MICHAEL PEARLMAN SAYS: County can enter 2013 with confidence after best win
11:50am Tuesday 1st January 2013 in Sport
USUALLY Boxing Day is the quietest time of year to be a Newport County correspondent; a trait thankfully ended in 2012.
Though I was in the West Midlands, stuffed full of Turkey and all the trimmings and barely able to move, I followed proceedings from the New Lawn with interest.
I’d make a strong case for the victory at Forest Green being the most important of the season, certainly a highlight alongside the thumping of Luton, narrow victory in front of a bumper crowd against Hereford and the stunning season opener at Mansfield.
It was excellent to see Alan Julian make such a vital impact with a string of first half saves.
He stood out on the highlights and it only strengthens my view that the criticism of him from some quarters has been badly misjudged.
I don’t think the Exiles will be the most miserly defence in the Conference at any point - they play in too attacking a manner - but defensive reinforcements looked a real long shot to me. I thouht County were set yet as I wrote today, Edinburgh will sign another defender.
Similarly, if the Exiles manage to keep Lee Evans into February, it’s hard to see what they could do to dramatically improve their options in terms of their midfield.
It’ll most likely be in attack where potential changes could occur and Ryan Charles has obviously done himself a great deal of good with the goal of the season so far.
Yes, Sandell’s shot versus Hereford was a stunner and Max Porter and Lee Evans have also scored screamers but Charles’ goal had it all.
The exaggerated ‘lollipop’ flick to take the ball away from one defender coupled with a surge of pace to take out two more and a whipped finish precisely into the bottom corner was the sort of goal you’d normally see from a Thierry Henry or Ronaldo.
County are well set with a very good squad and with minimum activity in the transfer market could remain a promotion force.