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Newport boss bemoans spectacle in side’s draw with Crewe and blames fatigue

29 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Newport manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Simon Galloway PA Images

Newport manager Graham Coughlan admitted his side’s 1-1 home draw with Crewe was not a great spectacle and blamed fatigue caused by the frantic festive fixture list.

“I would have liked three points, but I’m not 100 per cent sure we would have deserved it,” said the Irishman.

“It was two tired teams who lacked that little bit of energy and intensity – that’s a direct consequence of the number of games both sides have played over the Christmas period.

“We’ve got another one on Monday as well. It’s a tough period and it’s those who can dig deep and summon up that bit of energy from deep down who might come out on top.

“It wasn’t a great game, to be honest with you, and I think both teams looked flat.

“I think a draw was a fair result. I’m not sure either team did enough to win the game and both teams will take the point and move on.”

Crewe manager Lee Bell saw his depleted side slip out of the League Two play-off places but he was full of praise for their character and resilience at Rodney Parade.

Bell’s men drop to eighth in the table after a sixth game without a win in the league, but he was pleased to hang on for a draw after defender Zac Williams hobbled off with an ankle injury late on and could not be replaced as they had used all three substitution windows.

“I’m delighted to get a point in the end,” said Bell.

“To go down to 10 men and withstand everything they threw at us – it just shows the character of the players.

“It’s a group that’s sticking together.”

The visitors were 1-0 up three minutes after the break when Exiles defender Matt Baker and goalkeeper Nick Townsend got in a muddle trying to clear Courtney Baker-Richardson’s cross and Chris Long was on hand to tap in from close range.

But County were level on 64 minutes when substitutes James Waite and Matty Bondswell combined with Shane McLoughlan a minute after coming on to somehow work the ball to Will Evans, who slammed in his 17th goal of the season in all competitions.

“We just need that bit of luck,” added Bell. “I feel like I’ve done something wrong somewhere for this type of thing to be happening – injuries, illnesses and the poor goals we’re conceding.

“When teams cut you open you can accept it, but that was another avoidable goal.

“I thought for large parts of the game we were excellent. When we settled down, we produced some good football and I thought we’d go on to win the game – it was a scruffy goal to give away.”

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