GOALKEEPER Nick Townsend hopes his performance against Middlesbrough has given Newport County AFC manager Michael Flynn a selection dilemma.

Townsend deputised for Joe Day on Saturday as County earned a 1-1 draw in their FA Cup fourth-round tie at the Riverside Stadium.

Regular Exiles number one Day missed the game to be with his wife Lizzie, who is expecting twins, and Townsend is again on standby to play against Port Vale in tomorrow night’s League Two clash at Rodney Parade.

Flynn was full of praise for the former Barnsley stopper at the weekend and he’s hoping to challenge Day as first-choice between the sticks.

Townsend told iFollow Exiles: “I thought it went well, considering I hadn’t really played in a while.

“It was all about making sure I was concentrating throughout the game.

“I fully enjoyed it because it was the first game in a long time that I felt comfortable and really enjoyed it.

“I played here last season [for Barnsley] so I knew what a tough test it was a going to be anyway,” he added.

“I felt comfortable coming into the game. I had a solid back-four in front of me and they know their jobs very well.

“I tried to help with organisation and communication and I’m happy with my own performance but I thought the defence, and the whole team, were excellent.”

On his chances of supplanting Day in the pecking order, Townsend said: “We’ll have to see what the gaffer says.

“I want to give him a headache, I think that’s what every player should want to do, and hopefully I’ve done that. We’ll see how it goes.”

The whole squad is on a high after Saturday’s result, and Townsend is no exception.

“Middlesbrough are a big club and this result is what the FA Cup is all about really,” said the 24-year-old.

“We are a League Two club and we’ve come up to Middlesbrough of the Championship and shown that we can step up to the mark and that we are all good players.

“If we were more clinical, I think we could have won the game but we’ve got a draw, we’re happy with that, and hopefully we can beat them in the replay.”

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The goalkeeper also paid tribute to the 1,200 travelling fans who made such a great noise at the Riverside.

“It was unbelievable support, to be fair,” he said.

“That’s probably why we got the goal in the end, just because the fans never stopped singing all the way through and they were always behind the team.

“It does give the players a boost, it’s a massive boost. You may not hear it from the outside but on the pitch, it feels like you have a 12th man behind you and it drives you forward as a team.

“I would say our fans definitely out-sung the Middlesbrough supporters. All I could hear in the second-half, when I was down the other end, was our fans singing and spurring us on.”

Townsend is expecting more great support as the team return home to take on Vale and he believes they can build on their cup exploits in League Two.

“Hopefully, we can take this result and use it in the league now,” he added.

“After this game and the Leicester game, we’re starting to get momentum on the go.

“If we can replicate the performances in the league then the play-offs are definitely a reachable target.”

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