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League Two

Justin Edinburgh slams Rodney Parade pitch

5 March 2014

Newport County boss Justin Edinburgh hit out at the state of their Rodney Parade pitch after his team played out a 0-0 draw against Fleetwood Town.

Both teams missed close-range shots which bobbled up off the poor surface in a game short of chances.

Newport striker Rene Howe and his Fleetwood counterpart Antoni Sarcevic saw efforts go wide from six yards. Both attempts came at the same end of the ground, which hosts two rugby teams as well Edinburgh's men.

The Exiles had three chances to take the lead in the first half which all came from corners. Lee Minshull glanced a header wide before Howe and Tom Naylor had similar chances to put Newport ahead.

Graham Alexander's team came back into the game after the break and could have snatched victory but for a fine save from Newport goalkeeper Elliott Parish.

Edinburgh said: "The pitch has cost us the game. Anyone that's sat here and doesn't realise that the pitch cost us the game then they're foolish.

"Let's be realistic, on any other pitch Rene Howe's effort is a goal. The pitch has cost us. They had half-chances but we had better ones from corners. I thought we were worthy of a win but it is another top six team that has come here and not got a win.

"It's positive we kept a clean sheet and looked solid. We restricted them and we showed a real good attitude and a great work ethic. It's been tough. The next game is the most important one, even if it is against lower opposition. Every game is tough in this league."

Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander felt his team should have been awarded a late penalty that would have seen them snatch a win.

He said: "We've had two points taken away from us.

"I thought our team were fantastic. They defended ever so well against a lot of pressure. But we attacked as well. We should have taken the lead in the first half. But we've had a stone-wall penalty turned down in the last minute.

"The officials have even said it has hit his hand, when it is above his head, but they have said it's not deliberate.

"It's a really hard one to swallow because it would have been a great three points for us.

"If your hand is in a position above your head whilst in front of goal then it's a penalty.

"It was two teams going at it for the win but the boys are disappointed the penalty got turned down."

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