Newport boss Graham Coughlan disappointed as his side lose to on-form Stockport
New Newport boss Graham Coughlan tasted defeat for the first time as the Exiles lost 2-1 at home to Stockport County.
The reverse leaves County in 19th place in League Two, just four points above the drop zone.
The visitors ran out deserved winners as they came from behind to secure their fifth win in the last seven games.
Despite going in a goal down when Aaron Lewis poked in the opener for Newport on the stroke of half-time after good work from Omar Bogle, Stockport turned the match around after the break with Chris Hussey levelling on 54 minutes with a free-kick that looked to be a cross from the right flank but somehow beat Exiles goalkeeper Joe Day.
And striker Paddy Madden, October’s player of the month, netted the winner 16 minutes from time as he converted a Macauley Southam-Hales cross from close range.
Stockport goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe pulled off a fine save to deny Bogle an equaliser and Madden saw a header tipped onto the bar by Day at the other end in an end-to-end climax.
“I didn’t think that we played great, and we looked tired. A tough month caught up with us and we weren’t at our fluent best,” said Coughan.
“We didn’t have the energy levels that we would expect and normally have but in fairness the lads gave their all even though they were running in treacle at times.
“They ran as hard as they could and nobody will ever question their work rate, attitude and commitment, there were just two moments that we gifted to Stockport.
“You can’t be beaten like that from a free-kick and Joe Day is a little bit gutted but he will live and learn.”
The Hatters were 19th with only nine points from their first 11 games at the start of last month but are now up to 12th and only five points off the top seven after their win.
“I thought we made life difficult for ourselves early on, but we settled down and had good control and we certainly didn’t deserve to be behind at the break,” said manager Dave Challinor.
“But we didn’t panic, we remained composed and kept doing the things we thought could get us joy.
“We scored two good goals and could have scored more. I thought we managed the game really well at the end.
“It’s the first time this season we’ve conceded first and come from behind to win, so that’s a real positive.
“It was a good test – the first real bit of adversity we’ve had in this little run – and they’ve come through it with flying colours.”
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