EXILES START TO SHOW THEY BE­LONG

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Joshua Price

CON­FI­DENCE is sky high at New­port County, ac­cord­ing to man­ager John Sheri­dan, af­ter they ex­tended their un­beaten run to five matches.

Sub­sti­tutes Yan Klukowski and Scott Bo­den twice had the Exiles in front, though goals from Billy Kee and Matt Crooks earned Stan­ley a share of the spoils.

But not even the tor­ren­tial rain could dampen Sheri­dan’s mood as they con­tinue to move clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

“Prob­a­bly a draw was a fair re­sult but we’re un­beaten in five and we’re just build­ing a bit of con­fi­dence in the team and the per­for­mance showed that,” he said.

“The sec­ond-half per­for­mance es­pe­cially I thought we moved the ball and we cre­ated and did things quicker on a dif­fi­cult pitch.

“Both teams tried to play and did the best they could and I thought it was quite an en­ter­tain­ing game.

“We played against a good team, I’ve watched them a few times and they are play­ing really well – they’re one of the best foot­balling sides in the league.

“And so for us to come and com­pete with where we are in the league, I think a few peo­ple thought it was a home banker but I thought we per­formed and we’re im­prov­ing.

“It would’ve been a good re­sult to win but to take the lead twice with two great goals – I can’t grum­ble too much.

“You al­ways want your subs to come on and try and im­press the man­ager, they came on and they got in­volved in the game and both scored.

“The two goals we scored were qual­ity goals.”

Piero Min­goia struck the wood­work from close range in a tepid first half.

But the game really kicked into ac­tion af­ter the break when Klukowski, who re­placed the in­jured Janoi Dona­cien on 20 min­utes, curled in a half-vol­ley from the edge of the box.

Ac­cring­ton equalised four min­utes later when Kee fired in af­ter Sean McConville’s ini­tial ef­fort had been blocked.

New­port re­gained the lead on 66 min­utes when Klukowski crossed for Bo­den to turn home from close range.

But Ac­cring­ton earned a point when Crooks tapped in af­ter Sea­mus Con­neely’s long-range ef­fort can­noned back off the post.

Stan­ley boss John Coleman was not con­tent with his team’s dis­play, but did ques­tion whether the match should have been aban­doned by ref­eree Christopher Sarginson as con­di­tions wors­ened through­out the af­ter­noon.

“It was dif­fi­cult for both sides, it be­came a lottery,” he said.

“I think the ref­eree should’ve called it off at half-time.The ball was stick­ing,the play­ers were slip­ping all over the place.

“A ten-by-ten por­tion of the pitch was de­com­mis­sioned, that was a no-go area and con­sid­er­ing we had a game called off last Christ­mas be­cause there was a one foot by one foot hard patch, there are two dif­fer­ent sides of the coin.

“I think if their man­ager wanted the game off, it would’ve been called off at half-time.

“But I can understand their point of view. They’ve trav­elled a long way and they don’t want to come back here on a Tues­day.

“We opened them up in the first ten or 15 min­utes, but we were blighted by the pitch. But af­ter the dust set­tles it won’t be a bad point.

“I’m not happy with the per­for­mance. In the sec­ond half we were dis­jointed and lost our way af­ter start­ing the half brightly.

“If I’m truth­ful the only team who’s go­ing to win it in the last five min­utes is New­port.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

ARM WRES­TLE: Ac­cring­ton’s Matt Crooks in ac­tion with New­port’s Scott Bar­row, left, and Scott Ben­nett, right Inset: Billy Kee scores Stan­ley’s first goal

Ac­cring­ton's Dean Win­nard in ac­tion with New­port's Joe Day

STAR MAN YAN KLUKOWSKI

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