MATCH-winner Ben Swallow could have fired his way to a starting place at AFC Telford United tomorrow after coming off the bench to seal three points against Southport.
Newport County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh admitted the ex-Bristol Rovers player has given him food for thought after his stunning injury-time goal on Saturday.
County fought back from a goal down at the break to win 2-1 after Aaron O’Connor cancelled out Chris Lever’s first-half penalty and Swallow sent a left-foot thunderbolt into the top corner in the 92nd minute.
The goal gave the Exiles a one-point lead at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Telford.
“It was a great strike,” said Edinburgh. “The boy’s been pushing for a while now. He joined us late in pre-season but I think he’s shown he’s got a great touch and he’s improving all the time. He’s had to be patient, like a lot of players, but it was a goal that would grace any level.
“All the players feel that they should start, and rightly so because we’ve got a good group. It’s not the biggest but there is quality there and it gives me a few headaches now.”
Edinburgh was pleased to have proved a point against Southport but he played down the difference of opinion with Sandgrounders boss Liam Watson, who had suggested that County were no better than last season.
“I spoke to Liam before the game and he assured me it wasn’t meant in that way so we’ll move on from that but we’ve proved we are a different side,” said the Exiles boss, who thought his side should have had a first-half spot kick of their own.
“I’m convinced it was a penalty,” he said of a challenge on striker Danny Crow.
“But I said to the guys at half-time not to use it as an excuse because we weren’t doing our jobs.
“We lost our way a bit in the first half. I didn’t think we earned the right to play,” he added.
“We started slowly and we were a bit sloppy in possession, but credit to the players, they’ve shown good spirit again.
“We spoke truthfully and honestly at half-time and they accepted that and turned it round in the second half.”
Edinburgh should have defender Tony James available for tomorrow night’s match after he was ruled out on Saturday with a strained abductor muscle.
“Tony should be OK, it was just a slight strain,” he said. “We are back on the road and it’s a tough place to go, they all are, but we’ll be looking to continue to pick up points.”