TOP scorer Padraig Amond believes Newport County AFC can take inspiration from the Great Escape season as they aim to gatecrash the League Two play-offs.

Today marks two years since County were thumped 4-0 at home by relegation rivals Leyton Orient in Graham Westley’s final match in charge.

That humiliating defeat left the Exiles 11 points from safety but Michael Flynn, who took charge on March 9, 2017, rallied the troops and they won seven of the final 12 games to beat the drop.

Padraig Amond, who moved to Newport later that year, was on the receiving end back then as he was part of the Hartlepool United squad that was overhauled by Flynn’s men and relegated in their place.

Two years on, County are 12th in the League Two table and only five points off the top seven with a game in hand after Amond netted his 21st goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Carlisle United.

They will probably need to win eight of the remaining 12 games to make the play-offs, but Amond has no doubt that they can do it.

“Results went for us [at the weekend] and we’re still playing for something – that’s the most important thing,” said the striker.

“You don’t want to be going into the last 10 games of the season knowing you’re not going to be going up or down.

“We’re in a good position and we want to keep the season going for as long as possible.

“We’ve shown that, when we have something to play for, we are a really good side.

“It’s going to be a tough game next week [at Colchester United] and it’s up to us to back up this result.

“And if we can win our game in hand as well then who knows what can happen?

“Someone always makes a late run and sneaks into the play-offs on the last game of the season, so let’s hope it’s us.

“There were 12 games left when the gaffer took over a couple of years ago and the lads won seven.

“That’s a tough ask, but this team is capable of doing that.”

South Wales Argus:

Reflecting on County’s Great Escape, Amond told iFollow Exiles: “When I was at Hartlepool, we were on the other side of Newport chasing it down.

“If I’m honest with you, for a long time we thought it was dead and buried and they wouldn’t get back from it.

“When you came in and saw the results – if you lost and Newport won, it was like ‘oh not again.’ Every time Newport lost a game, we didn’t take advantage of it.

“Someone will always go on a run,” he added. “I think it was four or five years ago that York City went on a mad run from bottom of the league at Christmas to the play-offs.

“We’re in a lot healthier position than that, we’re back into the top half now, and there’s only a couple of teams above us.

“It’s up to ourselves to prove that we want to prolong the season and put in the effort between then and now to make it happen. Of course, you need luck along the way as well.

“It’s important we back up this performance with a result next weekend against a team who are our rivals for that play-off spot. We’ll do everything we can.”

Read more: How County turned a corner against Carlisle to get back on track

Read more: Exiles boss Flynn praises Azeez and Matt after vital victory