NEWPORT County AFC didn’t need the raucous backing of the Amber Army to add another scalp after stunning Swansea City in the Carabao Cup thanks to a Tristan Abrahams double.

Rodney Parade rocked when Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Leeds were sent packing but this time the coronavirus pandemic meant Swansea were beaten to the sound of near silence in the famous old ground.

Abrahams celebrated in front of both corners of the North Terrace without wild scenes in the stands, instead they happened at home in the city as Michael Flynn’s men kicked off 2020/21 in style by upsetting the odds.

It’s a shame that supporters had to settle for toasting a derby victory from their sofas, something that also denied the Exiles a financial boost in these testing times.

But even without added encouragement, their team showed the same snap and bite that has troubled opposition from higher up the pyramid since Flynn took the helm.

This was a well-deserved and superbly-organised victory, not a smash and grab.

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They hadn’t played a competitive game since losing their League Two fixture at Carlisle in March but showed impressive energy to prevent the Swans, who were edged out in the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs, putting the squeeze on.

Matty Dolan marshalled the defence impressively in between Kyle Howkins and Mickey Demetriou, Ryan Haynes was lively down the left flank and Abrahams got the goals his work rate deserved.

Of the County new boys, Scott Twine and Liam Shephard started, and both impressed, while Saikou Janneh and Ryan Taylor were on the bench.

Veteran forward Kevin Ellison sat out the clash along with defender David Longe-King, who is making the step up from St Albans City.

Opportunity knocked for those given a first chance to make an impression and the Exiles enjoyed the perfect start to go ahead after seven minutes.

Abrahams wasted a chance to strike from Lewis Collins’ nice cut-back but the ball was kept in from his scuffed shot and the forward prodded home at the right post from Haynes’ looped header across the face of the goal.

It was just what County needed against a Swans side that was strong on paper but that struggled to get going – 20 minutes passed with Exiles goalkeeper Nick Townsend’s only action being to calmly claim a Matt Grimes cross.

The west Walians were starting to find their feet, keeping possession and posing more questions, and it took smart defending at the far post by Kyle Howkins to clear the danger after on-loan Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White had smartly worked himself free down the right.

County responded well and it took a smart save by Freddie Woodman at his near post to deny the impressive Haynes after he had cut in from the left to fire in a shot with his right, the ball taking a slight deflection.

The Exiles were well-drilled in defence and also carried a threat going forward – Abrahams wasted a glorious opportunity when he fluffed a header when unmarked as half-time approached.

“Don’t switch off, lads,” urged Flynn from his new (temporary) spot in front of the Bisley Stand yet he was soon toasting a second, seconds after Andre Ayew had been crowded out following a threatening break into the Newport box.

South Wales Argus:

Abrahams timed his run perfectly for a ball over the top and went into a 50-50 with the sweeping Woodman. It fell nicely for the forward, who rolled into the empty net with his left.

At 2-0 County would have settled for a slow start to the second half but instead it was rather manic with chances at both ends.

First Collins wasted a glorious opening by fluffing his lines from around the penalty spot after Abrahams had pulled the ball back, then Townsend produced a solid stop after Wayne Routledge was worked in down the right.

It could, perhaps should, have been a hat-trick for the County number 11 when he was worked in on the hour by workaholic Twine but his left-footed shot, after opening up his body, was tame and was easy for Woodman.

The clock was ticking along nicely for County without any drama or sustained pressure and both managers turned to their bench to add some energy.

The Swans were close to cutting the gap with 15 minutes left when captain Matt Grimes, a Watford target, hit the outside of Townsend’s right post with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

That was swiftly followed by another close shave with sub Joel Asoro cutting in from the right before drilling his shot just wide with Townsend beaten.

That was as close as the Swans were come with County crucially keeping their two-goal buffer to ensure no nervy wobbling at the back.

They have another cup draw to watch, and maybe even another Premier League team to take on.

Newport County: Townsend, Haynes, Labadie (captain R Willmott 71), Howkins, Dolan, Sheehan, Shephard, Abrahams, Twine (Taylor 83), Collins (Amond 71), Demetriou.

Subs not used: King, Baker, Janneh, Woodiwiss.

Goals: Abrahams (2)

Yellow cards: Labadie

Swansea: Woodman, Rodon, Fulton, Smith (Dhanda 71), Grimes (captain), Lowe, Ayew, Gibbs-White, Routledge (Peterson 71), Bidwell (Asoro 71), Naughton.

Subs not used: Benda, Rushesha, Williams, Evans.

Yellow cards: Lowe

Referee: Kevin Johnson