GOALS from Ade Azeez and Padraig Amond and a Joe Day penalty save gave Newport County AFC a 2-0 win over Carlisle United at Rodney Parade. Here are the talking points... 

Exiles right back in the mix

This was a big win for County against a side who started the day in eighth place and the three points reeled in the Cumbrians and saw Michael Flynn’s men climb from 15th to 12th.

Other results went their way as well and they are now just five points below seventh-placed Forest Green Rovers with a game in hand.

And next week’s trip to Colchester United, who now occupy eighth place, is another opportunity to make up ground on the teams above them.

Home form crucial in play-off push

Assistant manager Wayne Hatswell revealed on Friday that County were targeting nine wins from the final 13 games to claim a play-off place.

The target is now eight from 12 – one better than Flynn’s team managed to complete the Great Escape back in 2017 – and after this fine performance it’s clear that the six games still to come at Rodney Parade will be vital.

The Exiles have proved that they can beat almost anyone at home on their day and Cheltenham Town, Oldham Athletic, Tranmere Rovers, Swindon Town, Bury and even leaders Lincoln City will not be relishing their trips to Newport.

Azeez impresses on his home debut

The deadline day signing from Cambridge United has had to wait for his chance to show what he can do due to injury but he certainly made his mark yesterday, giving County a third goal threat that they’ve lacked since losing Antoine Semenyo.

After making his debut from the bench at MK Dons last week, Azeez was handed his first start and his pace and link-up play made him a real handful for the Carlisle defence.

The 25-year-old loves playing at Rodney Parade – the ground where he scored his first professional goal back in 2013 – and he could have had a hat-trick after getting off the mark early on.

South Wales Argus:

Joe Day gets it spot on again

At 2-0 up with two minutes to go, the hosts appeared to be cruising to victory until Mark O’Brien was penalised for pulling down Tom Parkes in the box.

With five minutes added on at the end, it would have made for a nervy finale if Danny Grainger had scored from the spot but Joe Day dived to his left to keep County in control.

That made it two penalty saves in eight days for Day and three in a row for the Exiles after Nick Townsend’s effort at Grimsby Town.

It’s a nice habit to get into, but Flynn will be happier if his goalkeeper doesn’t have another chance to be the hero between now and the end of the season.

Read more: Match report from Rodney Parade

Read more: Flynn delighted by 'very important win'