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REACTION | Wayne Hatswell: "We had a tough week but we got a reaction"

20 September 2021

Assistant manager Wayne Hatswell says Newport County AFC delivered the response he was looking for after their victory over Walsall.

The Exiles, who were without a win in their last six games in all competitions, got back on track with a 2-1 win against the Saddlers at Rodney Parade.

Goals from County defender Mickey Demetriou and Walsall forward Tyrese Shade, either side of Matty Dolan’s penalty miss on the stroke of half time, ensured both teams headed for the tunnel level.

And it looked as though they were both going to earn a share of the spoils, but former Walsall skipper James Clarke headed home the winner with three minutes left on the clock to ensure County picked up their first home league win of the campaign.

“We had a bit of a tough week and after such a run of games we felt that we needed to get back to winning ways and the players put in an unbelievable shift,” said Hatswell.

“We got a reaction, which is what we wanted, for a good three points against a good side. Some of the players that came in have been waiting for their chance and what we were looking for was that reaction.

“We played on the front foot, we played out from the back and built through midfield. We did that brilliantly.

“The only thing that gave Walsall a lift was the penalty and they scored with the only shot they had to feel that it was game on.

“Credit to us in the second half, we dug in and it was a great ball from Cameron for the goal and a great header.

“I feared it was going to be one of those games but Ollie Cooper did so well to win a throw and they thought it was coming in long but we played it short and got Clarkey at the back post.”

It was a much-improved display after County’s disappointing 1-0 defeat against Northampton Town on Tuesday - a game that saw them manage a solitary effort on target and fail to ask any real questions of the Cobblers’ defence.

The Exiles enjoyed the fourth-best home record in the league last season - picking up 44 points and losing just five of 23 fixtures - and Hatswell says the manner of the way they performed against Walsall showed they can make Rodney Parade a fortress again this term.

“We will get better and better at home,” said Hatswell. 

“We’ve had a little bit of a lull in midweek but we wanted to put that to bed by winning today and having a go.

“We did that really well with building through phases, going through midfield, the front two working hard, getting shots in and putting crosses with our wing-backs working hard.

“I thought we did that really well and the first 30 minutes was some of the best football that I have seen us play for a while.”


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