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Newport passed important test of character in Sutton comeback – Graham Coughlan

26 Aug 2023 2 minute read
Newport County manager Graham Coughlan. Photo Mike Egerton PA Images

Newport manager Graham Coughlan believes his side passed an important test of character as they fought back from a goal down to beat Sutton 3-1 at Rodney Parade with three goals in the final 20 minutes.

The visitors struck first in the 53rd minute when Omari Patrick was in the right place to fire low under Nick Townsend’s dive, while Sutton defender Joe Kizzi headed into his own net from Adam Lewis’ cross to level the match after 70 minutes.

Harry Charsley headed in the Exiles’ second with 13 minutes remaining and Will Evans scored his seventh goal of the season in all competitions with another header three minutes from the end.

“I probably would have settled for a draw if you’d offered me that at 1-0 down,” admitted Coughlan afterwards.

“But we gave it a go. We put three strikers on the pitch in Seb (Palmer-Houlden), Omar (Bogle) and Will and we always create chances.

“When we get going and get into a rhythm, we are a dangerous opponent.

“We were brave, we opened up a little bit and we got back into the game.

“It wasn’t a great game. It was scrappy, it was a fight – typical League Two.

“It was a different test, a test of our character and we passed it. I’m really pleased with the lads.”


Sutton boss Matt Gray admitted he was left “shell-shocked” by his side’s collapse to a fourth-successive defeat that leaves them second-bottom.

“For 70 minutes I was very pleased,” he said. “Defensively we looked strong, set-pieces we looked a threat, we were strong in both boxes, there were some good passages of play, the wide players looked lively. I was really pleased.

“We got the first goal and I felt comfortable, to be honest.

“Suddenly we concede an own goal and the last 20 minutes was a shadow of the first 70.

“It’s hard to look on the positives after conceding three really poor goals at the end and I’m a little bit shell-shocked that we’ve lost the game.”

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