The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By An­drew Penman

NEW­PORT County man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh savoured a hard-won three points in the Sev­ern­side derby at a sod­den Rod­ney Pa­rade.

The Ex­iles boss saw his side tri­umph over Bris­tol Rovers thanks to Andy San­dell’s first-half penalty af­ter Chris­tian Jol­ley was up­ended in the box.

Ed­in­burgh was de­lighted with the clean sheet, heap­ing praise on re­turn­ing goal­keeper Lenny Pidge­ley and his three cen­tral de­fend­ers.

“I thought the per­for­mance was very good once again.We’re ac­quit­ting our­selves very well in this di­vi­sion,” said Ed­in­burgh.

“We were boosted by the re­turn of Lenny Pidge­ley but I thought the back three of Tom Nay­lor, Harry Wor­ley and An­drew Hughes were im­mense.

“Once we go a goal ahead here it’s very dif­fi­cult for any­one to come back and to win a derby match is ex­tra spe­cial for the play­ers and the fans.”

Rovers man­ager John Ward felt the penalty de­ci­sion against skip­per Tom Parkes was harsh but ad­mit­ted his play­ers let down the 1,100 fans.

“I’m bi­ased so I didn’t think it was a penalty,” he said.

“But I wanted a bet­ter per­for­mance for the sup­port­ers who sat in the rain.

“They got soak­ing wet and they’ve got to go home in their football clothes while we can change.

“They paid money to sit and watch that and they de­serve more than we gave them so we’ve got to make sure we give them more next week.”

Ed­in­burgh’s side bossed the ma­jor­ity of the match in con­di­tions more akin to Novem­ber than Au­gust.

The hosts made light of the swirling wind and per­sis­tent rain to rip into an in­jury-hit Rovers side.

Mid­fielder Adam Chap­man had the first chance from Rob­bie Will­mott’s cor­ner but his snap shot was high and wide af­ter eight min­utes.

The Ex­iles’ side was packed full of ex-Pi­rates play­ers and striker Chris Ze­broski went close to scor­ing against his for­mer em­ploy­ers on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.

He was inches away from get­ting on the end of a tempt­ing Harry Wor­ley cross 15 min­utes in and clipped a cen­tre from cap­tain David Pipe, an­other for­mer Rovers star, just wide min­utes later.

Ward’s side mus­tered lit­tle in re­sponse with David Clark­son’s blocked ef­fort ten min­utes be­fore the break the clos­est they came to trou- bling the re­turn­ing Lenny Pidge­ley in the New­port goal.

The hosts were well on top but they knew that they had to make their dom­i­nance pay.

And the goal they de­served fi­nally ar­rived two min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val when Jol­ley was chopped down by O’Toole and San­dell slammed home the penalty against his for­mer club.

Ze­broski saw a header well saved by Steve Milden­hall and the home side sur­vived a late flurry of Rovers’ cor­ners to claim a de­served derby win.

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

RE­SPECT: For­mer Bris­tol Rovers player Andy San­dell is re­luc­tant to cel­e­brate his win­ning goal for New­port

GAME ON: Tom Lock­yer and New­port’s Danny Crow clash

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