EXILES START TO SHOW THEY BELONG
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.”
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