NEWPORT County triumphed on Carl Zeiss Jena’s return to Welsh soil thanks to a second-half header from centre back Darren Jones.

The Exiles edged the pre-season encounter between old Cup Winners’ Cup foes in scorching conditions at Spytty Park, and deservedly so.

Justin Edinburgh’s men created the better chances and looked solid at the back with the partnership between Jones and Kevin Feely continuing to impress at the heart of the defence.

In truth it wasn’t exactly a thriller to reward the committed Jena fans among the 2,630 crowd that started their coach journey from Germany on Wednesday evening.

It was scoreless after a scrappy first half in which neither keeper was made to work up a sweat in the blistering heat.

Maxim Banaskiewicz shot just past the left post after a swift counter-attack for the visitors and centre back Kevin Feely headed narrowly wide from Andy Sandell’s well-delivered free-kick but there wasn’t a great deal of drama.

The Exiles started the second half on top with Chris Zebroski forcing visiting keeper Raphael Koczor into a first (routine) save, Christian Jolley just failing to connect with Mark Byrne’s whizzed-in cross from the left and Aaron O’Connor nodding just wide.

And the breakthrough came 18 minutes in to the second half when, just after Robbie Willmott had been yellow-carded for shoving a rival to the ground, defender Darren Jones headed home Sandell’s free-kick.

County kept pressing but had to be content with a 1-0 success – reversing the tables after their single-goal defeat at Somerton Park in 1981.

County: Pidgeley, Willmott, Feely, Jones, Sandell (captain), Byrne, Flynn (Patten 84), Minshull (Y Klukowski 60), Jolley (R Howe 75), Zebroski, OConnor.

Goal: Jones (63)

Yellow card: Willmott

Carl Zeiss Jena: Koczor, Klippel, Grosch (captain), Banaskiewicz, Wiezik, Schmidt (Brinkmann 70), Bock, Loser, Lux (Jovanovic 75), Strohl, Becken.

Referee: Mark Whitby

Attendance: 2,630