15 January 2022

Wayne Hatswell pleased to guide Newport to win in absence of boss James Rowberry

15 January 2022

Newport assistant manager Wayne Hatswell was pleased to give boss James Rowberry a comfortable afternoon’s viewing at home with a 4-0 victory over Harrogate at an empty Rodney Parade.

Rowberry was absent because of a positive Covid-19 test and the Newport supporters were also locked out due to Welsh government restrictions.

But the hosts made light of those difficulties with a commanding performance.

Striker Dom Telford took his goal tally to an incredible 19 in 20 games with a clever flick two minutes before the break and a cool finish into the bottom corner for his second in the 49th minute.

Defender Mickey Demetriou had opened the floodgates after eight minutes with a penalty after Telford was brought down by Josh Falkingham, and Courtney Baker-Richardson wrapped up the victory after rounding the goalkeeper and firing into an empty net in the 55th minute.

“I think he would have enjoyed watching that at home,” said Hatswell in Rowberry’s absence. “He was in constant contact in the week and again today and we’re very happy.

“We’ve been clinical today and once we scored the third, you could feel that they were dead and buried.

“I wanted to leave Dom on so he could get his hat-trick but he was a little bit fatigued so we had to look after him.

“If there had been fans here, he would have got a standing ovation on the way off. He’s a top finisher and he’s a real threat whenever he shifts on to his left foot.”

It was a first win since December 11 for Newport after defeats to Rochdale and Salford and a 3-3 draw at Walsall.

“We’ve put a couple of defeats behind us now and we’ve got the fans back for our next home game,” said Hatswell. “Hopefully it will set us up for a good couple of months.”

But it was a chastening experience for Harrogate manager Simon Weaver.

His team earned rave reviews for their performance in defeat at Luton in the FA Cup last week and he felt some players may have become complacent.

“I don’t think we can come away with much credit in any aspect today. I thought we were poor,” said Weaver.

“We looked like a team that enjoyed plenty of the ball at a Championship team last week and maybe the plaudits went to people’s heads.

“We exposed our back line badly by not looking after the ball and then we didn’t show the required energy to retain a decent shape.

“To be fair to Newport, they were ruthless and they took their chances. We’ve been badly exposed by a decent team but the lack of energy from us was an alarming factor.”

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