MATCH-WINNER Dan Butler believes the manner of Saturday’s victory at Port Vale demonstrated the togetherness within the Newport County AFC squad.

Butler restored County’s lead at Vale Park after home striker Tom Pope had cancelled out Scot Bennett’s opener.

The Exiles withstood a barrage of attacks from Vale to hang on for a 2-1 victory, which lifted them to second in the League Two table.

And the defender says the determined display showed the spirit within the team this season.

He told iFollow Exiles: “The performance says a lot about this team, to be honest.

“We’ve always known that our togetherness, how hard we work for each other, will get us very far.

“And I think everyone could see in the last 10 minutes that the way we held on and got all our bodies behind the ball, defending for our lives and making sure we got the three points, shows massively how together we are as a team and a club.

“We know we can go to places away from home and cause teams’ problems and get results. Obviously we did that at times last year as well and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Butler was delighted to have contributed at both ends of the pitch.

“That’s the first time I’ve been the match-winner for County,” he said. “It’s my fourth goal for the club and the first time as match-winner.

“I’ve had a lot of shots, more than 10 so far this season, so I’m just glad it went in this time – even more so when it gets us all three points.

“Podge definitely misses the cross on purpose. I gave him a shout, so he stepped over it and fortunately my shot went in.”

The 24-year-old celebrated in front of the 223 travelling supporters and afterwards he praised the contribution they made to the victory.

“The fans were unreal to be honest,” he added. “I could hear them throughout the whole game and you could hear the roar at the end of the game – it sounded like we were at home.

“They’ve been terrific for the whole season, to be fair, and hopefully they keep backing us.

“The fans were massive. I don’t think until you’ve actually played away from home when you do bring a lot of fans, that you’ll ever realise how important they actually are.

“We were shooting towards them in the second-half as well and just hearing them gets you five yards further up the pitch. They were really important for us.

“I tried to jump into the away end after I scored but I didn’t quite get there! It was obviously great to score, but even better to do it in front of them.”

Butler has made an excellent start to the season but he knows he has to maintain that form with new loan signing Cameron Pring now providing competition at left-back and left wing-back following his deadline day arrival from Championship club Bristol City last week.

“Cameron is a really nice lad,” said Butler. “He’s young, he’s hungry and I think that’s what we need in the team.

“For me personally, I always try to ensure that I do my best every day, day in and day out and it is good for the team that we’ve now got two people in every single position that can play.

“Competition is good and we need that if we are going to do well this season.”