NEWPORT County AFC won their fourth game on the spin to maintain their League Two promotion charge thanks to Dom Telford’s double against Barrow.

The striker continued his remarkable season with a header after just 94 seconds and a curled finish in the 12th minute.

Barrow rallied and deservedly got back into the game when Mickey Demetriou was unfortunate to put the ball into his own net after a cross was diverted into him.

The visitors had a golden chance to level in the closing stages but Ollie Banks headed wide from close range and the Exiles took the spoils to stay thid.

Here are some talking points from Newport…


Pint-sized Telford missed the Orient game with a calf strain but came back in for targetman Alex Fisher and promptly scored with a header.

His movement caught out the Barrow defence for the opener – winning the race to James Clarke’s flick-on from a Cameron Norman before making a tough header look easy – and the visitors fell into a familiar trap for the second.

Telford was allowed to cut onto his left rather than being shown the outside and he produced a powerful finish.

It’s now 20 for the season in League Two – the first County striker to hit that milestone in the EFL since John Aldridge in 1984, although Telford is too young for that name to mean anything – and 21 in total.

The striker’s goal-scoring has been remarkable but it all comes from hard work; don’t forget that he won the long throw for the opener by chasing down and hustling a defender.

There is more to his game than goals, Telford is cunning with his body when holding up the ball and his leap means he wins more than his share of flick-ons or at least impacts the defensive header.

He will know that there is work to be done because County are a constant threat on the break, with bodies bombing forward, and the decision-making needs to improve at times.

There has been no interest in the striker and that is understandable; this is his first season of consistent scoring and clubs know he is out of contract this summer.

Telford was poor last season but stayed to fight for his place and forced his way into Michael Flynn’s side, then made himself undroppable under Wayne Hatswell then James Rowberry.

I only know the striker from his press dealings but he seems a genuinely good bloke and it’s terrific to see him succeeding after some dark times.

And that is the key for Telford, who we hope will remain in amber until the summer at least.

Telford might not be tall enough to get on the rides at Alton Towers but said: “Football is a rollercoaster, I have had many downs and this is one of my ups.”

That the striker is focused on ensuring County avoid a big dip in encouraging ahead of Monday’s 11pm deadline.

South Wales Argus: County stalwart Mickey DemetriouCounty stalwart Mickey Demetriou


Telford is sure to sweep the board at the end of season awards but he is being pushed hard for the top player of the campaign honour by Cameron Norman, Ollie Cooper and Finn Azaz.

Mickey Demetriou won’t be in the running in 2022 but the centre-back has enjoyed a superb January after a stop-start first half of the season.

The vice-captain has become the captain with Matty Dolan on the bench and has led by example.

The return to a flat back four seems to suit the 31-year-old, who has organised, won his duels and still tried to get the ball down and build.

In midweek the County defence learnt their lesson to ensure Leyton Orient’s physical striker Harry Smith didn’t cause mayhem against them as he did at Rodney Parade.

Against Barrow they were confronted by a serious test with balls into the box from long throws, crosses and seven corners, and there were scares.

Aaron Amadi-Holloway should have scored in the first half, Tom Beadling almost connected with a superb free-kick in the corridor of uncertainty and Banks wasted a golden opportunity late on while the Demetriou own goal came from a wicked Anthony Glennon cross.

However, it’s one goal in four games and Demetriou appears to be getting back to his commanding best in a settled unit along with Nick Townsend, Norman and Ryan Haynes.

The right centre-back slot has a question mark due to Josh Pask’s injury but James Clarke has had a solid first season in Newport.

County need to be solid with what is on the horizon…


County could be back outside the automatic promotion spots when they next take to the field because rivals are in midweek action.

It’s still too early to be obsessing with the league position but the next seven games will go a huge way to determining the Exiles’ season.

They travel to leaders Forest Green, who look certs for promotion and will hopefully keep taking points off other challengers, before heading to Sixfields to face Northampton, who can go above the Exiles on Tuesday night.

That is followed by a run of five home games against Oldham (21st), Mansfield (sixth an in incredible form), Tranmere (second), FGR (first) and Bristol Rovers (12th and rising).

“The most pleasing for me is that there is a lot more to come from us,” said Rowberry afterwards and they will need to show it.

The signs are encouraging but County are about to face their litmus test.