TYREEQ Bakinson’s first goal in professional football was enough to earn Newport County AFC all three points at Oldham Athletic and move them level on points with League Two leaders Lincoln City.

County defended superbly throughout to claim a first clean sheet on the road since March and Bakinson settled a close contest with a clever finish midway through the second half.

It was a fourth successive win in the league for Michael Flynn’s men and they are now behind early pace-setters Lincoln on goal difference alone but they had to work hard for it.

Jamille Matt replaced Mark Harris in the only change from last week’s win at Port Vale.

And, just like the last 40 minutes at Vale Park, the hosts were on top in the first half on a wet and miserable Greater Manchester afternoon.

As the Boundary Park pitch soaked up the persistent rain, the County defence soaked up a lot of pressure in the first 45 minutes.

Callum Lang claimed a penalty when he went down in the box after a quarter of an hour but referee Mark Heywood, who has history with the Exiles an spot-kicks, was not interested.

Joe Day then did well to punch away a tempting cross from Latics left-back Andy Taylor before safely collecting a long-distance effort from Lang.

County didn’t have a clear opening until the 33rd minute. Josh Sheehan was very close to breaking the deadlock with a powerful snap shot but Oldham goalkeeper Zeus De La Paz showed lightning quick reflexes to save at point-blank range.

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A minute later the Curaçaoan stopper pulled of another impressive save, just getting his fingertips to the ball to deny Fraser Franks.

But the hosts will feel they should have taken the lead four minutes before the break.

The impressive Dan Gardner skipped past David Pipe in the box and let rip but Day was equal to it.

Mickey Demetriou saw a header tipped over the bar two minutes after the restart but the hosts then resumed their assault on Day’s goal.

The Exiles number one plucked a Rob Hunt effort out of the air and saved a header from Johan Branger but he was fortunate to concede when Sam Surridge’s cross just evaded Branger following a mazy run from Lang.

Matt had a half-hearted penalty appeal dismissed at the other end but there seemed little prospect of a County breakthrough until Dan Butler picked out Bakinson with a superb ball over the home defence on 69 minutes.

The Bristol City teenager took it in his stride and squeezed his shot expertly inside the far post before celebrating in front of the travelling fans.

The Oldham fans showed their frustration and their team continued to toil in vain as Branger and substitute Jose Baxter headed off target and Christopher Missilou saw a long-range drive saved by Day and the Exiles held on.

County: Day; Franks, Bennett, Demetriou; Pipe, Dolan, Bakinson, Butler; Sheehan (O’Brien, 84); Matt (Marsh-Brown, 74), Amond

Subs not used: Townsend, Pring, Forbes, Cooper, Crofts

Booked: Franks, Butler

Referee: Mark Heywood

Attendance: 4,293 (259 County)

Argus star man: Butler