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NEWPORT County AFC midfielder Jake Thomson says that defeat to title rivals Kidderminster Harriers has strengthened the players’ belief that they can win promotion this season.

County outplayed Harriers at Rodney Parade on Tuesday but went down to a 2-1 defeat after conceding in stoppage-time.

The defeat leaves them eight points behind new Conference leaders Kiddy with four games in hand ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Stockport County.

But Thomson is convinced that their display indicated that those writing off the Exiles’ chances of winning the Blue Square Bet Premier are wrong to do so.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played in a match that was so one-sided and it’s still hard to believe that we lost it,” said Thomson, who came on as a replacement for the injured Mike Flynn after just 19 minutes.

“Considering the conditions I think that we played some great football and we should have won it. That makes the defeat even harder to take and the manager said he wasn’t angry with us, just disappointed for us.

“But we’ll use that feeling now and go to Stockport full of confidence and ready to bounce back with three points.”

Thomson is pleased to be part of the County promotion push after falling out of favour with manager Justin Edinburgh and being loaned to Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Lincoln City in January. “I’m happy to be back and be part of things again,” said the 23-year-old.

“When Flynny went off I just came on and tried to do a job and hopefully I’ll be involved again.”

With yesterday’s match against Gateshead at York again being postponed there will be plenty of matches for the whole squad to play in between now and April 20.

Edinburgh gave the players a day off yesterday but they will be back in training today before setting off for Stockport in the morning.

The Edgeley Park club are just two points above the relegation zone and have appointed Ian Bogie as manager after Darije Kalezic was sacked on Wednesday.

“The Gateshead situation is killing us – we’ve tried to get that game on so many time,” added Thomson.

“We’ll definitely be playing catch-up now but the squad is good enough to cope.

“The good thing about playing so many games is that there is no time to mope about the defeat to Kidderminster. It was a smash and grab but we know if we keep playing as we are we’ll keep up the pressure on the top three.”

County’s home match against Macclesfield, which was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch last Saturday, will be played on Thursday, April 11.