NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Coughlan hailed his side for showing grit rather than glitz in their superb 2-1 win at Morecambe.

The Exiles became the first side to beat the Shrimps at Mazuma Stadium in League Two thanks to goals by Will Evans and Seb Palmer-Houlden.

Boss Coughlan had called on his side to back up their shock win against pace-setters Stockport and they delivered despite falling behind to an early Michael Mellon goal.

Evans struck from a Shane McLoughlin corner in the 28th minute and then fellow forward Palmer-Houlden nodded in from a free-kick in the 57th minute.


The Exiles held firm against late Morecambe pressure to record a win that lifts them to 15th in the table, 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

After battling through an injury crisis, Coughlan believes his side have shown their qualities by beating the leaders then digging deep in Lancashire three days later.

South Wales Argus: DELIGHT: Newport County boss Graham Coughlan with Harry Charsley after the win in MorecambeDELIGHT: Newport County boss Graham Coughlan with Harry Charsley after the win in Morecambe (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

"That was a hell of a performance,” said the manager. “I don't mean glitz, I don't mean glamour.

"I mean we had to dig deep, we had to show resilience and we had to show character on a bitterly cold night.

"You could see the pitch was freezing over, the conditions were tough but that was a brilliant performance from our lads.

"It's not glitzy, glamour, it's not tippy-tappy football, that is true grit and determination. That is what you have to do in this division.

“Against West Ham a few weeks ago [in the EFL Trophy] we made 550 passes and didn’t win the game.

“We didn’t have too many passes at Accrington but we won the match and that is what football is all about.

“That win was for the 83 fans that made the long journey. We wanted to send them home happy and that was for them.”

County were boosted by the return of midfielder Harry Charsley, who came off the bench for his first action since an ankle injury at the start of September.

The midfielder came on for the last eight minutes, plus eight added, in a further boost for the Exiles as their injury worries ease.

County will now rest up ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Barnet when they will try to boost the coffers by progressing to round three, and potentially drawing a big gun.

The Exiles beat Oldham 2-0 in the first round to earn £41,000 and if they beat the Bees they get a £67,000 prize.

Barnet, who boast former Exiles loanee Anthony Hartigan in their midfield, have slipped to third in the National League after four defeats on the spin.