Scot Bennett believes Newport County AFC’s second half performance warranted all three points at Rodney Parade but admitted that any draw against the League Two leaders Exeter City needs to be considered as a good point.
The Exiles fell behind in the 15th minute as Exeter capitalised on a sustained period of possession when Lee Martin tapped home from a Randell Williams corner kick.
County responded well and found their equaliser on 64 minutes. Josh Sheehan was upended inside the area and Tristan Abrahams made no mistake with the penalty when converting his first league goal for the Exiles.
Here, read everything Bennett exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the contest…
On the draw with league leaders Exeter City…
"I think we started the game well, first five or ten minutes we looked sharp.
"But we switched off for 10/15 minutes and allowed Exeter to get into the game and they went and got their goal in that time as well which was a sloppy goal to give away.
"I thought we outplayed them second half and it was a shame that we didn’t take more of the chances we created.
"Maybe it is a little bit [a case of two points dropped] just because of the chances we created second half and they didn’t really create much other than Kingy’s little Cruyff turn at the end. Exeter are a good side so it’s a good point.
"On our day, we fancy ourselves against anyone so it’s just a shame that we switched off for the 10/15 minutes in the first half because without that and the sloppy goal, I think we would have got the three points."
On implementing a three at the back formation for the first time in League Two this season…
"We worked on it a little bit on Friday [three at the back], Hats came in and that’s what we decided we’d go for.
"They play quite wide with their two strikers and he wanted me to get on the ball and step in as much as I could, break up the play in-front of O’B and Kyle.
"I think it worked quite well, I got on the ball quite a bit, broke up a lot of play and then O’B and Kyle put their bodies on the line to head balls away and they did what they had to do.
"It was a good tactic I thought, we outplayed them second half and it was just a shame that we couldn’t take all three points. It’s always nice [to win the man of the match award] but I’d have taken the win over it."
On only conceding six goals in 10 League Two matches…
"In the summer, we looked to work on our defence. Our defensive capabilities weren’t always at their best last season, we conceded a lot of goals.
"It’s something we worked on and you can see the benefits this season. It’s not always been the same partnerships but whoever has played has put their bodies on the line and dug deep.
"We’re one of the meanest defences in League Two and that’s an accolade we’re all really proud of."
On travelling to Swindon Town next weekend…
"We’ve had some tough games recently so it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ve played well and picked up some points in those games, it’s not as many as we would have liked but it’s a great start to the season for us.
"We’ve got to build on the positives and I’m sure we’ll pick up lots more points.
"Swindon have had a really good start; the manager has got them playing some really nice football, so we’ll go there confident.
"We’ll work on it throughout the week and come up with a plan and strategy to win the game. Hopefully it’ll be enough to get back to winning ways and get the three points."