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Finn Azaz nets second-half winner as Newport dent Port Vale’s promotion hopes

Finn Azaz (right) netted a second-half winner against Port Vale (David Davies/PA)
Finn Azaz (right) netted a second-half winner against Port Vale (David Davies/PA)

Finn Azaz scored a second-half winner as Newport edged a 2-1 League Two victory at Port Vale that severely dented the hosts’ automatic promotion hopes.

Azaz had created Ryan Haynes’ opener and, after Ben Garrity had equalised early in the second half, Azaz struck to give Newport the win and leave sixth-placed Vale still with work to do to secure a play-off place.

Newport took the lead inside three minutes through Haynes. Azaz got the better of Chris Hussey on the flank and fired the ball across the face of goal, where the left-back arrived to beat Aidan Stone with a smart finish.

The away side could have had a bigger lead at the break but a second Haynes effort was hit weakly at Stone, as were snapshots from Azaz and Dom Telford.

At the other end, all Vale had mustered was a wayward shot from Harry Charsley.

But – six minutes after the restart – the hosts’ James Wilson sent a cross into the box where Garrity chested the ball down and blasted in at close range.

Garrity almost created a second for Vale with a dangerous pull back to Jamie Proctor but Josh Pask made a timely last-ditch intervention.

And with 18 minutes left, a Newport corner was cleared as far as Azaz, who drilled his side’s winner low and hard past Stone’s despairing dive.