TEENAGER Finlay Wood looks set to have a busy Christmas after impressing in his full debut for Newport County AFC.

After five substitute appearances, the 17-year-old – a second year scholar at the club – earned a surprise start against Plymouth Argyle in Wednesday’s FA Cup second-round replay.

County lost in extra-time but Wood was definitely a winner after producing a mature performance in front of the BT Sport cameras.

One man who was not surprised by Wood’s display was manager Graham Westley.

“I expected him to cope with it, which is why I played him,” said the Exiles boss.

“He’s a terrific young man and I’ve been impressed with him since I’ve been at the club.

“He’s got good footballing quality, he’s got a great work ethic, he’s a courageous lad and I expected him to do as well as he did.

“And he didn’t let me down, I thought he was a credit to himself, a credit to his family and to the football club.”

Wood will hope to retain his place in the starting XI when County host Portsmouth on Boxing Day (kick-off 3pm).

But he will face increased competition as Sean Rigg returns from suspension and Tom Owen-Evans is also available once again having been cup-tied on Wednesday.

Fellow midfielder Joss Labadie is a doubt, however, after jarring his knee in a challenge with Oscar Threlkeld moments after Graham Carey’s winning penalty for Argyle deep into extra-time.

“He’s very sore,” said Westley. “It’s a knee injury and I would suspect that there’s going to be a little bit of time on the sidelines.”

Striker Rhys Healey is available until he returns to Cardiff City on January 2.

Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock was at Rodney Parade as a BT Sport pundit in midweek and he was impressed with Healey.

“He’s done very well,” said Warnock. “I like the lad and I’m going to have a look at him myself when his loan ends in January.

“He’s scored some good goals and he works really hard.

“I think he was their biggest threat. He’s always at it and he never lets defenders have a breather, which is good.”