Newport County will go into their Leasing.com Trophy quarter-final on Tuesday night without the services of leading scorer Padraig Amond.
The Irish striker picked up a bizarre injury taking off his boot in training the day before the 2-0 home win over League Two leaders Swindon Town at the weekend.
“It’s nothing serious, he just felt his hip flexor when taking his boot off – the most bizarre thing ever,” admitted County boss Michael Flynn.
“He won’t be ready for Tuesday, or I won’t be risking him on Tuesday, put it that way.”
Even without their top scorer – the 32-year-old has scored 12 goals in 31 games this season – County were good enough to see off Swindon.
Josh Sheehan ran onto a Jamille Matt flick to side-foot past Steve Benga after only 49 seconds and then Matt added a second four minutes into the second half.
Swindon boss Richie Wellens was left fuming at the state of the Rodney Parade pitch after seeing his side lose their three point lead at the top of the table as Exeter went level with them.
“The game was playable, but was it a good standard of pitch to play on? Definitely not,” said Wellens. “We knew what was coming, but we couldn’t stop it.
“Was the pitch in a state where it could have been called off? I don’t know the rules, but it impacts everything.
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“I have never seen a game where there have been so many long throws into the box. It was very difficult to get any flow into our game – they beat us up . . . a lot.”
It was the third win in 12 days for County, who host Leicester U21 in the quarter-finals of the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday night.
Their fastest goal of the season, after a mere 49 seconds by Sheehan, gave them the perfect start and then Matt struck early in the seconds half.
“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll make no make no excuses for that,” said Flynn.
“We just knew we had to swamp their box and keep getting the ball in there in whatever way possible. It was a very effective way of beating Swindon.
“Swindon are top of the league for a reason and they are the best team in the league at the moment, but we won the battles.”
Swindon arrived having lost only once in their previous 13 league outings, but Tom Day only had to make one meaningful save in the home goal, from a shot by Diallang Jaiyesimi.
Rarmani Edmonds-Green had the only other worthy shot for Swindon, missing the right hand post by a couple of inches from a corner.
Defeat meant Swindon lost their three point lead at the top of the table as Exeter City were 1-0 winners at Grimsby.