Hats off for Exiles’ ‘biggest’ win so far
NEWPORT County strengthened their hold on a play-off place on Friday night with a win at Accrington Stanley that assistant manager Wayne Hatswell hailed as one of their biggest of the season.
Aaron O’Connor broke the deadlock midway through the second half when he touched home from a corner, with Stanley goalkeeper Scott Davies letting the ball slip through his hands.
Substitute Shaun Jeffers wrapped up all three points when he tucked home an Ismail Yakubu cross in stoppage time at the Crown Ground.
County also enjoyed a third successive clean sheet and stretched their unbeaten run to four matches, leaving Hatswell a happy man.
“That was probably one of our biggest wins of the season because we played before everyone else and it was a vital win,” said Jimmy Dack’s assistant.
“It keeps the confidence going and it’s great that we’re grinding out results now.
“You know you’re going to have to battle when you come to Accrington on a Friday night.
“We prepared really well all week for a tough game and, credit to our lads, they fought for it.
“Everyone from front to back worked hard and deserved the win.
“We knew that with our front two, with the way they work, we could get something.
“We stifled them in a lot of areas and frustrated them.We got a bit of luck with the first goal and for the second we hit them on the break.”
For Accrington boss John Coleman, it is now seven games without a win. He refused to pin the blame solely on his goalkeeper but bemoaned the individual errors and toothless attack that have proved so costly for his side.
“We have gifted them the game,” said Coleman. “Even the most ardent Newport fan couldn’t say they deserved to win the game.
“They pinned us back in the first ten minutes but after that we battered them.
“But we didn’t do enough to test their goalkeeper and then our goalkeeper chucked it in for their first goal.
“You work hard all week but you can’t legislate for a mistake like that.
“He hasn’t meant to do it and he’s a good keeper but unfortunately it’s not the first time we’ve shot ourselves in the foot this season.
“I was disappointed with our response.We huffed and puffed but we didn’t have enough shots on goal and that’s been our problem for a while.
“They’d settled for 0-0 and we were either going to win it or it was going to be 0-0 so to lose the game is hard to take. We’ll make changes because we don’t look like scoring.”