Harrogate Town 2 Newport County 1: Advertiser player ratings

Harrogate Town registered their first League Two success on home soil in more than three months when they beat Newport County at Wetherby Road.

Sunday, 31st January 2021, 9:44 am
Updated Sunday, 31st January 2021, 10:02 am
Josh March netted Harrogate Town's first goal in Saturday's 2-1 win over Newport County. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Here's an assessment of how Simon Weaver's players fared during Saturday's 2-1 triumph over the promotion-chasing Exiles.

James Belshaw 6 - Handled a number of dangerous balls into his penalty area expertly and also raced off his line on a couple of occasions to prevent opposition attackers from having a clear run on his goal. He will however have been relieved to see Jake Lawlor make a late goal-line block after coming a long way to try and claim a cross that he was never getting to.

Warren Burrell 7 - A sound defensive display, he looked solid at right-back for the most part. Tried to get forwards to support Simon Power where he could.

Simon Power worried the Exiles with his pace down the right flank.

Jake Lawlor 8 - Another performance that suggested that he is improving week on week and benefiting from regular game-time. One miss-kick aside, the centre-half barely put a foot wrong and was in the right place to effect a crucial goal-line clearance from Ryan Taylor in the final minute of normal time.

Will Smith 8 - His first appearance after 12 weeks out through injury but slotted back into the Harrogate back-four like he had never been away. Aggressive in the air and won plenty, while making a number of important interventions. Communicated well throughout.

Ed Francis 7 - There were times during the opening half an hour where he struggled with his positioning as Newport got some joy down his side of the field. Shouldn't be forgotten that he is not a left-back by trade, however, and he kept things pretty tight during the second half.

Simon Power 8 - An extremely promising first start for the ex-Norwich City winger. His raw pace worried the Exiles plenty and should have earned his new team a first-half penalty. One second-half cross was begging to be finished off, while he also worked hard off the ball to help protect his full-back.

Aaron Martin's first league goal since September settled Saturday's contest.

George Thomson 8 - Looks very much at home in the centre of midfield, often getting himself into the right positions to pick up loose balls and get Town moving forwards quickly. Passed it very neatly, playing two perfectly-weighted through-balls for Josh March, then Aaron Martin, to set up goal-scoring opportunities.

Josh Falkingham 7 - Busy in the engine room, buzzing around and keeping things ticking for Town, ensuring that they enjoyed good control in midfield.

Josh McPake 8 - Ought to have done better with a good first-half opening when he cut back inside and into traffic after Josh March played him in on goal at 1-0. But, he caused County all sorts of problems with his dazzling footwork and willingness to run at defenders down the left. Tracked back to good effect, too.

Josh March 8 - ADVERTISER STAR MAN. Such a lively performance, he was a constant threat to the visiting defence with his pace and clever movement. Took his one clear chance in clinical fashion and should also have ended the game with an assist having played McPake in on goal.

Aaron Martin 8 - A goal and an assist for Town's powerhouse centre-forward, who finally got some tangible reward for the kind of hard-working performance leading the line which he delivers so often. Competed superbly in the air against the visiting centre-halves and also could have had a penalty had he opted go down under contact from Newport goalkeeper Nick Townsend.