New boss Feeney gets off to a flyer

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Sellers By Matt Bam­sey

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.

PIC­TURES: Tony Car­ney

HAVE THAT: Ply­mouth’s Craig Tan­ner scores the win­ning goal

STAR MAN AARON COLLINS

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