Exeter city were defeated in their opening Papa Johns Trophy group stage match as Newport County came from behind to take the three points.
Kegs Chauke scored his first goal in red and white in the second half, but goals from Chanka Zimba and Omar Bogle turned the game on its head late on for the Welsh side.
On a beautiful Tuesday night in Devon, Matt Taylor made eight changes to the starting XI who travelled to Accrington in the previous game with Scott Brown replacing Jamal Blackman,with full debuts for Chauke, new signing Rekeem Harper and academy starlet Sonny Cox. The other replacements from the Accrington fixture include Jonathan Grounds, Jake Caprice, Josh Coley and Matt Jay.
City started the game with an attacking intent, with high balls being aimed at Cox, but the Newport defence started well closing down the majority of the attempts. With 12 minutes on the clock, the first big chance came for City, with a marauding run down the right hand side from Caprice, only for the ball too narrowly miss the head of youngster Cox.
Three chances in the space of ten seconds came for City in the 15th minute, with Jack Sparkes and captain Jay almost both getting on the scoresheet. A thunderous volley from the feet of Sparkes stung the Newport defence, with the follow up falling to Jay only for the ball to hit where no man wants to be hit and the final chance came to Sparkes once again only for his strike to flash wide of the post.
An excellent defensive tackle from Lewis stopped what should have been a definite goal for Coley, the pressure was really starting to mount now from the home side. Sonny started to make a nuisance once again with his off the ball running and pressing of the Newport defence causing all sorts of problems.
With half an hour on the clock, the attempts on goal were coming left right and centre with both Sparkes and Cox both having had multiple attempts on goal. But the valiant efforts from both the Newport keeper and defence kept the score at 0-0. Only moments later and the first effort of the game for Newport fell to Will Evans, whose effort sailed wildly over the bar.
Right at the end of the first half on his home debut, keeper Brown came to the rescue for City with a point blank save from the edge of the area, stopping the visitors from taking the lead in a very tight first 45.
Just seven minutes into the second half, Chauke opened up the scoring on his full home debut, with a fantastic delivery from Caprice down the right hand side finding the Southampton loanee six yards out who finished with aplomb. Minutes later and an immediate reply from Newport, a misplaced pass back to Brown left the veteran keeper in no mans land with Chanka Zimba baring down on goal and slotting the ball into the back of the net.
Cox almost opened his account for the season after an hour, after a jinxing run through the area beating multiple County defenders, his shot narrowly missed the goal. Seconds later and Caprice almost made it 2-0, but after slightly mistiming his jump the ball went out for a goal kick. With over an hour gone, the game was really anyones for the taking.
With 73 minutes gone, City made their first change of the game, with Jevani Brown who entered the pitch in place of Sparkes, resulting in a switch around of positions with Coley moving to right wing back, Caprice to the left, Jay into midfield and Brown up top. Five minutes later and Taylor made his second change of the game with debutant Harper making way for Josh Key.
82 minutes played and Omar Bogle made it 2-1 for Newport, a ball over the top catching the City backline out and slotting the ball underneath Brown in the City net.
The next game for City welcomes league football back to SJP with MK Dons making the three hour trip to Devon.
City: S. Brown, Caprice, Kite (Borges), Diabate, Grounds, Sparkes (J. Brown), Chauke, Harper (Key), Coley, Jay (C), Cox
Subs not used: Sowdon, King, Collins, Dieng
Newport County: Day, Bowen, Farquharson, Willmott, Dolan (C), Lewis, Zimba, (Waite) Collins (Clarke), Willdig (Morriah-Welsh), Lewis, Evans (Bogle)
Subs not used: Townsend, Drysdale, Clarke, Nevers, Mariah-Welsh
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 1902 (96 away)