HE’S tipped to have a bright future at Championship Charlton Athletic but on-loan County striker Michael Smith is already eyeing an extended stay at Rodney Parade, the Argus can reveal.

The former Darlington man capped a super debut on Tuesday against Cambridge United with a stoppage time goal, County’s sixth of a one-sided contest.

It extended Newport’s advantage as the top side in the Conference and despite only being four days into an initial one-month loan spell, Smith admits he’s already hoping for plenty more action with the Exiles.

“It was a dream debut for me, it was lovely to get on the scoresheet and I didn’t expect to play in a game with such a big winning margin,” he said.

“We could’ve easily scored 10 and I’m thinking to myself, ‘this is great’ because I’d only had one training session with the lads before it.

“I was so pleased to score, as far as I know it’s a month loan initially for me here and depending on how it goes we take it from there.

“If I’m playing I’ll be more than happy to stay and it will suit me.

“At the moment I’m in between the first team and under-21s at Charlton, I need games and I need goals and it’d be great to do it here with such a great bunch and a team playing so well.”

Smith is six foot four and built like Peter Crouch, but the stand out feature of his performance on Tuesday was hit workrate. Several County players commented after the game about how much ground he covered and Smith promises that’ll be a regular feature.

“I’ve been taught that way, coming from the north east, you’ve got to work hard and that’s a feature for me, hopefully I can impress the boys with hard work,” he said.

“We all have bad games, but the way I was taught is that if you’re going to play badly, you can at least bust a gut working hard for your teammates.”

Smith has been made to feel welcome at Rodney Parade and is relishing tonight’s televised battle with Alfreton.

“The only player I knew when I arrived was Jeff (Jefferson Louis) who I played with at Darlington, but I’m really impressed, they are a really great bunch of lads, full of confidence and it makes it easy to settle in.

“I’ve never been to Alfreton, I know it’s a TV game which is exciting but for me it’s just lovely to be playing.

“I’m living in a hotel with a few of the players and they've made me feel really welcome. I'm enjoying myself.”

County travel to Alfreton today knowing that striker Danny Crow is unlikely to kick a ball again this year.

The former Luton Town striker was injured in training on Monday and a scan of his hamstring has revealed a grade two tear, likely to sideline him for around six weeks.

The Exiles do, however, hope to welcome back Andrew Hughes into the fold tonight, the left-back troubled for weeks with an ankle problem.

Justin Edinburgh’s league leaders are looking to avenge a 3-2 defeat at the Impact Arena last term.

  • County have reacted to Tuesday’s season-low league crowd by allowing children free entry to their next home game.

The Exiles announced via a statement on their website: “We are delighted to announce that all children under 12 will receive free admission to the game against Hyde FC on Saturday, November 17, when accompanied by a paying adult or concession.

“These complementary tickets can be purchased in person at the Rodney Parade ticket office or over the telephone on 01633 670690 option 1. Unfortunately these tickets cannot be purchased online.

“We will also be giving away a signed Home Newport County AFC shirt to three lucky children under 12.

“Just fill in the details on the back of your matchday ticket and pop it in the box in the club shop.”