IF this was set to be a game decided by clinical finishing, you wouldn’t have bet on Newport County AFC.

In the Amber corner we had the Exiles, in good form and six unbeaten, but all that in spite of failing to find any sort of killer touch in front of goal.

And in the Blue corner we had the Wombles, in super form and with a tandem upfront who have now scored a dozen goals between them already this term.

This was a banana skin fixture that would properly assess the rejuvenated Exiles, particularly with their defensive troubles, a raft of injuries and a suspension to Andrew Hughes surely leaving Messrs Tubbs and Akinfenwa licking their lips at continuing their scoring run.

Yet it was County who had the assuredness in front of goal that would see them comfortable victors, Neal Ardley only partially correct in the assessment that it was never a 4-1 game and Wimbledon might have scored five.

The latter opinion is true but that they didn’t was a testament that Newport defended far better than the visitors who at the back were generous at best and positively inept at times if we are being truly honest.

That County scored four goals and never matched the performance level of either the victory over Northampton or even the draws with Burton and Cambridge speaks volumes, Newport finally finding the ability to take their best chances and give themselves more reward than they perhaps merited, rather than far less.

If Newport had beaten Cambridge 6-1 it wouldn’t have flattered them and many remarked at the time that Newport would play worse and win big. On Saturday they did.

The Exiles are currently a well oiled machine, the defence are confident irrespective of the personnel because everyone is comfortable within the system and goalkeeper Joe Day has done more than hit the ground running, he’s in a veritable purple patch. If Peterborough United have a better goalkeeper, he must be very good indeed.

Adam Chapman and Mark Byrne have dominated their opponents for seven successive games and that gives Newport so many options, their wingbacks and attacking midfielder – be it Lee Minshull or the emerging Yan Klukowski – benefitting with space and opportunity to affect the game in the final third.

The big issue has been County’s failure to find a winning combination in attack, but on Saturday Joe Pigott scored twice, Aaron O’Connor grabbed one off the bench and both played well, as did Chris Zebroski.

The Exiles have made a good habit of imposing themselves quickly in recent weeks and they did so again against the Dons, the tactic of standing off Adebayo Akinfenwa a risky but essential ploy as County concentrated on winning as much second ball as they could.

Wimbledon made that easier by conceding possession cheaply, illustrated as early as 45 seconds in when only poor control prevented Zebroski a clean run on goal after a defensive error allowed Pigott to pick his pass.

Minshull then came within a whisker of converting Willmott’s brilliant cross as Akinfenwa put one over at the over end, a warning shot from the striker who of the two looked far more impressive for the visitors, Tubbs nowhere near his best.

So far so familiar, possession and chances and a couple of near misses, but on 18 minutes Ismail Yakubu rose firmly to meet Willmott’s corner and the irrefutable rule of the ex was proved once more, Yakubu scoring against a former club for the first time.

It was Newport who looked more likely to extend their advantage before the break with Zebroski testing the goalkeeper, but a shot just over from Sean Rigg was a warning blast for County.

And it was from an attacking possession seconds after the restart that the visitors somehow fell two behind, a punt from Darren Jones causing chaos as Zebroski’s attempt to round James Shea were halted only in diverting the ball back to Pigott who slammed home via a deflection off Shea over the defenders desperately trying to cover.

It was a big moment for the Charlton loanee who got better and better as the contest wore on, bagging his second with 25 minutes left, again via a deflection, from the edge of the area after he displayed strength and skill to advance through a crowd.

It was foolish to presume Newport wouldn’t have a little wobble – especially with the Northampton game in mind – and Day had already made a terrific double save when Akinfenwa’s firm header from a terrific leap gave Wimbledon hope with 20 minutes left.

A couple of chances came and went for Tubbs as the visitors pushed and pushed, but Newport rode the storm and ended the contest on the ascendency, Aaron O’Connor taking one of the two chances that came his way after his late introduction, blasting home after a clever turn in the first minute of stoppage time.

The Exiles are now seven unbeaten and just two points off the play-off places as their miserable start to the campaign fades further and further into the distance.

Newport: (3-5-2): Day, Jones, Yakubu, Tancock, Willmott, Sandell, Minshull (Klukowski 46), Chapman (Crow 90), Byrne, Pigott, Zebroski (O’Connor 72)

Subs not used: Owen-Evans, Poole

Booked: Willmott, Sandell, Pigott

Wimbledon: (4-4-2): Shea, Fuller, Harrison (Kennedy 58), Barrett, Bennett, Francomb (Azeez 58), Moore, Bulman, Rigg (Saint-Luce 73), Akinfenwa, Tubbs

Subs not used: McDonnell, Phillips, Beere, Nicholson

Booked: Bennett, Barrett, Akinfenwa