Manager's thoughts on defeat at Rodney Parade
Rovers boss John Ward was disappointed with his side’s performance at Newport this afternoon and admitted that his charges didn’t deserve to take anything from the game.
The home side scored the only goal of the game, from the penalty spot, in the 42nd minute, when Andy Sandell converted the spot kick after Tom Parkes was adjudged to have fouled Christian Jolley.
It wasn’t clear, from the stands, whether it was a penalty or not, but Sandell sent Mildenhall the wrong way with an almost perfect penalty and it was no more than Newport deserved as they created a number of first half chances.
As for the penalty, the manager said: “I thought it was a good challenge, and that Tom won the ball.
"I might be biased, but I think I’m fair and I didn’t think it was penalty.”
He wasn’t surprised with the pace and tempo of the game, though.
“It was exactly what we expected. It was a local derby and you have to mix and match your play accordingly and we didn’t do that.”
Rovers rarely threatened in the first half, and although their play did improve after the break, home goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley was seldom in any bother.
“We did get into the Newport half a little bit more in the second half and although we made their keeper work a little bit more, we didn’t really test him.”
If there was a positive to be taken from the game then it was the return to competitive action of Ryan Brunt, who replaced John-Joe O’Toole with 18 minutes of the game remaining.
“It was good to see Ryan back in the squad. We need him and his strength in the side and he will be an asset for us as the season progresses.
“I only told him at lunch time that he was going to be involved. We weren’t sure if we should get him on but decided he could do 20 minutes or so.”
When Rovers were awarded a corner deep into stoppage time, goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall raced into the Newport penalty area. He did manage to get a touch on the ball as it came into the box, but that was all.
“He said he got his studs on it but it wasn’t enough and to be honest that’s the story of our afternoon.”
The manager was disappointed not only for himself, but the 1,000 or so Rovers supporters who made the short trip across the Severn Bridge.
“I really wanted a better performance for our supporters, who were sat out in the rain. They wanted to see something a little bit more exciting and a little bit more energetic from our lads, but we didn’t produce a good enough performance for them.
“They deserved better than that and we have to make sure we do better for them next Saturday.”