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Graham Coughlan toast welcome win for Newport over promotion chasing Swindon

04 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Mike Egerton PA Images

County boss Graham Coughlan acknowledged the sending off of Swindon’s Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s was harsh but was delighted to secure three points against the promotion chasing visitors.

The striker was shown a straight red card after quarter of an hour for shoving Cameron Norman in the face after a touchline scuffle.

Norman was the man to finally break the deadlock for the home side with a header at the far post from Aaron Lewis’s cross on 54 minutes.

Substitute Calum Kavanagh doubled the lead when he tapped in for a debut goal 12 minutes from the end.

And, despite Swindon sub Tomi Adeloye pulling a goal back in stoppage time, Newport held on for a first win since December 2.

“I personally wouldn’t have sent the lad off for that,” said Coughlan. “The game has gone when you are sending people off for that.

“He didn’t chuck a punch. Yes, he raised his hands and pushed him but I’m not sure he should have been sent off.”

Coughlan now hopes his side can start to look up the table.

“The win was coming,” he added. “We have been very good over my tenure and the boys are capable of big performances, it’s just about continuity and consistency.

“I just hope that the players don’t rest on their laurels and think they have cracked it because football can slap you between the chops. I want them to build on it.”

New Swindon manager Jody Morris was critical of referee Neil Hair following the straight red.


“Is it a sending off? I’m not sure it is,” said the former Chelsea midfielder. “He’s pushed the lad back and there’s a little bit of nothingness about it. The lad’s holding his face, but he didn’t touch his face.

“And there were two, maybe three penalties we could have had at 0-0.

“Rushian apologised to the lads at half-time and you don’t want people making silly decisions and silly mistakes.

“But if someone is going down holding their face when they’ve been pushed in the chest warrants a red card, then there will be quite a few every weekend.”

“We’re obviously disappointed,” added Morris. “When you go down to 10 men with 75 minutes to go, your game plan goes out of the window and you’ve got to see how the players react.

“It’s never easy being a man down, but I was disappointed with the way we used the ball. We made far too many mistakes, and a little bit of bravery went out of the team.”

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