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League Two

Paul Cook calls for Chesterfield focus

5 April 2014

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook knows his team still have control of their own destiny despite the late goal which cost them two points in their 1-1 draw with Newport County.

A two-game touchline ban meant Cook watched from the stands as Max Porter's first goal since January 2013 denied Chesterfield victory and reduced the gap between themselves and fourth placed Fleetwood to three points.

It could and should have been wider as Chesterfield squandered the chances that would have put the game out of Newport's reach before Porter pounced in the 82nd minute.

After a poor first half, Jimmy Ryan's cross from 25 yards out on the right deceived everyone and sailed into the net to give the home side a 49th minute lead they should have built on.

Jay O'Shea dragged a shot wide from eight yards three minutes later and Chesterfield had the ball in the net twice only for an offside flag to cut short celebrations.

Marc Richards missed a great chance to finish it in the 82nd minute and Newport broke away for Porter to drill a low shot past Tommy Lee from the edge of the box.

"We missed a couple of good chances to go over the line and it's two points dropped at home at a crucial stage of the season," Cook said. "But with five games to go we must keep our focus and it's important to have a good, clear mind.

"We have five league games left and if we win more games than the teams around us, we are promoted which was the target at the start of the season.

"I couldn't question the players, they are fantastic although they are very down which happens when you drop points but we created really good chances in the second half and had clear-cut chances to kill the game but we haven't done it so you don't look for excuses.

"It think it's quite obvious that we should have won but we never and you've got to give credit to Newport, they are a tough team to play against and we have to make sure we keep going and stay together as a group."

Newport manager Justin Edinburgh admitted his team rode their luck at times but thought they deserved to take something from the game.

"I thought it was a spirited display and the boys showed good character after what was, for me, a fortunate goal because I'm not sure he meant to do that," he said.

"We had a little spell after that where we were lucky to stay in the game and we got a little bit fortunate but once we got through that, I felt we could get something out of it."

Edinburgh was delighted that Porter got the goal after the midfielder's career was threatened by a groin injury that kept him out for 13 months.

"Max has worked tremendously hard and he's had a lot of setbacks so it's good to see him back in the team and on the scoresheet," he added. "It was a really complex injury but he's a good pro and I think that was a little present for him for the hard work he's put in over the season."

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