FLYNN REVIVAL GATHERS PACE
NEWPORT County’s survival aspirations remain firmly on track, whilst Exeter City’s play-off prospects are fast falling apart despite the Exiles’ late arrival at St James Park.
Kick off was delayed by 45 minutes after the Newport team coach got stuck in traffic on the motorway.
But it was the County who came away with three points as a 53rd minute strike from Tom Owen-Evans proved to be the difference – much to the delight of manager Michael Flynn, who has overseen four wins from seven games since replacing Graham Westley.
“There is nothing that you can do about the traffic, we would have liked to have got here early but there is nothing we could do,” said Flynn.
“We’ve just got to take it on the chin, we left in plenty of time as we always do, but they’ve responded in the right way.
“Going and beating a team in the play-offs at their own ground and in the manner that we did it, I thought it was the best performance since I’ve been here.
“We are three points behind Hartlepool now and four behind Cheltenham so we are going to keep working and keep believing we can do it.”
When play eventually did get underway, the Grecians carved out the game’s first chance on 12 minutes as Ryan Harley had a shot blocked by Newport’s former Exeter defender Scot Bennett.
A minute later, the Exiles went close as Dan Butler’s powerful left-footed drive was parried behind by City keeper Christy Pym.
Leading scorer David Wheeler was the Grecians’ greatest attacking threat as he twice forced smart saves from Newport keeper Joe Day midway through the first half.
Eight minutes into the second half, Newport took the lead when Owen-Evans struck with a left -ooted 25yard screamer.
The Grecians threatened an equaliser on 68 minutes when substitute Ollie Watkins forced a smart save from Day.
In injury time, Exeter defender Troy Brown also went close with a headed effort, which drew a save from Day, as the Grecians slipped to defeat.
However, manager Paul Tisdale refused to blame the late kick-off as an excuse.
“It wasn’t an ideal situation but I wouldn’t say that it was a reason why we lost the game today,” said Tisdale.
“We still got ourselves into some good attacking positions but didn’t take advantage. We will have these moments again and we have to be better than we were today.
“We missed out on three points today that we dearly needed. Every week I’m asked the same question and the answer is the same ‘it’s irrelevant where we are now’, we need to be in the positive position at the end of the season. We’ve got five more games to go now.”
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