The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tim Lewis

SCOTT BO­DEN was New­port’s hero once again as his first-half strike was enough to see off pro­mo­tion­chas­ing Wy­combe.

The Ex­iles’ striker grabbed his sixth in six games to move New­port 11 points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion places and all-but se­cure their place in League Two for an­other sea­son.

And Ex­iles man­ager War­ren Feeney was full of praise for his match-win­ner af­ter Bo­den’s 14th goal in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son.

Feeney said: “Scott’s head was down in the week be­cause he scored an own goal but he bounced back and took his chance fan­tas­ti­cally well.

“He’s a nat­u­ral goalscorer with great move­ment and when he’s in this form we’ve al­ways got a chance.

“I’m de­lighted, it was a hard-fought win and I’ve said to the play­ers it’s about re­sults at the mo­ment not per­for­mances.

“Rod­ney Pa­rade is a hor­ri­ble place to come and we want to make it a fortress.

“There are some lovey grounds in this league but we want to make ours as hor­ri­ble for op­po­si­tion teams as we can.

“The play­ers are go­ing out on the pitch and tak­ing on board what we telling them and that’s pleas­ing.

“We’re do­ing OK but noth­ing’s been de­cided yet and I think it will go right down to the end of the sea­son.

“There’s a lot of foot­ball still to be played be­fore the end of the sea­son.”

The Ex­iles were lively early on and should have taken the lead when Ryan All­sop pushed Conor Wilkinson’s shot into the path of Alex Rod­man, but he screwed his ef­fort wide.

Luke O’Nien nearly sur­prised the home side with a thun­der­bolt of a vol­ley from 20 yards that only just went wide of Joe Day’s goal.

But it was New­port who took the lead af­ter 25 min­utes when John Ay­ina bul­lied his way past Sido Jom­bati and picked out Bo­den for a sim­ple fin­ish from close range.

The vis­i­tors started the se­cond half well but were very nearly caught on the break by a div­ing header from Yan Klukowski, how­ever, it was bril­liantly saved by Ryan All­sop.

Rowan Liburd then brought a su­perb stop out of County goal­keeper Day be­fore rat­tling the cross­bar five min­utes later with a good drive from the edge of the box.

But it proved to be the vis­i­tor’s best chance of the half as they slipped to ninth in the ta­ble, leav­ing dis­ap­pointed man­ager Gareth Ainsworth to re-think his side’s pro­mo­tion plans hav­ing also lost 1-0 to Cam­bridge on Tues­day.

Ainsworth said: “The per­for­mance was a bit bet­ter than mid­week but we con­sider our­selves to be a lot bet­ter than that.

“We’ve got to be win­ning th­ese games if we want to stay in touch with the play-offs.

“It was a tough game on a hor­ri­ble pitch and in the first half we just couldn’t get the ball down at all.

“We were a cross­bar away from get­ting an equaliser but to be hon­est we didn’t de­serve too much more from the game.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed with a few play­ers out there.”

PIC­TURES: Prime Me­dia Im­ages


rt Newpo SIX OF BEST: Scott Bo­den, left, is con­grat­u­lated on an­other goal

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