The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Joe Dug­gan

NEW­PORT County care­taker manager Jimmy Dack re­fused to be down­cast de­spite see­ing his reign get off to the worst pos­si­ble start af­ter his ten men lost against AFC Wim­ble­don.

Dack as­sumed con­trol at County af­ter Justin Ed­in­burgh’s pro­tracted de­par­ture to Gilling­ham was fi­nally re­solved on Satur­day.

But Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa’s brace was enough to see off a limp New­port chal­lenge, with the Ex­iles hav­ing Kevin Feely red-carded for a sec­ond half foul on Ge­orge Fran­comb.

Joe Day saved Ak­in­fenwa’s penalty, but County could not get back into the match and they have now gone four games with­out a goal or a point.

And although Ed­in­burgh’s de­par­ture will deepen the sense of un­ease among New­port fans, Dack be­lieves it is time to look for­wards.

Dack said: “We’re go­ing to draw a line un­der it now. Justin’s gone now and it’s time to move on. We’ve got to start talk­ing about New­port County and the play­ers that are play­ing now.

“I’m not go­ing to use it as an ex­cuse.We’ve spo­ken about it and ev­ery­one’s aware of it. There’s no point in drag­ging it on.

“The boys knew that the gaffer was go­ing and it was just up to us to put a per­for­mance in. It’s about us now, get­ting some re­sults and get­ting New­port County up and run­ning again.

“Up un­til the send­ing off I thought it was a good per­for­mance. Ob­vi­ously the goal killed us in the first half but I thought we played well in the first half.”

Ak­in­fenwa net­ted the opener af­ter 11 min­utes, head­ing in pow­er­fully from Sean Rigg’s cross.

Feely was red-carded for tak­ing down Fran­comb when the Wim­ble­don player was through on goal but Ak­in­fenwa was far too non­cha­lant from the spot, al­low­ing Day to make an easy save.

But the Beast made amends with his sec­ond, a close-range fin­ish on 72 min­utes, drawing praise from manager Neal Ard­ley, who re­fused to crit­i­cise the striker for his penalty miss.

“I wouldn’t have a pop at Ade­bayo, he’s too big. He could have made life eas­ier but strik­ers don’t mean to miss goals. The only time I will get on at play­ers is when they don’t give 100 per cent,” said Ard­ley.

“Bayo Ak­in­fenwa and our for­mer striker Matt Tubbs have been a part of 39 of our 40 goals this sea­son ei­ther by scor­ing, as­sist­ing or play­ing a big part in the build up to all of the goals.

“He has now been in­volved in 20 of our 40 goals so don’t think that I’m go­ing to have a go at him when he doesn’t get one of them right.

“I think we have some real qual­ity in the side and we showed that again.”

Ed­in­burgh de­parts Rod­ney Pa­rade, where he was in charge since 2011, hav­ing steered them out of the Con­fer­ence rel­e­ga­tion zone in his first sea­son and to Wem­b­ley for the FA Tro­phy Fi­nal.

The 45-year-old also led New­port to Wem­b­ley for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sea­son, se­cur­ing their re­turn to the Foot­ball League af­ter a 25-year ab­sence.

PIC­TURES: Paul Wil­latts

DEADLY DOU­BLE: Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa scores his sec­ond goal. Inset: All smiles af­ter his first of the day

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