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Graham Coughlan toasts Farquharson as Newport down struggling Gills

19 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Mike Egerton PA Images

New Newport manager Graham Coughlan celebrated his first month in the job with the best performance of his tenure so far as the Exiles beat struggling Gillingham.

Defender Priestley Farquharson scored from two set-pieces either side of half-time to seal the win.

The centre-back headed in from an Aaron Lewis corner two minutes before the break and then claimed the final touch from a Mickey Demetriou long throw to seal the three points 11 minutes after the restart.

Victory moved Newport six points clear of the relegation zone, while the visitors dropped into the bottom two.

“I thought we thoroughly deserved it,” said Coughlan, who turned 48 on Friday, after the final whistle.

“We repelled everything that they threw at us, and we got our head on everything that came into the box. We put our bodies on the line.

“I thought it was a real manful, professional performance from the lads.”

Different class

Coughlan also praised match-winner Farquharson, who had never previously scored a goal in professional football.

“Priestley has been different class for us,” he said. “He’s trying to claim the second one as well so he’s getting a little bit carried away with himself! But I thought he was a man-mountain today.

“And not just today, since I’ve come through the door. It’s a pleasure working with him and if he keeps churning out performances like he has been, week in and week out, he’ll go on to bigger and better things.”


Under-pressure Gillingham manager Neil Harris insisted he will not resign despite seeing his side slip into the drop zone.

Harris was in charge when the Gills were relegated from League One last season, and they have won just twice in 18 games so far this season to slump to 23rd in the League Two table – just a point above bottom club Hartlepool.

“I feel like the players let me down for 20 minutes, I’ve got to be honest,” said Harris, who saw his side hit the woodwork twice in the first half through Shaun Williams and Max Ehmer.

“Everything we talked about and prepared for, the players didn’t do.

“We got a foothold in the game and should have been ahead and then we didn’t defend a simple set-play.

“We’ve had three really good chances and didn’t score, they’ve had two good chances and scored both.

“I’m fed up with it. It’s the same pretty much every week at the minute.”

Asked if he would resign, Harris said: “I’m fed up with the situation and with the standards at the football club, but I enjoy the challenge.

“Perversely, I do enjoy my job. So, am I prepared to walk away? No.”

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