MICHAEL Flynn saluted his “outstanding” strikers Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt after the pair took their combined goals tally to 40 for the season to seal a vital victory at Cambridge United.

Amond and Matt were both on target with first-half headers at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday to score their 22nd and 18th goals of the campaign respectively.

And substitute Harry McKirdy scored his first for the club as he curled in with his first touch to seal the win and keep County in the hunt for the League Two play-offs with five games to go.

Flynn described it as “a near-enough perfect away performance” and heaped praise on his front two.

“They’ve been outstanding,” said the Exiles boss. “Jamille Matt was struggling all week [with the dead leg that forced him off against Swindon Town last Tuesday] and he was struggling after 20 minutes again, but I just couldn’t take him off.

“I promised him, if he stayed on for as long as I needed him, I’d give him a couple of days off so I’m going to look after him now.

“He was excellent. He just epitomises what we’re about as a football club and what I want from my team as a manager.

“I want everybody to give their all and have a bit of quality. He’s got qualities; he’s got 18 goals – the most he’s ever scored – and, the way he leads the line, all the defences know they’re in for a game when Jamille is playing.

“He hasn’t scored since he had his tooth knocked out [at Notts County on February 19] but he’s had it back in now so it must be a lucky tooth. It’s like Samson when he lost all his hair – he lost all his strength!”

South Wales Argus:

The prolific pairing is the first since club legends Tommy Tynan and John Aldridge in the 1982-1983 season to hit 40 goals in a Football League campaign for County.

“I think it’s amazing,” added Flynn. “It’s a credit to both of them. Podge has been fantastic for us since he signed and so has Jamille. They’re a credit to this football club.”

McKirdy will find it difficult to oust either Amond or Matt, but he proved his worth with an impressive cameo from the bench against the U’s.

“I was buzzing for him,” said Flynn. “It was his first touch. He’s a very good footballer and I wanted to get him on the pitch.

“I think he’s deserved it. He’s been chomping at the bit. He’s been knocking at my door every day and I like that.

“As long as it’s done in the right way, I’ve got a lot of time for that.

“And I’ve told him ‘that’s how you answer me – not by being disappointed and feeling sorry for yourself’, which he hasn’t done. ‘You get on, you get one chance and you score’ – you can’t do much better than that.”

County are up to 12th ahead of Friday’s home clash with second-placed Bury and they remain five points behind seventh-placed Exeter City with a game in hand.

“We’re in the middle of April and Newport County are still in with a chance of getting into the play-offs and it’s not very often you say that,” said Flynn.

“I’m very proud of what we’re doing as a group and the players deserve all the credit.

“I’m not getting excited. The fans can, but we stay as level as we can. I’ve just got to keep the boys going and make sure we finish as well as we can.”

Read more: Match report from the Abbey Stadium

Read more: Flynn thrilled by 'near perfect away performance'