Graham Coughlan |

Manager Graham Coughlan insisted his side delivered the response he was looking for after sealing a 1-0 victory against Gillingham on Saturday afternoon.

The Exiles’ seven-game unbeaten run ended in Tuesday’s midweek defeat to Notts County, but Will Evans’ second-half strike saw them return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two. 

“It’s a great three points, began” Coughlan.

“It was vital that we responded to Tuesday night’s game. We didn’t do ourselves justice in midweek, we were poor all-round and lacked energy. One thing I must say is the crowd. I was shouting at them for a little bit of energy in the last 10 to 15 minutes and they certainly gave us that and got us over the end. 

“The crowd cheered every tackle, started beating the drum and started singing their songs. That really energised us and gave us that little bit more that we needed towards the end. All in all, I have to praise the fans for what they did for us in the last 10 or 15 minutes today. 

“I can understand why the game was so dead and flat in the first half. It seems to be a trend across League One and League Two when you ask boys to play 43 games a season - Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday Saturday. 

“It’s tough for our players and a big ask. I said to them at half-time if it’s flat and a little bit dour it’s fine. It was a typical League Two game and I’ve played in hundreds of them myself. I just said make sure we come out with something and we did with a goal and three points. 

“Players, staff and fans, it was a proper group effort from us today. It was just a huge, huge win.”

Will Evans netted his 19th league goal of the campaign in Sky Bet League Two and aims to chasse down previous records of Dom Telford and John Aldridge by scoring 20 goals in a league season. 

And despite his magnificent goalscoring form this season, Coughlan admitted his forward adds more than just goals to his team. 

“Will has been all right for us hasn’t he, I just need him to get the breakfast club sorted,” he laughed. 

“He’s ok putting goals in the back of the net but he can’t put breakfast on the table properly. 

“Jokes aside he’s been brilliant for us. He’s a great lad and I love the bones of him. We have many a fight and many a battle but he’s really stepped up to the plate, he’s gone out and got goals for us. His work rate is terrific and so is his attitude and commitment. 

“He’s going to get stronger and stronger, particularly at this club.”

During his post-match press conference, Coughlan also confirmed that captain Ryan Delaney will miss the rest of the season through a knee injury. 

On his injury news, the Exiles boss said: “We had a little bit of news about Ryan and it’s not good. 

“It looks like now, in this moment, his season is over. It’s a massive blow and I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve it.”