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Newport boss ‘annoyed, frustrated and disappointed’ at conceding late goal

20 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan after the Sky Bet League Two match at Rodney Parade, Newport. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Newport boss Graham Coughlan saw his celebrations of one year in charge at Rodney Parade ruined by the late drama as a Walsall goal in the 96th minute denied his side all three points in a 3-3 draw.

“I am really annoyed, frustrated and disappointed,” said the Irishman. “Score three goals at home and you fully expect to win the game.

“To concede three goals in the manner that we did, as a former centre-half I am fuming. You can’t concede goals like the way we conceded.

“You trust people, give them jerseys and chances in the team and they go out and give you those type of errors. That is not good enough at this level.”

Walsall manager Mat Sadler meanwhile praised hat-trick hero Freddie Draper after the teenager equalised for a third time in the sixth minute of stoppage time to grab a point for his team.

County midfielder Bryn Morris thought he had won it for the hosts with goals in the fourth and 67th minutes, while in between Exiles striker Will Evans claimed his 12th strike of the season, but Draper had the final say with his third leveller of the night.

Sadler was delighted for the 19-year-old Lincoln loanee and is hoping he can keep hold of him beyond January.

“He’s got bags of ability and it’s a special night for him – his first career hat-trick. I’m really pleased for him,” said Sadler.

“Whisper it, because he’s doing some fantastic things! We’ve got a great relationship with Lincoln, and we hope to see Freddie for as long as we can in a Walsall shirt.”

Newport County’s Bryn Morris celebrates scoring their side’s first goal of the game during the Sky Bet League Two match at Rodney Parade, Newport. Nick Potts/PA Wire

Morris opened the scoring with a superb strike into the top corner after slick one-touch build-up play involving Evans and Omar Bogle.

Draper levelled for the first time in the 16th minute when he converted a Tom Knowles cross, but Evans curled into the corner to give the hosts a 2-1 lead in first-half stoppage time.

Draper grabbed his second eight minutes into the second half with a cool finish after Joe Riley’s through-ball dissected the home defence.

Morris slammed the ball into the roof of the net from close range at the other end after Evans’ tempting cross.

But County could not hold on and Draper stabbed in Donervon Daniels’ centre to level for a third time at the death.

“Fair play to the lads; they showed extreme character, extreme heart, resilience, desire, and that bit of quality to give the supporters something to go home with, which they deserved,” said Sadler.

“It does feel a little bit like a win, of course it does. We’re a bit frustrated because we feel the game could have been there for us to win, but we have to be pleased with a point in the end.”

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