs not used: Richards, Billington.
Referee: A Backhouse.
Attendance: 4,915 (446).