DOM Telford looked set for the exit at Rodney Parade this summer but instead the out-of-favour forward is determined to fight his way back into the Newport County AFC first team.

The 24-year-old has been a fringe figure since signing from Plymouth last January and spent the run-in on the sidelines rather than providing a goal threat in the push for promotion.

Telford made 15 appearances last season, five of them starts, and his late leveller against nine-man Exeter was his only strike.

The writing looked on the wall when he remained out of favour in pre-season, falling further down the pecking order after a glut of forwards were brought in.

He made a brief appearance off the bench in the Carabao Cup win at Ipswich but it looked like Telford would be on the move.

READ MORE: County teenager knocking on the door for action

However, transfer deadline day was spent in amber rather than in new colours while holding up a club scarf.

Telford made his first start since April in the EFL Trophy clash against his former club Plymouth; he was one of the few experienced players on the pitch but grasped the chance to give manager Michael Flynn a nudge.

He fired in a number of shots in the first half before breaking the deadlock with a majestic left-footed curling effort from wide on the right approaching the hour.

“It was a great finish and he needs to do more of that,” said Flynn after the game. “Dom is here now and if his attitude stays right then it’s down to him to get into the team.”

Telford admits it hasn’t gone to plan in Newport and that his future looked uncertain, but now he is focused on earning some action for a County side that have been goal-shy in 2021.

“Me and the gaffer have got quite a good relationship where we are always open with each other,” said the forward, who won promotion from League Two with Bury and Plymouth.

“We have had a few conversations here and there, but I have got my head down and worked hard. All I can do is keep knocking on the door.

“I came here from Argyle to get minutes, play games and score goals. That’s what I enjoy doing – I am hoping that I can still do that here.

“It’s tough when you are not playing, the hardest thing about being a footballer is when you are injured or out in the cold for whatever reason.

“It’s tough and it’s a game of moments, so you have to enjoy the good ones when they do come along.”

South Wales Argus: IMPRESSED: Dom Telford featured alongside the County youngstersIMPRESSED: Dom Telford featured alongside the County youngsters

Tuesday was certainly a good one for Telford and County’s young guns.

The forward played the full 90 minutes, dropping into a deeper role towards the end of the 2-0 win.

County fielded nine players under the age of 22 – defenders Harrison Bright, Joe Woodiwiss and Iestyn Evans, midfielders Aneurin Livermore, Ollie Cooper, Jake Cain and Zach Maher and forwards Timmy Abraham and Ryan Hillier – and they made an impression on Telford.

“There were a lot of young lads playing on both teams and they did really well,” he said. “You want to give the gaffer a headache and a few of the lads out there definitely did that.

“There were players out there with a point to prove and a lot did. The young lads did really well and did themselves proud.”

After impressing in the EFL Trophy, the hard work continues for the forward in his quest for League Two action.

County host Leyton Orient on Saturday and those that feature up front know they have a rival for their spot in Telford.