Newport’s character catches the eye of boss James Rowberry

Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2022 by PA

Newport’s character catches the eye of boss James Rowberry

Newport manager James Rowberry praised the character of his side after they held Sky Bet League Two leaders Forest Green to a 1-1 draw.

Finn Azaz struck early for the Exiles but Jack Aitchison’s second-half goal ensured the visitors left Rodney Parade with a point.

Newport have now moved into the League Two play-off places, while Forest Green are 10 points clear at the top.

“I thought we created some really good chances tonight,” said Rowberry.

“In transition we were excellent but we just missed that final little bit in the final third with the chances we had. I am absolutely delighted with the resilience and character of my players.

“The way they operate is excellent. That was one of my proudest moments as Newport manager because they kept going and going.

“It was a great start. It just fitted the atmosphere, with everything that was set up for us, with everything the chairman and the board did.

“They had a great start to the second half when we lost it in transition, but we showed what we are about with our character.”

Newport opened the scoring after a mere two minutes when Robert Street’s cross found Azaz in the box. The striker calmly controlled the ball before launching a left-footed shot which found the back if the net.

The hosts came close to doubling their lead but were denied by visiting goalkeeper Luke McGee, who blocked a fierce shot from Azaz with the striker clean through on goal.

McGee came to Forest Green’s rescue again when Azaz played in Dom Telford, only to be denied by the visiting keeper’s boot.

Jack Aitchison equalised in the 55th minute after getting worked into the box by Nicky Cadden. His left-footed shot beat goakeeper Nick Townsend to find the bottom left corner.

Tempers flared late on when Newport’s James Clarke got sent off for dragging down Jamille Matt.

Forest Green manager Rob Edwards insisted his side would have been worthier of the three points.

“I don’t think it was a game of two halves,” said Edwards. “For the last 25 minutes of the first half I thought we were the dominant team.

“I was really disappointed with the start, but I’m really proud of the players with how they stayed calm. It was a ferocious atmosphere, and they were well up for it.

“This is what we’ve been dealing with for a long time. We are up there to be shot at.

“People really give it everything, and they really did. We stood up to it really well.

“We were completely dominant in the second half, and if any team was going to get the win it was us.”




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