Simon Weaver admitted his top-of-the-table Harrogate team will need to get used to visiting teams looking to stifle them after drawing 2-2 at home to Newport.
Harrogate twice had to come back from behind through first-half equalisers from Jack Muldoon and Luke Armstrong as a well-drilled Newport team, who were heavily reliant on set-pieces for their attacking threat, found the net through Scot Bennett and Robbie Willmott.
Weaver, though, was full of praise for the manner in which his unbeaten players stayed patient in their efforts to break down the determined Exiles and secure a share of the spoils.
He said: “I’m delighted with the way we performed. We were full of energy and intensity and, although we were disappointed with the goals we conceded, I am so proud of how we bounced back to stay top of the league with what could be a very valuable point.
“They lined up in a 4-5-1 formation, which is a sign of respect and we’ve got to get used to that if we want to stay top of the table. We can’t expect teams to have a go at us and we knew they would try and spring forward and get set-pieces because they are good off them.
“Newport have got some decent players and their long throws are a real threat, so we still have to value a point at times. We’re more mature as a group of players now and it was a solid point.
“We’re less impetuous when it’s not quite going our way and I was pleased with our emotional control, because we didn’t get hysterical in front of a very good crowd.”
Newport manager Mike Flynn declared himself pleased with a point and a start to the season that has only seen them play one league game at home.
He said: “It was a very good point playing against a team who are top of the league, high in confidence and have been together a long time. They are a tough nut to crack, especially at home.
“We did not play as well as we can on the ball but they get in your faces and you can see why they have started so well. We lost here last season, so we need to be positive after this result.
“We have also had six away games already, including Ipswich, so the amount of travelling we have had to do has been incredible. We’ve had some long, long trips and it’s been a good start from an honest group of players.”
Flynn was less happy about Harrogate’s goals, adding: “The goals we conceded were nowhere near good enough and I told the players that at half-time. In three games now – against Salford, Leyton Orient and Harrogate – we have given away really poor goals, which is not like us and it’s why we changed the formation for the second half.
“But the boys that came on did very well and it gives me some interesting selection dilemmas for our next game.”
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