ALEX HOLD OUT AFTER EARLY RED
CREWE Alexandra played more than an hour with ten men so boss David Artell was thrilled at the way they came from behind to earn a battling point at home to Newport County.
Full-back Perry Ng is in Artell’s doghouse after he was dismissed just 17 minutes in by referee Eddie Ilderton for a twofooted challenge on Ben White.
However the manager praised the character of his men, with Chris Dagnall cancelling out Frank Nouble’s opener either side of Ng’s red card, in a frantic opening 18 minutes.
Artell said: “We had football challenges, physical challenges, challenges thrown at us right through the afternoon.
“We didn’t half dig in and deserved the reward that came our way as we played the majority of the game with ten men.
“We tried to play football and win the game, we weren’t shutting up shop.
“This was a similar test to the one against Mansfield and we stood up to it with flying colours.
“If we keep playing like we are, the results won’t be too far away, and all in all, I thought to a man they were terrific.
“Perry (Ng) has let himself down, he’s let the lads down and he knows that.”
Newport took the lead with 13 minutes on the clock, when Nouble pounced on a loose ball inside the six-yard box to lash the Exiles ahead after Ben Garratt had superbly denied Joss Labadie and Shawn McCoulsky.
Alex were down to ten men just past the quarter-hour mark when Ng was sent off for a lunge on White, however they levelled a minute later, when Dagnall connected with George Cooper’s cross from the right to steer the ball beyond Joe Day.
After the break, the two goalkeepers were called into action, as Garratt kept out Nouble and Rigg, while Day had to be at his best to thwart Dagnall.
Towards the conclusion of proceedings in Cheshire, Crewe withstood pressure, but neither side could manage a winner, with both remaining unbeaten.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Newport boss Mike Flynn who admitted his team had let a golden chance slip to take three points.
He said: “I’m very frustrated. I thought our set plays were off the quality they have been. I thought we switched off on certain things, so it was very frustrating, but the amount of shots and blocks we forced them to defend was too many without scoring a goal.
“I possibly got my substitutions wrong, so I’ll take a bit of the blame.
“We are unbeaten in three games on the road, so it is not all doom and gloom. “This was a game I thought we should have won, given the circumstances with the player being sent off so early on.” CREWE ALEXANDRA: (4-4-2): Garratt 6, Ng 4, Walker 7, Raynes 5, Pickering 6, Nolan 7, Wintle 6, Lowery 6, Cooper 8 (Bowery 86 N/A), Porter 7, Dagnall 7, (Ainley 76 6) Subs not used: Richards, Finney, Dale, Kirk, Sass-Davies NEWPORT COUNTY: (3-5-2): Day 6, O’Brien 7, White 6, Demetriou 6, Butler 6 (Jahraldo 90 N/A), Labadie 7, Dolan 7, Willmott 6, Rigg (Owen-Evans, 74 5), McCoulsky (Reynolds 57 6), Nouble, 7 Subs not used: Bittner, Pipe, Foulston, Cole
OFF: Perry Ng was dismissed after just 17 minutes LEVELLER: Chris Dagnall nets the equaliser for the ten men of Crewe