NEWPORT, WALES - AUGUST 29: Graham Coughlan, Manager of Newport County, applauds the fans prior to kick-off ahead of the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Newport County and Brentford at Rodney Parade on August 29, 2023 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)

Newport County Shock Win Proves My Point, Says Graham Coughlan


By David Williams

Newport County manager Graham Coughlan has ordered his team to become more consistent and build on their best result of the season.

County earned high praise from their boss after stunning League Two leader Stockport County, 2-1, at Rodney Parade to lift themselves into mid-table.

Not only was it Newport’s first win in four games, but it denied Stockport the chance to set a new record in the fourth tier of 13 successive victories.

Coughlan, though, was keen to use the performance as an illustration of why expectations for his team should be so much higher.

“It’s a great victory… but we want to be a consistent team, we don’t want to be a team that delivers once or twice a month…. let’s string a few together and I might crack a smile,” said Coughlan.

“I’m frustrated because I’m a centre-half and I like clean sheets… but I thought overall our performance was really good.

“There’s not a lot of teams in the league can live with Stockport, let alone match them and a lot of credit must go to them for what they’ve done.”

“You can probably see why I get annoyed, why I get angry… because those lads are capable of that, and I know they’re capable of that, and it’s just getting that consistency week-in week-out, keeping those standards.

Bryn Morris opened the scoring for Newport on the stroke of half-time, before Shane McLoughlin made it 2-0 just past the hour.

Issac Olaofe pulled a goal back for Stockport in the sixth minute of added time, but Newport held out to move up to 16th in the table, seven points adrift of the play-off places with still over half the season remaining.

A 13th win on the bounce would have broken the record for consecutive victories in the fourth tier set by Luton Town in 2002.

“It’s disappointing; we got from the game what we deserved to get from the game because we weren’t good enough and we didn’t compete how I’d expect us to compete,” said Stockport manager Dave Challinor.

“Credit to Newport, they deserved to win, but it was no shock. The players knew what to expect, they just didn’t cope with it. Technically we were terrible.”

Challinor rejected the suggestion that his players had been affected by pre-match talk of the record.

“There was no pressure,” he said. “Records are great but, ultimately, they mean nothing.

“If we’d won 15 in a row and not got promoted that record is irrelevant. Who’s bothered? The fans aren’t, I’m not and the players’ aren’t.

“All the 12 wins have done is earn us 36 points. It’s about getting to 90 points as quickly as possible – if we get somewhere near that, we’ve got a chance.”

Challinor felt his side should have had a penalty for a foul on Olaofe at 1-0, but he refused to blame referee Darren Drysdale for the defeat.

“We should have had a penalty – the foul on ‘Tanto’ was a nailed-on penalty,” added the Hatters boss. “If they’re honest about what they’ve seen, we’ll get an apology over that one, but I don’t think we deserved anything from the game.

“It would have given us a lifeline and could have changed the momentum, but we didn’t get the decision and we move on.”



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