Westley believes Exiles can beat drop
NEWPORT County manager Graham Westley believes his side’s battling draw against play-off hopefuls Colchester United can be a turning point in the battle against relegation.
Josh Sheehan returned from injury to give League Two’s bottom club a shock lead against the in-form U’s midway through the first half.
That was cancelled out by Chris Porter’s penalty ten minutes before the break, but the draw ended a run of eight successive league defeats for the home side.
Westley’s men remain bottom – six points from safety with a game in hand on Notts County.
But the improved display was hugely encouraging for the manager.
“It was a turning point for us,” he said.
“It was important to stop that rot.
“It’s not easy to do it because momentum one way or the other – winning or losing – finds its way in.
“Credit to the team; I thought they were excellent at doing the things you have to do on that pitch to try to win football matches.
“Defensively we were dogged and we created enough good chances to win the football match.”
Darren Jones was the home defender penalised as Colchester’s Kurtis Guthrie went down in the penalty box for the equaliser. Westley added: “It was a disappointing penalty to concede to give up the lead.
“For me it wasn’t clear-cut but I didn’t have a good view of it. I’d need to look at it again.
“I didn’t expect him to point to the spot and I was disappointed when he did.”
Colchester extended their unbeaten run to nine games to stay in sixth position.
And manager John McGreal was happy with the character his side showed to come back from a goal down.
“That was really tough, especially going a goal down against a team fighting for their lives,” said the U’s boss. “We said at half-time they took it to us, we knew what was coming.
“We weren’t able to defend that goal, but the pleasing aspect for me was how we reacted to going behind.
“We passed the ball and got ourselves back into it. We’re glad to go home with a point after that.
“The boys have put in a good shift, and we will move on now.
“We have been on an unbelievable run but at times you have to give the opposition credit.
“They have put us under pressure and our boys have dealt with it.”