NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Coughlan hailed his players for fighting back to beat Swindon 2-1 after the “emotionally draining” FA Cup clash with Manchester United.

Six days after the Exiles gave the Red Devils a scare in a 4-2 defeat, they came back from falling a goal behind to beat the Robins 2-1 at Rodney Parade.

Swindon should have led at the break after bossing the first half but got their noses in front soon after the restart through Paul Glatzel.

The setback woke up County and they took the spoils thanks to Will Evans’ close-range strike in the 53rd minute, his 20th of the season, and Seb Palmer-Houlden’s winner in the 74th.

They did have an escape in added time when Harry McKirdy, a member of the Exiles squad that lost in the 2019 play-off final, struck the right post with a long-range strike.

County held on to make it six unbeaten games on the spin in League Two with three successive victories for the first time under Coughlan.

South Wales Argus: SMILES: Will Evans after County's 2-1 win over SwindonSMILES: Will Evans after County's 2-1 win over Swindon (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)

“We've got to pat our lads on the back because there are not many teams who would be able to dish that out given what we have had over the last 10 days,” said Coughlan.

“The last 10 days was emotionally draining. We were so charged up last week, the accolades, media, getting family sorted for tickets.

“We were drained on Monday and Tuesday, and you could feel that. You could see in the first half we were flat, we didn’t have our usual press, there was no energy or legs.

“It wasn't until we went 1-0 down and the crowd got right behind us that we rejuvenated.

“Fair play to the lads because I have been there before myself and it's not easy, you can't just switch it on and off. That game was a really stern test.”

Coughlan pointed to the backing of the Amber Army as a key factor in claiming three points in the third bumper crowd on the spin, with just shy of 6,000 heading through the turnstile after 9,500 against Wrexham and 9,000 against United.

South Wales Argus: BOSS: County manager Graham CoughlanBOSS: County manager Graham Coughlan (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“If we were to talk about the second half only then I'd be delighted because we just weren't at it in the first half,” said the manager.

“It was after the lord mayor's show, we were off it and flat, and I actually thought he ground was flat as well.

“When we went 1-0 down the lads in the stand started singing their songs and beating their drum.

“That 12th man has been really strong and they got us back in the game because, after that first-half performance and then going 1-0 down, it would have been very easy for them to switch off. We needed their energy to lift us and get us into the game because we were flat.”

County are next in action at Walsall on Saturday and will monitor defender/midfielder Scot Bennett after he was forced off at half-time with a leg injury.