Newport come from behind to share the spoils at struggling Rochdale
Newport earned a battling point at struggling Rochdale as manager Graham Coughlan watched from the sidelines after being sent off last weekend.
The hosts collected a second successive point but remain in the relegation zone after an entertaining match in which they took a first-half lead only to be pegged back early in the second half.
Exiles assistant boss Joe Dunne said: “Both teams were trying to win the game and I thought overall we deserved the goal. We were disappointed with the Rochdale goal, we felt there was a handball which allowed their player to gain better control of the ball. It’s one of those decisions that seem to be going against us at the minute.
“We tried to keep our calm in the dugout today but there were one or two decisions we felt aggrieved about – and I’m sure Rochdale felt the same about the one they had disallowed.
“We felt we should have had a penalty in the first half and, having looked back on it, they are ones that are usually given. So, we feel there are decisions going against us right now but they say over the course of a season they even themselves out, so we look forward to that.”
Devante Rodney fired Dale ahead in the 34th minute after cutting in from the left.
Adam Lewis levelled in the 46th minute when his free-kick from wide on the right ran through a pack of players and beyond goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell.
Dale were then denied a late winner when Ian Henderson’s header was deemed offside.
Rochdale boss Jim Bentley insisted no one at the club is pressing the panic button after the stalemate.
“It was an eventful game, both sides went after each other at different stages in the game and both wanted to try and win it,” said Bentley.
“I thought we were excellent from the start but they came back into it and asked a couple of questions of our goalkeeper.
“Devante then scored a good goal and you’re thinking ‘great, that’s a good start,’ but you want to get back on the front foot and try to make it two and we had opportunities.
“The biggest fell to Liam Kelly with what looked an open goal – he’s our most creative player and he puts it wide – that’s the inconsistency we have at the minute, that goes in and it gives us a cushion and gives everyone’s spirit a lift.
“There were loads of positives to be taken from the game. It’s not all doom and gloom and we are not in a panic – we’re not in a healthy position, so there has to be concern, but there’s no panic at the minute. We’ve 22 games to play but we’ve got to make sure we’re on the right side of those key moments in games.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.