United finished the 90 minutes as the stronger of the teams on Saturday afternoon but manager Paul Simpson insisted that he needs more from his side over the course of the 90 minutes when it was put to him that it might have been two points that were allowed to escape after the final whistle had blown.
“I’m not really sure I agree to be honest with you,” he said. “I don’t think we did deserve to win. You win games over 90 minutes, so we might have nicked it, yeah, but I don’t think we should have won.
“Saying that, I don’t think they deserved to win either. I just think that if we want to do anything we’ve got to better than we were in this game. It’s as simple as that.
“We should have been coming here and winning this, and that’s not me being disrespectful in any way. We needed to come here and get three points, and we didn’t.
“That’s down to the way we were in the first half, which isn’t good enough. We had a bit more of a go in the second half, without really playing great football.
“We had some decent chances, and there was what I thought was a penalty on Paul Huntington when he was grabbed round the neck on 70-odd minutes, or whenever it was, and he was pulled down.
“Over the 90-odd minutes the draw is probably fair for both teams because I’m not too sure either team deserved to win it.”
But he did agree that it was the away team with the momentum after the equaliser had been netted.
“Yes, and I thought they were wasting time as well,” he commented. “They’ve been on a bad run of results, so that’s understandable. We were pushing forward and I get that, we were the ones who wanted to win.
“On the other hand they had opportunities as well, particularly with the long throw, but it’s a point away from home. But, and I’m in no way being disrespectful, we had to come here and win today and for long periods it looked like we weren’t going to get anything.
“With the run that they’re on and the way they were, if we were anywhere near what we’re capable of doing we’d have taken all three points.”
Looking more at what had been a frustrating first half, he added: “We were totally lacking in energy, that’s all I can say. I’ve told them that in the dressing room, because that’s not what I want to see.
“To win any game of football you need to be able to run, compete and pass the football. We didn’t do it particularly well and we got done with an absolutely rubbish goal.
“It was a garbage goal. We’ve got the ball in the bottom corner and we couldn’t be bothered to go and support Jack Stretton and he loses it, yeah I get that he lost it, but there’s no way we should lose a ball there and it end up with us conceding a goal.
“It’s rubbish play as far as I’m concerned. We have to be better. When you’re attacking you have to keep the back door closed. It’s a phrase I use all the time and we didn’t do that.
“We’ve allowed it in there and they’ve had a little bit of luck as well, from memory of what happened, but none of it should happen. We shouldn’t be allowing us to be attacking in the far corner, lose the ball, then one pass later we take everybody out of the game and we’re undone.
“We showed some character again in the second half to come back and to go and get ourselves in it, and we go away with a point. Now we have to make sure we go to Grimsby and do it properly there.”
Once again United needed to recover from the setback of having conceded to claim their point – the fifth time they’ve done that this season.
“It’s a good trait to have, but it’s not good to be conceding the first goal in the first place to make us have to do that,” he responded. “The first goal today was massive.
“Particularly when you’re playing a team like Newport who are struggling for results, that’s all, I can’t say they’re struggling for performances. It’s massive to get the first goal and we talked about that in our prep for the game.
“We talked about it before we came out for kick off, and the players were all saying things about it. Sadly we just haven’t done it today, even though we started the game right.
“We weren’t as good on the ball as we could have been and I’m talking about players who normally are good on the ball. Although it’s a point away from home, and if we do that in every away game and we win our home ones, then we’ll be ok.
“But I’m not daft enough to think it’s going to be that straightforward, so when you have chances to get three points on the road then you have to do it. We need to start doing it.
“On the flipside, we were probably a bit fortunate Jordan Gibson didn’t get a second yellow card when he possibly caught Adam Lewis. I didn’t think he did, but Gibbo said he thinks he may have. Maybe not enough to be rolling around like he was, but we got away with one there.”
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