COUNTY boss Peter Beadle is a happier man than he was on Saturday, but he's still not content despite his side pushing Wrexham to the limit last night in the FAW Premier Cup.

County supporters feared a drubbing after the dismal showing against Eastleigh, but Beadle's charges responded well and had they taken their chances, could have upset the odds with an unlikely win last night.

Beadle explained: "I can't fault us in the first half, we were the better side and created some good chances, while also restricting them.

"We got in behind them on a few occasions and played with a better tempo, which was pleasing. Sam (O'Sullivan) and Matt (Green) looked a handful, we pushed onto them and should have been ahead at half-time.

"However, in the second half I felt we let them off the hook, our performance was flat after they scored their first and we didn't have a really good go at them again until it was almost too late with 15 minutes remaining.

"That is disappointing and I have told the players I thought they were poor in the second-half, but it was an improved showing and hopefully they'll maintain their work-rate on Saturday for what will be a tough trip for us (to Havant and Waterlooville)."

Beadle is hopeful of bringing in new blood within the next week. He is in talks with a club and is looking to bring in a minimum of two players, although ideally he'd like three.

Beadle is set for a boost ahead of Saturday's trip to Havant, young winger Tyrone Toppar poised for a return from a leg injury which has kept him out of the last three matches.


NEWPORT County produced a spirited performance against League Two promotion candidates Wrexham in their FAW Premier Cup quarter-final last night, but were made to rue a succession of missed first-half chances.

County, looking to bounce back from Saturday's horror-show against Eastleigh in the Conference South, gave their visitors, who fielded their strongest available side, a tough test on a bitterly cold night at Newport Stadium.

Despite the financial rewards a sustained run in the Premier Cup can bring, County must concentrate on their efforts in the Conference South and will take heart from last night's performance ahead of Saturday's trip to second-placed Havant and Waterlooville.

County were without Paul Cochlin and Lee Jenkins (medial knee ligament injuries) and the cup-tied Craig Hughes, with Sam O'Sullivan recalled from his loan at Merthyr to take Hughes' place in attack alongside Matt Green.

Wrexham produced the first chance, sloppy marking allowing on-loan Aston Villa striker Sam Williams an opportunity for a debut goal, but his near post header hit a post.

From them on County were dominant, missing three clear-cut chances to take a half-time lead.

Jason Bowen - whose performance on Saturday left a lot to be desired - was in good form at the heart of most of County's incisive attacks.

His long diagonal pass was flicked on by O'Sullivan after 26 minutes, but goalkeeper Mike Ingham did superbly to tip Green's effort wide as the big number nine found himself one-on-one with the Wrexham stopper.

Ten minutes later Ingham was helpless as Terry Evans squared a delightful ball to an unmarked O'Sullivan, but he blazed over the bar from around eight yards.

Three minutes before the interval County again went close, Green heading back to Bowen who sprayed a superb volleyed pass into the path of O'Sullivan, but his cross-shot was again well saved by Ingham.

County contested throughout with a far better work-rate and more endeavour, but were made to pay for not taking their first half chances when faced with a more focused Wrexham in the second period.

Nine minutes after the break the visitors scored, Alex Smith and Mark Jones combining on the left, allowing left-back Smith the time to pick-out striker Jonathan Walters, who beat Tony Pennock with aplomb from eight yards.

Llanelli centre-half Stuart Edwards (whom Beadle is in talks with to keep until the end of the season) then went close for County, heading wide from a Bowen corner.

With 14 minutes remaining Ingham denied Bowen a tap-in by getting down well to block Green's cross, but with eight minutes remaining the 'keeper was fortunate not to concede.

Bowen touched a free kick from 25 yards to Ian Hillier, whose effort struck the wall and looped over Ingham, only to come crashing back off the crossbar into the grateful goalkeeper's hands.

It was harsh on County and two minutes later Wrexham wrapped the game up, Jones cleverly finding Walters in the penalty area and his shot beat Pennock.

County: Pennock, T Evans, Bater (Leek 75), A Williams, Edwards, Hillier, Bowen, Davies, Green, O'Sullivan, Fisken. Subs not used: Warton, D Evans, Griffiths, Bradley. Booked: Fisken (76, foul). Wrexham: Ingham, Spender, Smith, D Williams, Pejic, Mike Williams, Mark Jones, Whitley, S Williams, Walters, Crowell. Subs not used: Bayliss, Mark Williams, Bennett, Macken, Michael Jones. Booked: S Williams (37, foul). Referee: M Whitby (Penllergaer). Attendance: 442.