Sheridan: Let’s draw a line in the sand
NEW County boss John Sheridan declared Saturday’s draw with Exeter a benchmark performance for his beleaguered side.
The Exiles battled back from a goal down as the ex-Ireland international enjoyed a fruitful start to life at Rodney Parade, 24 hours after being unveiled.
“That was a good point, I thought we played very well and I couldn’t have asked much more from the players,” said Sheridan. “Some of the football at times was really good. It’s always difficult when you’re bottom of the league, but I’ve told the players that’s the kind of performance I’m looking for.
“We knew it would be a tough game but I thought the players really responded.We conceded when we were on top and our heads could easily have dropped from that. But credit to the players, that never happened and Lenell took his goal really well, it was an excellent finish.”
Paul Tisdale admitted his plans went out the window with the appointment of Sheridan.
“Inevitably the events of the last 48 hours changed things for us and them. It tends to provide a catalyst for a performance and we were prepared for that,” he explained. “We knew it would be a tricky game when a team has a change of a manager and our preparation was effectively null and void.
“John probably had more knowledge of us having been at Plymouth, more than we would have on Newport, and he will be pleased to have a point for his team.”
The Exiles were experiencing two firsts, both the management of Sheridan – who arrived hastily on Friday to replace the sacked Terry Butcher – with Newport opting to change their management team within hours of being announced as supporter-owned club, after their Trust raised over £200,000 to buy-out exchairman Les Scadding. It led to increased noise levels and expectation at Rodney Parade where Newport had picked up only a single point so far this term, and they just about deserved to hold firm until the interval after a cagey first half.
Exeter did miss one huge chance, midfielder Lee Holmes scooping over from three yards, but Newport were far more robust and organised than in recent weeks.
They were the better side in the second period, until the moment Joel Grant gave Tisdale’s side the lead on 61 minutes, firing low and accurately after a decisive break.
But Lenell John-Lewis swept home his first of the season to deservedly fire County level, with sub Alex Rodman within inches of clinching a second win of the season, denied by the goalkeeper as Exeter ended the contest grimly holding firm.