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Graham Coughlan: We’ve thrown away three points today

09 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Newport manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Simon Galloway PA Images

Newport manager Graham Coughlan described his side’s 2-1 loss to Tranmere as ‘a game of two halves really’.

“The first half we looked good and passed the ball to each other but in the second half I don’t know what happened,” he said.

“We lost composure and the ability to pass and looked like a different team in the second half.

“Having said that, the opportunities we had, we’ve got to take them, we should be coming in at half-time two up.

“I don’t know whether it’s a mentality thing but we seem to go one-nil up in games and then all of a sudden we sit back and defend deep and that’s never been a recipe for success.

“At the end of the day that’s three points we’ve thrown away. We had a really good opportunity to get all three points today and quite simply we’ve thrown them away.

“The conditions were tough, but that’s the same for both teams. The simple fact of the matter is that the second half performance just wasn’t good enough.”

Tranmere boss Nigel Adkins believes there is now a real momentum building at the club after he saw his team come from a goal down to beat Newport 2-1 on a stormy afternoon at Prenton Park.

A Connor Jennings strike with just two minutes remaining secured all three points after Kieron Morris had cancelled out Will Evans’ opener for Newport midway through the first half.

Rovers are now unbeaten in their last six matches, including taking 11 points from a possible 15 in the league, having previously lost six on the trot.

Adkins, whose side are 21st in League Two, said: “It was a special day today and I think it was more than a win really, we’ve got a real momentum going now.

“The atmosphere here at Prenton Park was great, the engagement between the players and the fans was there for all to see.

“We played some really good football at times in really challenging conditions for both sides in the wind and the rain.

“There was some really exciting play and we had some really good chances but with Connor Jennings scoring late on I thought it was a really great day today.

“We knew they would pose a real challenge today but I think we defended really well and I told the players we’d have to enjoy being resolute.

“We’ve got a belief at the club now and at half-time we knew we could still win the game whereas before that might not have been the mindset.”

It was the away side that looked the more dangerous in the early exchanges and they should have taken the lead after 14 minutes when Omar Bogle’s left-footed strike was saved by Luke McGee only for Evans to fire wide of the open goal with his follow-up.

But just six minutes later, Evans made amends when he latched onto Aaron Wildig’s flick to lash the ball home from 10 yards out and put the visitors ahead.

Tranmere were level 10 minutes after the break when Morris fired the ball home from the edge of the area with the help of a deflection off a County defender.

After that there appeared to be only one winner as Rovers pushed forward at every opportunity in search of a second with Rob Apter firing just wide and Morris crashed a long-range effort against the crossbar.

And the deserved winner eventually came in the 88th minute when Jennings found himself in the right place to steer the ball home after Kristian Dennis’ initial effort had been blocked.

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