GOALS from Josh Sheehan, Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond earned Newport County AFC three points against Northampton Town at Rodney Parade. Here are the talking points...

Sheehan comes to the party

The midfielder was a surprise starter as he replaced Antoine Semenyo, who was on target at Cheltenham Town on Saturday, and he certainly took his chance to impress.

It’s been a frustrating season for the 23-year-old who has failed to nail down a regular place in the team and has looked short of confidence at times.

But he began brightly against the Cobblers and scored his first goal of the season, and his first since March, with a beautiful curler into the bottom corner. He and County will hope that moment can kick-start his campaign.

Matt on for a record-breaking season

The striker continued his superb scoring run with his 12th in 24 appearances for the Exiles and his 10th in the last 13 games.

It’s already a record tally for the 29-year-old in the Football League and he’s on course to beat the 14 goals he managed for Kidderminster Harriers in the Conference in 2011-2012.

Matt (below) seems to have found a club and a team unit that suits him and his poacher’s instincts are just what County need if they are to remain in contention at the top of the League Two table.

South Wales Argus:

Professional display after the break

Michael Flynn’s men blew away the visitors with a blistering attacking display in the first half, completed by a flowing move and a fantastic finish from Amond for the third goal.

The second-half couldn’t match the first for entertainment value but the way the hosts frustrated their opponents and closed out the game was just as impressive in its own way.

County showed they can excel at the ugly side of the game and it was a rare comfortable night at Rodney Parade with no nail-biting required.

Crofts’ influence clear

The Wales international reclaimed the armband from Mickey Demetriou and he put in a captain’s performance in the heart of midfield.

He started the move that led to the opening goal and was a dominant figure throughout for the Exiles, particularly as they battled hard to keep the Cobblers at arms’ length after the break.

It was especially impressive as it was a first start for Crofts since August and he was by no means certain to last the full 90 minutes but he put his body on the line to secure the three points.