Being left frustrated at not securing all three points against an in-form Coventry City side shows Newport County AFC are a stern test to the best sides in the division, according to Exiles defender Mickey Demetriou.
The Sky Blues came to Rodney Parade having gone unbeaten from their previous six league games - but were staring defeat in the face following Demetriou’s first-half opener.
It was the product of a really smart intricate passage of play by County, Paul Hayes's pass into Robbie Willmott out on the left-side setting the attack in motion. The midfielder’s cross was perfectly delivered into Padraig Amond, who flicked a smart back-heel into the path of an onrushing Demetriou ten yards out to score in successive games for the first time this season.
County continued to press for a second goal during the second-half that may have killed off the contest in South Wales, Padraig Amond mightily unlucky to be denied at point-blank range by an unbelievable save from away goalkeeper Lee Burge.
But the Sky Blues still have their sights set on finishing in the League 2 automatic promotion places come the end of the season and they duly found their equaliser with ten minutes remaining.
Ben White misjudged a long-ball which allowed Coventry substitute Kyel Reid to run clear and into the area, chipping a delightful lobbed pass to the far post for another substitute in Max Biamou to smash home from all of six yards.
Post-match, Demetriou spoke exclusively to iFollow Exiles about that draw with Coventry, how the side need to keep their play-off hopes alive by securing a win against Chesterfield on Monday as-well as why he is working so hard to raise much needed funds for the Royal Gwent Hospital Paediatric Ward.
On the draw with play-off occupying Coventry City…
“I think we win the game if Podge’s header goes in to make it 2-0. I can’t remember what minute it was, but I think it would have given us a lot more confidence for the rest of the game.
“We would have then hopefully kept a clean-sheet as-well, but it would have given us that cushion had it gone in as-well.
“After last weekend, the performance was the most important thing today - to try and give us a kick-on for the run-in. The most important thing was to play well, and we nearly took three points off a very good side.
“I still think it’s two points dropped with the way that they didn’t really have too many chances in the game.
“If they had created five or six chances and then finally put one away then that’s a completely different story. But it was us who created those chances, like you say they made a good save from Podge’s header and another was cleared off the line.
“Matty [Dolan] saw a shot go inches past the post so we created enough chances to win the game. Unfortunately, we didn’t.”
On his second goal in as many games…
“A few people will probably say what are you doing up there!
“I took a gamble and luckily it paid off. It came from a long throw-in and I will always look to go up from a long throw-in. I think something in my head said stay up in the box, it might come back in, and thankfully it did.
“And it was a good move for the goal as-well and we know we can do that. We are a good side and we need to not forget that.
“Obviously we can do both sides of the game, the beautiful game of passing the ball around, but we know how to play ugly as-well.
“Robbie put a good ball in, Podge tried to flick it on and fortunately it fell to me and I was able to put it away.”
On trying to end the season in as best a position as possible…
“We’ve got seven games left and last year, we won five out of those final seven games.
“Hopefully that will happen again or maybe we even win more than five, we will certainly be trying to make that happen again, and that will start on Monday.
“We have to go and hopefully put in a performance like we did here against Chesterfield and take the three points.
“I don’t think we can afford to drop any more points. I think we realistically need to at-least win six of them to stand a chance because we are still relying on other teams to drop points.
“We’ll go one game at a time like we always do and hopefully the results go our way. If they don’t then we still have to put in good performances until the end of the season to allow us to start well again in the season after.
“But with seven games left, hopefully we can get as many points as possible on the board.”
On travelling to Derbyshire on Easter Monday to face a struggling Chesterfield side…
“It’s going to be a massive game because they are in a position that we were in last year. They need to pick up as many points as they can and hopefully on Monday they don’t.
“We need to put in another good performance for the fans that are travelling up and hopefully we can take three points.
“Chesterfield were a good side back then at Rodney Parade [in August], had just come down into League 2.
“It was a day after my little boy was born so I have good memories of that day and the week leading into it. And Frank put a brilliant performance in by scoring a hat-trick and stuff like that.
“We know we can beat them again and we just need to put that same level of performance in to hopefully get us the three points.”
On deciding to raffle off his match worn shirt from the Emirates FA Cup tie with Spurs in order to raise money for the Royal Gwent Hospital Paediatric Ward…
“I want to do something for the kids at the hospital. Obviously, it’s not nice when they have to be in there and when we went at Christmas, I had a look around their games room and they didn’t really have much.
“And for me, now with a little boy, it means a bit more. Thankfully, at the moment he’s all nice and healthy and hopefully I’ll never have to go in there with him.
“To raffle the shirt off which I wore against Spurs and a signed ball as-well will hopefully raise a lot of money and I can then go in with a lot more toys and a few games consoles to hopefully make their time in there that little bit better.
“It’s obviously hard for the parents as-well, but if the kids can go in there and enjoy themselves whilst they’re in there as much as they can then that’s great.
“I just want to give something back to them which is something I’m fortunate enough to be able to do.”