Walsall boss Darrell Clarke ‘frustrated’ by Newport draw

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke felt his side deserved to beat Newport
Walsall manager Darrell Clarke felt his side deserved to beat Newport (PA Wire)
22:04pm, Tue 24 Nov 2020
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Walsall manager Darrell Clarke insisted his side deserved to win after they were held to a 1-1 draw by League Two leaders Newport at Rodney Parade.

Elijah Adebayo put Walsall in front, only for Scott Twine to instantly reply for County, who have a three-point cushion over second-placed Cheltenham.

“I’m pleased with the performance but I’m very frustrated and disappointed we haven’t made it three points,” said Clarke.

“I thought the press was very good and we limited their chances. I was looking for a good reaction after the Cheltenham game (which Walsall lost 3-0) and we got it tonight.

“I’d certainly say these last 14 games have been one of the most frustrating times of my career as a manager. We’ve had three wins, eight draws and three losses.

“I thought all eight draws could quite easily have been turned into eight wins. I know it’s easy for me to say that, but I’m feeling frustrated.

“I’m sure the fans are feeling the frustration, but I’ve got a good set of lads here and we’ll keep working hard we just need to turn these draws into wins.

“But we were the better side against Newport and we deserved to win this game of football.”

Walsall took the lead in the 22nd minute when Rory Holden dribbled his way past Mickey Demetriou before finding Adebayo, who shot low and hard into the back of the net.

But County leveller a minute later as Walsall goalkeeper Liam Roberts allowed a tame shot from Scott Twine to slip through his grasp.

Newport manager Michael Flynn warned his side that, being top of the table, they had to be prepared for opponents to raise their game against them.

He said: “I thought we were second best in the first half but in the second half we were a lot better.

“The final pass and our decision making let us down. I thought Walsall were good and I want to give them credit.

“They looked up for it, they were organised and they looked to dominate the midfield so we couldn’t get much possession.

“I’m not going to single any individuals out, but we are still missing far too many chances because this is a game we should have won.

“But one point is better than nothing and last season we would have lost this game. Being top of the table we’ve got to accept that sides are going to come to Rodney Parade and throw the kitchen sink at us.”

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