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League Two

Justin Edinburgh won't blame Robbie Willmott

1 February 2014

Newport County boss Justin Edinburgh refused to blame Robbie Willmott for his side's failure to win at Southend United.

The Welshmen had to settle for a 0-0 draw at a wet and windy Roots Hall after Willmot failed to convert a second-half penalty.

But Edinburgh was not too critical of the wing-back.

"I don't blame Robbie Willmott for the penalty, he buries them in training every week and it's just one of those things," said Edinburgh.

"I thought he was going to make amends near the end but the keeper made a great save.

"In the first half we definitely had to weather the storm with Lenny Pidgeley making some great saves but we came out of the second half and pushed Southend back and created a lot more chances.

"Overall it is a great point, we've had some tough encounters away from home and I'm happy with our performance here, we have played a lot of games away from home this season already and we need to make sure we push on at home now.

"It is a good clean sheet and point away from home against a very strong Southend team who I'm sure will be in the thick of it come the end of the season."

Southend were on top in the first half of a mostly uneventful encounter and they came close to taking the lead in the 31st minute when Will Atkinson's close-range header from Kevan Hurst's right-wing corner was pushed on to the right-hand post by Lenny Pidgeley.

The County goalkeeper then pushed away an angled effort from Barry Corr before he impressively kept out a deflected header from Lee Barnard.

The visitors improved after the break on a difficult pitch but Willmott wasted their best chance in the 52nd minute when he sent his spot-kick wide and over the crossbar after Mark Phillips had brought down Ryan Burge.

Willmott was then also denied by Southend goalkeeper Dan Bentley right at the end of the game.

Shrimpers boss Phil Brown therefore felt his side's first goalless draw of the season was a fair reflection.

"Both teams had a go and the frustrating thing for me was our lack of composure in the final third," said Brown.

"We have shown against teams like Chesterfield and Millwall that when we are more composed we score goals but we didn't have that in this game.

"Newport came in to it more in the second half and we got a break when their player destroyed the roof with a penalty.

"But I think the man of the match has to be the groundsman because I really have no idea how we've managed to get this game played considering the weather we've had."

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