‘Difficult result to take,’ says unhappy Westley

Graham Westley.
Graham Westley.

Newport County manager Graham Westley was unhappy with the red card for Jaanai Gordon and penalty award against Craig Reid which ultimately saw his strugglers lose 2-1 at Mansfield Town.

The Exiles had only lost one of their previous eight and battled hard after going 1-0 up in five minutes.

“It’s a difficult result to take,” he said.

“We settled down well and got into the game, managed the game well.

“The concession was probably a fair reflection of the pressure they were having at the time.

“We knew we had to be better in the second half and I thought we were.

“But again we have to talk about a huge turning point where a sending off happens and all the momentum we were building up has gone. We were confident and feeling good about the way we were playing at that stage.”

He added: “When you look at the second yellow I am sure even their manager will say there was no foul involved.

“I was going to replace him (Gordon)because he had cramp, but he said he could carry on.

“What happened, happened. I have seen it several times now.

“The ball comes forward, their boy clutches his face, but Gordon’s arms were down. There was scarcely any contact.

“He had jumped honestly for a ball and nobody in their right mind would send him off. We couldn’t believe it.”

On the penalty that gave Shaq Coulthirst the winner, he said: “He (Reid) is adamant the ball struck his chest.

“It is difficult to have a view from the footage. The ball went like a rocket at him.”

Newport almost stole a point when Ryan Bird lobbed Scott Shearer in stoppage time, but the ball ended up on top of the net.

“In the last 20 minutes we went forward and the boys showed great character and managed to create the late chance,” he said.

“If Bird had scored it would have been a fantastic point.

“Credit to our players. Bearing in mind the injuries we had and the decisions against us, they never stopped, stayed on the front foot and might have got a precious point.”