Edinburgh pleased with improved Exiles
NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh felt his side had merited three points after fighting back to draw with Welsh rivals Wrexham.
The visiting Dragons now top the Conference on goals scored from Grimsby with County a point behind in third with a game in hand after Max Porter's second half strike cancelled out Danny Wright's opener.
Wrexham's goal came against the run of play in the first half and despite hitting the post late on, it was Newport who missed a host of chances.
Andy Sandell's first half penalty was saved, Aaron O'Connor was denied three times by the goalkeeper, Danny Crow missed a late sitter and Mike Flynn's injury time header cannoned back off the crossbar.
However, it was still a pleasing night for the Exiles who bounced back from their 5-0 thumping at home to Forest Green Rovers in front of a bumper crowd of 3,627.
"From where we were on Tuesday coming off the pitch after that result (losing 5-0) to where we are tonight, everyone will leave knowing Tuesday was a blip," Edinburgh said.
"We made a statement, I felt it was a fantastic advert for the league with two teams who deserved to be where they are in the division.
"The only disappointment is in not winning the game. We came into it having a point to prove to ourselves and we did that. We had good shape, we looked a threat, Aaron (O'Connor) was outstanding.
"Taking aside a goal I felt we could've prevented we were very, very good."
The manager was thrilled with the attendance and atmosphere it generated.
"People could've been disappointed by the last result and stayed away but again our loyal fans have turned out in good numbers and leave here pleased and positive which is great."
Edinburgh hailed the performance of Flynn whose late header could've won it for County.
"I think Flynny is starting to show why I was desperate to bring him back to the club in the summer, he had no pre-season but in the last few games I've felt our midfield three have been as good as I've seen in this division," he said. "He is a big influence on and off the pitch."
Edinburgh revealed he is hopeful of doing significant transfer business in the next few days.
Two issues unresolved after the Wrexham clash will be addressed at haste with Michael Smith's loan from Charlton now at an end and Ismail Yakubu suffering what could be a serious hamstring injury.
He said: "With Ismail's injury we will press on trying to sign a centre half, we want to do that, we are hopeful of signing two strikers and we will talk to Charlton this weekend about Michael Smith.
"We've got some work to do over the weekend, we are in dialogue with Charlton but it again comes down to that situation with a loan player where it causes you problems because you can't dictate (what happens) but we will speak with Charlton and Michael over the weekend and would look to extend that agreement."
Wrexham boss Andy Morrell credited Newport for bouncing back from their humiliation at the hands of Forest Green but felt his side could've claimed victory.
"We planned to defend and catch Newport on the break and our goal was ideal to that plan," he said.
"We knew Newport would come back strong but we defended well, threw bodies on the line and it was from that with a deflection that they equalised.
"But I would say we might've been able to nick it having hit the post even though a draw was probably fair."
Morrell also praised County's attacking play.
"Aaron O'Connor was very good, sharp, lively, I like him as a player and that's why he's scored so many goals this year," he said.
"They have threats all over the pitch, they have good quality from set pieces and we have too and I think we'll take a point in the end.
"No one wins the league in January, it's nice to go top but we've seen why both teams are where they are doing well."
Morrell enjoys the rivalry with a Welsh counterpart.
"You've seen how much it means to both sets of fans and players, it means a lot to Newport and to us because we want to do them and they want to do us and it's great for Welsh football to have that rivalry," he explained.
"You've got Swansea and Cardiff both going really well and both teams in the Conference going really well and that's great for Welsh football."