22 January 2022

James Rowberry admits he’s annoyed by Newport’s critics after win at Scunthorpe

22 January 2022

Newport boss James Rowberry believes his side are silencing their critics as they remained on the coat-tails of the League Two promotion picture with a 1-0 success at relegation-threatened Scunthorpe

Courtney Baker-Richardson’s 56th-minute goal ultimately secured the Exiles all three points, though the visitors were dominant throughout and would have won by a much bigger margin but for the heroics of home goalkeeper Rory Watson.

“People have questioned our robustness and our industry of late, which has really annoyed me, and it’s really annoyed the group,” Rowberry said.

“We’ve used that as motivation, because we’re clear about what we try to do and how we want to play, but it’s that old saying that you have to earn the right to play.

“I’m delighted first of all that we’ve secured back-to-back wins, and we showed great character to do what we needed to do.

“Just because Scunthorpe are 23rd in the league, you can’t think you can just turn up and turn them over, but we had 25 shots at goal and defended terrifically.

“We have to be more cut throat, for sure, because we created enough chances to have been 3-0 up at half-time.

“They had three big centre-halves in the box and we kept putting aerial balls in there when we needed to get in pull backs and low crosses when we got to the byline.

“Yet for all our good play, our goal has come from a set play.”

Watson’s brilliance kept out Jake Cain and Dom Telford as Newport dominated during the first half, while skipper Mickey Demetriou headed against the bar and hit a post with a 36th-minute penalty.

After the break, the Exiles finally made the breakthrough when Baker-Richardson rose highest to meet Oliver Cooper’s free-kick from out on the right.

But they were indebted to goalkeeper Nick Townsend for taking home all three points as he guessed right to keep out a 71st-minute penalty from Iron substitute Myles Hippolyte.

Defeat leaves Scunthorpe six points from safety, and boss Keith Hill admits what work the club can do before the transfer window closes could define their future in the Football League.

“It was a really honest performance from a group of players with great desire and determination,” he said.

“But the key conundrum is, are we individually good enough, and are we as a team good enough to give us what is necessary for us to maintain League Two status?

“We’re trying to work to recruit players to help this group of players out, because they need it.

“We’ll only know after 46 games if effort is enough to keep us up, but we can’t keep putting players and the football club under pressure and strangle the life out of players to express themselves.”

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