Newport County’s in-form teenage striker Antoine Semenyo is confident his team have the staying power to extend their impressive start to the season.
County travel to Crawley Town on Saturday, looking to build on their best start to a season since the 1930s.
A total of 27 points from 13 matches has propelled the Exiles into third place in the League Two table, but just as eye-catching has been their propensity to deliver late knockout blows to the opposition.
Semenyo – who has been watched by Manchester United during his loan spell from Bristol City – specialises in scoring when other players have switched off and are ready for the showers.
Last week, the Londoner set a new mark for twilight drama with a 98th minute winner against Stevenage. He has now scored three times this season – twice after 90 minutes were up and the other in the 86th minute.
“These late goals are giving us momentum,” said Semenyo.
“We just keep going and hoping we can win and when it gets to the late part of the game we know we can score.
“The characters in our team just keep going right until the end. Even if we’re losing, we always want to go for the win.
“I’ve been on a bit of a goal drought so it was great to get the winner, I’m absolutely buzzing. I’m just so happy to make an impact. All the hard work during this goal drought has paid off.
“I’m the youngest in the team and they always help me when I’m down. We know there will be ups and downs but as a team I think we’ll do very well this season.”
County manager Mike Flynn has been pleased with the way in which his young team have exceeded expectations so far this campaign.
But he has stressed that it will be consistency over the course of the whole campaign that will determine whether or not the club can remain in the promotion picture.
“It goes to show it’s going well but let’s hope we get the best finish we’ve ever had as well over 12 or 13 games because that would be really interesting,” said Flynn.
“As long as we pick up a few points in between then it will be interesting, but nothing is won in October.
“There’s a lot of hard work to do and we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing.
“The glass is either full or it’s completely empty, there’s no half measure with Newport County AFC,” he added.
“You’ve got to keep the expectancy levels where they should be, but I’d much rather the glass be full than empty.
Robbie Willmott misses out for Newport after he suffered a badly-bruised shin against Stevenage. But Flynn said the midfielder will be missing for “weeks rather than months”.
Midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson also looks set to miss the match with a dead leg he suffered in the same game. Winger Keanu Marsh-Brown may return against the Reds but Andrew Crofts is not expected to be fit until next Saturday at the earliest.
Crawley’s Bondz N’Gala will miss the game after he was sent off for kicking out at Colchester’s Luke Norris in stoppage time last weekend and serves the first game of a three-match ban.
Nathaniel George is also set to miss the game with an ongoing injury. Club captain Jimmy Smith remains out for the season after damaging a cruciate ligament earlier in the season.