Sheri­dan: Let’s draw a line in the sand

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Mike Penny

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.

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