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Hudson backs Craig after spot-kick miss; NEWPORT CTY .....................0 GRIMSBY TOWN..................0.

NEWPORT COUNTY boss Anthony Hudson is backing Craig McAllister to bounce back from his penalty miss but admits it was two points dropped against 10-man Grimsby Town.

The Exiles dominated throughout but Grimsby clung on to record their first point of the season after McAllister's 80th-minute spot-kick was saved by James McKeown.

After hammering Hayes & Yeading 4-0 on Tuesday, County controlled this match in a similar vein. Off the back of a five-goal midweek thumping at Braintree, Grimsby showed real resolve to hang on after Darran Kempson saw red, leaving Hudson frustrated with his side's efforts.

"We should have really taken the three points," said Hudson.

"I think it was a penalty. Craig McAllister is a top, top player and a proven goalscorer. He will be massively disappointed tonight but he will put those away and score big goals for us - I'm confident of that.

"I wasn't happy with the referee's performance but it has nothing to do with why we didn't get the result out of the game. I said before the game that everyone was carried away that Grimsby lost 5-0 in midweek and we won 4-0. "It was ludicrous to think we were going to have it easy because they have a very strong team with good players in there."

With both teams cagey in the early exchanges, Newport began to control possession after 10 minutes, with the dynamic Danny Rose asserting himself on the game.

The Mariners continued to sit back and frustrate, and County's tactics were disrupted further when Scott Rogers was forced off injured following a clash with Tyrone Thompson after 23 minutes.

With Dutchman Felino Jardim bossing midfield, Hudson's men finally worked an opening on 20 minutes, but Tom Miller only able to direct his header straight at keeper McKeown.

County grew in confidence and, after Rose saw two efforts saved by McKeown, the home side piled on the pressure before the break.

Grimsby worked their first attempt on goal on the stroke of half time, as Rob Duffy drilled wide, but County regained the ascendancy after the interval.

And their opportunity finally arrived when referee Rob Merchant dismissed Mariners captain Kempson for tugging down McAllister just inside the area.

But the Scottish striker was denied from the spot by McKeown's lunging legs, and the 10 men of Grimsby dug deep to fend off County's fleeting advances in the closing stages.

CAPTION(S):

David Marshall is back between the posts as Cardiff's number one
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 21, 2011
Words:411
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