LIFE without Michael Flynn started with a win for Newport County AFC after they smashed Scunthorpe 3-0 at a sodden Rodney Parade.

The day after the Exiles announced the departure of their manager, his players produced a performance to do him proud.


Ollie Cooper settled the nerves with a fine finish in the sixth minute and then Courtney Baker-Richardson curled in a wonderful goal midway through the second half.

That was always likely to be enough but Dom Telford’s flicked finish secured the well-deserved win.

Here are the talking points from Rodney Parade…


It was a tough week for Wayne Hatswell after the departure of his friend and former boss Flynn.

The assistant is staying on to hold the reins and he is a safe pair of hands, meaning that those in power don’t need to rush what is a vital appointment.

Hatswell did a fine job to lead County to a win at Tranmere while Flynn had coronavirus and then suffered tough times against Southampton (8-0) and Salford (3-0).

Being in the Rodney Parade dugout when the Premier League Saints were rampant must have been hard, so how nice that he could enjoy an afternoon against a Scunthorpe side that look destined for a relegation scrap.

The Iron are poor but County still had to do a professional job and Hatswell helped the players to deliver.

The selection, shape and tactics were spot-on, aided by an early settler, and the introduction of Finn Azaz, admittedly enforced through Cooper’s injury, worked a treat.

At 2-0 the caretaker boss was even able to indulge in some jokes with the terrace and then Telford ensured he got his home win.

Bradford will be much tougher on Saturday but it was terrific to see a good bloke, who has been pivotal in the success of Flynn, smiling after adding three points to the tally.

Hatswell is unlikely to be in charge for the long term but he will ensure the next man in the hotseat takes over a team with potential to be contenders in the top half rather than strugglers towards the bottom.

It was a draining few days for the interim manager but his well-deserved beers would have tasted sweet on Saturday.

South Wales Argus: CLASSY: County midfielder Robbie WillmottCLASSY: County midfielder Robbie Willmott


I have only been covering County for just over a season, before that it was the odd League Two game or pre-season trips to Swindon Supermarine, Weston-super-Mare or Gloucester City.

Robbie Willmott always seemed to be a player that divided opinion but there can surely be no debate about his value this season – he has been my star performer so far, in a variety of roles.

Against Scunthorpe he threatened down the right in the first half and then produced some telling moments centrally after the break.

Willmott has nice delivery, is a clever player and combines being neat on the ball with the ability to protect his defence.

The stalwart, who seemed destined for the exit when he left for Exeter on loan in January, has made 11 appearances and is a dependable option, the sort of man who can bring the best out of some eye-catching attacking players.

Those who have seen more County than me might suggest he has the ability to frustrate, but on present form he is a worthy starter.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Cameron Norman down the right for CountyINFLUENTIAL: Cameron Norman down the right for County


Cameron Norman was a player that Flynn would have signed even if County had beaten Morecambe for a place in League One.

The right-back had big boots to fill after the exit of Liam Shephard and, while he doesn’t quite look as slick on the charge, Norman’s end product is superior.

His crossing earned another assist when Cooper swept home, adding to headers by Willmott at Harrogate and Clarke against Walsall.

According to, Shephard had just one assist in his impressive 2020/21. In fact, Norman's efforts after 10 games would already have him third on that list with only Scott Twine (7) and Josh Sheehan (4) ahead of him.

He also has a long throw that can cause mayhem and he is solid defensively. He is ever-present and it’s clear why.

South Wales Argus: GIMME: Dom Telford was in the swing of things for CountyGIMME: Dom Telford was in the swing of things for County


County named a new strike partnership when Baker-Richardson and Telford joined forces.

The reaped the rewards with both men getting on the scoresheet, the former curling in a wonderful effort and the latter conjuring a neat finish as he had done against Leyton Orient.

Baker-Richardson is still working his way to full sharpness after a quad injury but looks promising with the ability to hold up play and also run in behind.

Telford was out of favour and looked set to leave this summer but remained and has thrived.

He is providing the energy that Padraig Amond and Lewis Collins did at the end of last year but is also a finishing threat with three goals in five appearances in all competitions.

With Alex Fisher providing a more physical option, Timmy Abraham bring raw pace and Jermaine Hylton and Collins having to be patient, County have the ability to mix it up.

However, on this showing it would be harsh to break up the CBR-Telford combo against Bradford.