Hats off for Ex­iles’ ‘big­gest’ win so far

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Aaron Pow­ell

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.”

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