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League Two

Wayne Hatswell: Newport County deserved draw

1 March 2014

Chris Zebroski prevented Scunthorpe United from taking top spot in Sky Bet League 2 after Newport County clinched a 2-2 draw in injury-time, a result their first-team coach Wayne Hatswell insisted they deserved.

Scunthorpe extended their unbeaten run to 18 games with a second-half recovery at Rodney Parade. The Iron's Paddy Madden had already cancelled out Lee Minshull's first-half effort when David Syers looked to have sent them above leaders Chesterfield when he scored seven minutes from time.

But Zebroski pounced in added time for his ninth goal of the season to snatch a deserved draw.

The hosts feared they had paid a heavy price for failing to make the most of their first-half dominance. Hatswell said: "We deserved at least a draw and probably more.

"We were exceptional in the first half, we pressed them and played on the front foot.

"But we didn't take our chances and there was a concern that we weren't more than one-goal up.

"Scunthorpe have one of the best away records in the league and have been scoring plenty of goals so we knew they would come back at us.

"We were punished in a 20-minute spell in the second half. But the lads never gave up, they dug deep and showed some character. We're disappointed not to get all three points but that late equaliser has really given the lads something to cling to going forward."

Newport had managed just one win from their previous nine games but began brightly at Rodney Parade.

Ryan Burge had a penalty claim waved away, saw his driving effort palmed away by Sam Slocombe and then shot over the bar from Minshull's cross. Niall Canavan was booked for a foul on Zebroski and from the resulting free-kick, Minshull headed in from close range on 25 minutes.

Scunthorpe dusted themselves down and struck back in the second half. Marcus Williams and Eddie Nolan combined for Madden to side-foot home in the 60th minute.

Hakeeb Adelakun then set up Syers on 83 minutes but Newport rallied with a late goal. Minshull's header was cleared off the line yet Zebroski struck from the corner to snatch a dramatic draw.

Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox said: "I'm a very proud man stood here. That performance told me all about the group I'm working with and where we are at.

"You have to give credit to Newport in the first half, their style of play was effective. They're quite direct, they get balls in your box, they have long throwers on both sides of the pitch and we didn't deal with that as well as we have done in the past.

"We've been done by two set-plays which is disappointing, but the response I got from the players in the second half tells me all I need to know about this group.

"It showed how together they are, how committed they are to achieve for this football club."

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