NEWPORT County AFC continued their preparations for the new campaign with an encouraging 1-0 friendly win over a strong Shrewsbury Town team in Ludlow.

Last season’s hotshots Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt combined for the winning goal just before the hour-mark with Matt’s confident finish enough to earn victory over their League One opponents.

Pre-season friendlies are about more than the result, of course, but Exiles boss Michael Flynn will be pleased with the early scalp as well as the performance of his new-look squad.

After last week’s creditable 1-1 draw with Egyptian champions Al Ahly in Spain, this was a first chance for the fans to see their heroes in action since the League Two play-off final defeat at Wembley in May.

And it was an opportunity to see how the new arrivals measured up against tough opposition at Ludlow Stadium.

County started in a 4-1-3-2 formation with new signing Tom King in goal and fellow new boys Daniel Leadbitter, Kyle Howkins and George Nurse alongside Mickey Demetriou in defence.

Josh Sheehan lined up in front of the back four with Joss Labadie behind the front two and Robbie Willmott and summer signing Corey Whitely on the wings.

Demetriou was the standout player in the opening stages as he threw himself in the way of a fierce shot from Brad Walker and then cleared the danger when Ryan Giles had beaten Leadbitter on the left wing.

Fejiri Okenabirhie then dragged a shot wide from distance for the Shrews before Matt headed straight at Max O’Leary and Willmott sliced a shot wide.

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Leadbitter (above) looked more comfortable going forward and he linked well with Willmott and Whitely, who showed some nice touches and a useful burst of pace.

Labadie and Sheehan patrolled the middle of the pitch effectively and King looked solid in goal, apart from a mad 10 minutes before half-time when he and O’Leary both almost gave goals away with some dodgy footwork.

Marvel Ekpiteta, another new signing, replaced Leadbitter for the second half and Shrewsbury made five changes.

Labadie produced a neat turn to lose his marker 10 minutes into the second half but his shot from distance was well off target.

The breakthrough came just before the hour when Demetriou picked out Amond on the left of the area and the Irishman squared for Matt to fire in from close range.

Howkins, Demetriou, Labadie and Matt soon made way for Lazar Stojsavljevic, Mark O’Brien, Matty Dolan and Momodou Touray.

The Shrews almost levelled when Ekpiteta lost possession on the edge of the area and substitute Shaun Whalley sliced wide.

But Ekpiteta made amends soon afterwards when he made a vital clearance to deny Daniel Udoh an equaliser.

The former Hungerford Town man stuck to his task well and looks a viable alternative to Leadbitter at right-back.

Amond, Whitely, Sheehan and Willmott were withdrawn for the final 15 minutes and replaced by a quartet of youth team players – Dom Jefferies, Sioni Benham, Elis Watts and Ryan Hillier, who all performed well.

Abo Eisa should have levelled for Sam Ricketts’ men five minutes from the end after racing clear of Nurse but he blasted over when one-on-one with King and the County fans who made the journey could savour that winning feeling.

County: King; Leadbitter (Ekpiteta, 46), Howkins (Stojsavljevic, 63), Demetriou (O’Brien, 63), Nurse; Willmott (Jefferies, 75), Sheehan (Benham, 75), Labadie (Dolan, 63), Whitely (Watts, 75); Matt (Touray, 63), Amond (Hillier, 75)

Sub not used: Brain