Luck­less Butcher boys sunk by Mullin

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jack Vit­tles

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.



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