Newport County 1, Crewe Alexandra 0
Newport County have toppled SkyBet League Two leaders for the second time this season.
Padraig Amond fired a dramatic late winner for County and knocked Crewe Alexandra from top spot – only a week after the Exiles did exactly the same to Plymouth Argyle.
Newport, still unbeaten after five matches, are now handily placed fifth in the table, only two points behind new leaders Exeter City.
They now focus on Tuesday’s Carabao Cup second round tie at home against West Ham United.
Manager Michael Flynn, though, was frustrated with his County players, saying: “We didn’t turn up until the 88th minute.
“I’m not going to dress it up. We were really poor going forward, but as a team we defended well, limited their chances . They didn’t have one clear-cut chance.
“What I did on Tuesday [during 0-0 at Walsall] – shutting up shop and taking the draw when I realised it wasn’t great – they didn’t do.
“They went for the win and it cost them because we ended up 2 v 2 in the 92nd minute and it was a great pass by Tristan [Abrahams], really unselfish. “That’s what we’re about as a team.
“There were quite a few players who frustrated me. I’ll always be honest. Crewe were a lot better than us.
“We were excellent defensively, but we were poor going forward.
“Everything we did was the wrong choice. Shooting when we should have crosses, crossing when we should have shot and we were going backwards way too often for my liking.
“But if we can do all that and still come away with three points, then that shows you we’re going in the right direction.
“I hope West Ham were watching today, because they’re going to think they’ll steamroller us and might leave a few players behind.”
The win extended Newport’s club-record 15-game unbeaten run in regular-season league matches.
Flynn made two changes through injury with Joss Labadie was only fit enough for a spot on the substitutes bench and Jamille Matt ruled out with a leg injury.
Matty Dolan and Corey Whitely, making his first league start for the Exiles, were calmed up and the Exiles set up in their familiar 4-3-3 formation at Rodney Parade.
Tom King led the way behind a back four comprising Danny McNamara, captain Mark O’Brien, Kyle Howkins and Ryan Haynes. Matty Dolan and Josh Sheehan provided the extra defensive shield, while Whitely played in a more advanced position behind the front three.
Padraig Amond found himself in the familiar role of leading the attacking line through the centre, as Robbie Willmott was deployed on the right and Tristan Abrahams on the opposite flank.
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) August 24, 2019
Crewe dominated possession and played good football, but they could not break down resolute Newport.
Goalkeeper Tom King made some big saves to keep the game goalless and then Newport produced a fantastic finish which left Crewe down and out.
It was harsh on Crewe, while County celebrated a dramatic win. The Exiles countered from another Railwaymen attack, substitute George Nurse slipped in Abrahams and he squared for Amond who had the simplest of jobs to pass into an empty net.
Powell hit a post with seconds left, but Crewe quickly ran out of time and Newport completed a hard-earned victory.
Newport County AFC (4-3-3): Tom King, Danny McNamara, Mark O’Brien (capt), Kyle Howkins, Ryan Haynes, Josh Sheehan, Matty Dolan (Taylor Maloney 66), Corey Whitely (George Nurse 62), Robbie Willmott (Lewis Collins 87), Padraig Amond, Tristan Abraham. Subs not used: Townsend, Leadbitter, Labadie, Inniss
Crewe Alexandra (4-1-2-3): Will Jasskelainen, Nicky Hunt, Eddie Nolan, Olly Lancashire, Perry Ng (capt), Ryan Wintle, Tom Lowery, Paul Green, Charlie Kirk, Chris Porter, Daniel Powell. Subs not used: Richards, Jones, Ainley, Finney, Anene, Dale, Adebisi
Referee: Leigh Doughty
Attendance: 3,712 (230 away)