Craig Hignett declared himself “proud” of his players after Hartlepool United stretched their unbeaten run to three games with a 0-0 draw at Newport.
Pools more than matched a County side who were on cloud nine after a 3-0 win at Portsmouth at the weekend. In boxing parlance, Pools edged it on points without being able to strike a KO blow at Rodney Parade.
It was a full team effort.
And, Pools were strong defensively and, on the rare occasions, Newport got through the blue guard, Trevor Carson did some superb work.
“I was proud of the players,” said Hignett.
“To come here and get a clean sheet against a team who have just won 3-0 at Portsmouth, and looked comfortable in doing it, is testament to the lads.
“Trev has made some saves, but you expect that, he’s a top, top keeper.
“The defensive play was fantastic, it wasn’t just about the back four, the five lads in front of them worked unbelievably hard and Billy Paynter up top was terrific.
“It was a full team effort.”
The side proved to be bright in attack, despite the poor state of the pitch and whenever Newport did threaten, they looked strong and composed.
“We were so on top in the first half and I was a bit disappointed we didn’t go in at the break ahead
“The surface was difficult to play on, but I thought we played some good stuff.
“We spoke beforehand about the pitch and how the ball might not run.
“But the thing you need to be is organised and disciplined, be hard to play against and hard to beat.
“We were certainly that.
“Billy has been fantastic for the last four or five games, he won his headers bullied their defenders, the only disappointing thing, for me, was that it did not lead to anything.
“But it could have, I thought we looked dangerous again.”