John's Spirit

A SPIRITED second-half display was not enough for Argyle to avoid losing 2-0 to Newport County, but their manager was encouraged by his side’s determination to fight back.

A ninth-minute goal from Chris Zebroski at Rodney Parade meant that the Greens would have to go some to get any kind of result from the Boxing Day fixture – and perhaps their end result of no goals or points from the game was not what the Pilgrims deserved for their efforts.

Sheridan’s men bested the Exiles towards the end of the first half and for almost all of the second 45 minutes, coming close on many occasions to drawing level before an 82nd-minute found its way through a host of players and into Luke McCormick’s net.

“I was pleased with the way we came out in the second half,” said John. “We have had a go and created some really good chances.

“I actually thought we played okay, but we have lost the game 2-0. I was pleased with the way we tried to get back in the game, and I thought we were the better team in the second half, without scoring goals.

“We did create chances: Reuben [Reid] has had a good chance when he hit the bar; Kelvin [Mellor] has had one which has just gone past. We just did not get the breaks, and sometimes you need them to enable you to either get yourself into the game, or to go on and win it.”

Of those chances, none was clearer than a header from Aaron Bentley – known as Rodders in the dressing room - getting on the end of a Bobby Reid free-kick and coming agonisingly close to scoring his first career goal at, of all places, Rodney Parade.

Said John: “He is a danger from set-plays, and he has done everything right. He has kept it low, and their ’keeper [Jamie Stephens] has taken a gamble and made a really good save for his team.

“One or two little things just did not go our way. We only had one corner, but I think we had lots of the ball. If we would have scored when he [Stephens’] makes the save from Aaron, we are the team in the ascendancy; the game is totally different.

“I felt like we did try and play and get ourselves back in the game – that is the positive. We are going to lose games, and these are the kinds of games where you can and try and scrape even just a point.

“Even a point would have been a good point in the end, but it was not to be. We did not get the result, but I am pleased with how we went about the game.”