ROBBIE Willmott's first-half strike was enough to earn Newport County AFC all three points against Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade. Here are the talking points...

Phenomenal physical effort

Michael Flynn stuck with the same starting XI that had performed so superbly against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night and, despite a draining pitch, they battled brilliantly against the Stags.

The manager had challenged his players to carry their FA Cup form into the league and they did that in style, overcoming the physical and mental toll that beating Boro must have taken on them.

Whether they can keep that going against MK Dons on Tuesday is another question and we could see some changes to freshen up the team ahead of the massive cup clash with Manchester City next Saturday.

County corner the market in set-piece goals

After a carefully-planned and wonderfully executed second goal against Middlesbrough in mid-week, the Exiles produced another clever corner routine to earn three points against Mansfield.

On Tuesday it was Willmott providing the assist for Padraig Amond, but this time the roles were reversed as Amond flicked the ball to Willmott to hammer home from the edge of the area.

It was a move that County have tried several times already this season but the visitors had no answer to it and it’s another goal straight off Wayne Hatswell’s drawing board.

South Wales Argus:

Willmott wows again

It’s been a great week for everyone at the club, but none more so than Willmott who followed up his first goal of the season against Boro by signing a new contract and then bagging his first league goal against Mansfield.

The winger was a constant threat down the right flank and his direct running caused panic in the visitors’ defence and they picked up two bookings for hacking him down.

Willmott’s delivery was not quite up to his usual standard but he took his goal really well and tracked back to help out in defence to great effect, earning a deserved standing ovation when he was replaced late on.

Labadie proves his worth

This was a big step forward for Joss Labadie as he completed his first 90 minutes in 11 months and showed that he is beginning to get back to his best following that anterior cruciate ligament knee injury.

Labadie always walks a disciplinary tightrope but he adds an extra intensity in midfield and his experience and guile are qualities that have been missing in the side at times this season.

As he grows in confidence and influence, the 28-year-old also adds a goal threat and he was perhaps unlucky to see a poacher’s strike ruled out by the offside flag in the first half.