James Rowberry relieved after Newport’s dramatic “rollercoaster” win over Sutton

Posted Wednesday, December 08, 2021 by PA

James Rowberry relieved after Newport’s dramatic “rollercoaster” win over Sutton

Newport manager James Rowberry admitted his team’s 3-2 win had been a “rollercoaster” while Sutton head coach Matt Gray was left feeling “physically sick” by the last-gasp defeat.

In a see-saw League Two encounter on a freezing cold Rodney Parade night, Sutton went to the break 2-0 to the good despite a red card for their captain Craig Eastmond.

Two stunning goals from winger David Ajiboye either side of Eastmond’s dismissal gave the visitors a lead but Newport came roaring back.

Lewis Collins’ stunner and then a Courtney Baker-Richardson effort levelled the scores before in the third of four added minutes, Collins was felled in the box.

Newport captain Matty Dolan stepped up to win a dramatic game from the penalty spot.

Rowberry said: “I don’t know what my heart rate was during that game. We had a really disappointing first half which we dominated. They had two shots and scored two goals.

“We changed a few things around tactically at half-time and it worked.

“I’m really pleased for Lewis. I said to him at half-time he’s had an up-and-down time this season but credit to him and he should be proud of himself.

“I know what he’s capable of and to see a Newport lad on the pitch pleased me no end. I was pleased the captain stepped up at the end and scored.

“That was my ninth game as a manager and that was a rollercoaster because the goals we conceded were so disappointing.”

Ajiboye made a fool of Newport left-back Ryan Haynes for both his first-half goals as he cut in from the right wing to fire home.

In between the two strikes, Eastmond tackled Newport’s Robbie Willmott. He touched the ball but his follow through was dangerous.

Gray said of the red card: “I haven’t seen it back but he got the ball. Was he stretching and was there a follow through? Potentially, but for me it was extremely soft.”

Rowberry ruthlessly substituted Haynes at half-time and it worked as Collins fired home from 25 yards and Baker-Richardson grabbed a scruffy equaliser before Dolan won it at the death.

Gray added: “I’d have taken a point before the game, let alone how it panned out. I don’t want it to sound like sour grapes but we have so many injuries at the moment and a depleted squad.

“The game was a little bit end-to-end. We took the lead with a great goal and then went down to 10 men.

“After that, of course they are going to have a lot of possession but when you break down their goals, one was a screamer from 25 yards, one bounced in off the ground and the one in injury time makes me feel physically sick. It’s not for me, it’s for the players.

“It looked like a penalty to me and it was a bit clumsy.”




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