Luckless Butcher boys sunk by Mullin
NEWPORT County boss Terry Butcher admits his side are going to need Lady Luck to start smiling on them if they are to end their winless start to the season.
A last-minute penalty from substitute Paul Mullin was enough to earn Morecambe all three points at Rodney Parade in a dramatic and at times pugnacious encounter.
Mullin slotted home from the spot after Aaron Hayden conceded the foul with barely 90 seconds remaining.
The last-gasp victory sees Morecambe extend their unbeaten run to four league matches and leaves County rooted to the bottom of the Football League and still searching for their first victory of the season.
Newport manager Butcher was buoyed by what he saw from his side despite the result.
“Some of the football we played was great, we carved them open, we got in behind them and we caused them massive problems,” he said.
“I think Jim (Bentley) should probably do the lottery tonight, I’m sure he’d get a winner. I can’t remember how many mirrors I’ve broken in recent years, but it must be a lot because we can’t get a break at the moment.
“I thought our energy was great and we had four 18 year-olds in the side today which is good to see, and we’re looking ahead to next week.”
The visitors were indebted to Barry Roche in goal, who time and time again kept the marauding Newport attackers at bay.
Roche was forced into a string of saves during the first half, as he performed a one-man defence of his goal for much of the time.
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley was also quick to praise his keeper: “If it wasn’t for Roche we could have been two or three down at half-time and I can’t give him enough credit.
“He’s a top class keeper, that’s what he gets paid to do. “It felt like it was going to be one of those days, the lads looked a bit flat and lethargic and we had to change the formation to deal with their threat in the first half.
“Kevin Ellison should have made it 2-0 but he managed to win the penalty and he’s a class player. As a centrehalf you don’t want to see Kevin coming onto the pitch.”
The home side’s only success in front of goal was Scott Barrow’s 67th minute long-range strike from over 30 yards, as the Morecambe defenders backed off.
Morecambe had taken the lead during the first half, with Alan Goodall’s header – their only attempt on goal during the opening half.
The Exiles continued to press throughout the second half, besieging the Morecambe goal but were punished in the end by Mullin’s spot-kick.
STAR MAN BARRY ROCHE Moreca