New boss Feeney gets off to a flyer
WARREN FEENEY enjoyed the ideal start as Newport County boss, praising his team’s desire and determination as they sealed a vital victory at York City.
John Sheridan’s acrimonious departure for League One Oldham Athletic on Wednesday was not the ideal preparation for a huge relegation battle for the Welsh club.
But his replacement galvanised the squad and they moved six points clear of the bottom two thanks to a first-half goal from teenaged striker Aaron Collins, some dogged defending and some inspired goalkeeping.
“I always said it wasn’t going to be pretty,” said former Northern Ireland forward Feeney, who stepped up from being Sheridan’s assistant.“It was a big game for them as well because they could have pulled us right back into it.
“I’m not saying we’re out of it but they would have got close to us with a win. I’d have taken a point beforehand – as long as we didn’t get beat.
“What a performance. The boys showed desire and determination.
“I want players who are going to stand up for each other and the boys deserved that for the character they showed. I’m delighted to get the first three points.”
After Collins fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area on eight minutes and Medy Elito hit a post soon after, it was the hosts who dominated proceedings.
Defender Dave Winfield was causing havoc in the visitors’ penalty area, winning header after header.The closest he came to scoring was when Scott Boden headed off the line, while Danny Galbraith and Vadaine Oliver were both denied by Mitchell Beeney in the Newport goal either side of half-time.
The 20-year-old, on loan from Chelsea, only met his team-mates a few hours before kick-off but he and Collins were the heroes.
York remain rooted to the bottom of the League but boss Jackie McNamara believes his side should have won.
“It is frustrating because we were the better side,” he said.“The first 10 minutes has cost us the game. Against teams like that it’s important that we get the first goal.
“But I do feel that if we’d got the equaliser in the first half we would have gone on to win the game.
“They got a lift because it was still 1-0 at half-time but there’s a lot of things that we can do better to cause them problems.
“We were quite naïve at times with our decision making. And we need more confidence and belief.There’s a little bit of negativity there but that goes with the position we’re in at the moment.”
PLYMOUTH boss Derek Adams watched his tabletopping side make it five wins from their last six games and beamed: “You have to be happy with that progress.”
Goals from Carl McHugh, Gregg Wylde and Craig Tanner ensured the Pilgrims bounced back from Tuesday night’s defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Northampton.
Plymouth are top of the pile by virtue of their goal difference and have opened up an 11-point gap on fourth-placed Portsmouth.
And while Adams stopped short of talking about promotion chances, he clearly feels they are on course for a return to League One.
“We couldn’t be happier with the way things are going,” he said.“We have won 17 from 26 games and have 55 points on the board. You have to happy with that progress. We know there is a gap between us and fourth place and we have to keep going.
“We were excellent in the first half and could have been five or six ahead at half-time. But we took our goals really well and created lots of opportunities.
“The goals we conceded were poor from our point of view and our back four needed to do better.”
Plymouth got off to a dream start when with a third-minute corner Jake Jervis picked out McHugh at the near post and he bundled a header past Chris Day.
HAVE THAT: Plymouth’s Craig Tanner scores the winning goal
STAR MAN AARON COLLINS