NEWPORT County AFC may not have hit top gear so far this season but they continue to go in the right direction after grinding out another win at Rodney Parade.

Padraig Amond scored his sixth goal of the campaign and Josh Sheehan bagged his first with a classy first-time finish to seal all three points against Scunthorpe United after a Mark O’Brien own goal had briefly put the visitors on level terms.

It was a seventh win in 13 games in League Two and it was enough to see County climb back to third in the table with more than a quarter of the season gone.

Michael Flynn’s men are just three points behind leaders Crewe Alexandra with a game in hand and they’re averaging two points a game so far.

That is clearly promotion form and the Exiles have undoubtedly enjoyed an excellent start to the season.

But Rodney Parade regulars will know that, while their team’s defensive record is superb, there is room for improvement in attack.

And the stats back that up with just seven goals conceded to date and only 14 scored at the other end.

Flynn has consistently called on his team to be more clinical when chances come their way and that was the case again on Saturday as they recorded their fifth one-goal victory of the campaign.

Scunthorpe manager Paul Hurst was full of respect for the hosts after the match, but he was disappointed not to take a point home to Humberside.

“We know it is a difficult place to come to but I feel we deserved something from the game in the end,” said Hurst.

“For a team right up there and doing well I didn’t think there was any gulf to close.

“But ultimately Newport won the game and that’s what will make them successful.

“When you are playing against the top teams you need to play better for longer but we could have quite easily got something.”

South Wales Argus:

Hurst was aggrieved by the timing of Amond’s opening goal, a close-range header in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time.

“The fourth official said it was time and there were two throw-ins then a free-kick,” he told the Grimsby Telegraph.

“Even when we cleared the first ball, he didn’t blow. You get that horrible feeling stood on the side and that came true today.”

O’Brien was unfortunate to divert a James Perch cross into his own net four minutes after the break, but Sheehan’s superb strike from 20 yards out restored County’s lead on 56 minutes.

“We equalised in a good move, albeit with a bit of fortune from an own goal,” added Hurst.

“The winning goal is a long, high ball that our lads felt he was going to run through and gave up on the second ball.

“It was a good finish, which came out of nothing, but again that is what Newport are good at.

“After that we asked questions but didn’t have that little bit of luck or weren’t ruthless enough when opportunities came our way.”

Hurst’s men could have snatched a point in the closing stages but the Exiles should have been out of sight by that point.

Amond had wasted a great chance inside the first 10 seconds of the game, while both O’Brien and Joss Labadie could have broken the deadlock, and Jamille Matt saw a header saved at point-blank range at 1-0.

Other teams may punish that profligacy but they will have a tough job picking their way through a rock-solid defence.

And the knowledge that there is more to come up front should mean the County faithful are excited about what their team can achieve this season.

County: King, McNamara, O’Brien, Inniss, Haynes, Willmott, Sheehan, Bennett, Labadie (Nurse, 86), Matt, Amond (Abrahams, 85)

Subs not used: Townsend, Howkins, Dolan, Whitely, Poleon

Booked: McNamara, O’Brien, Willmott

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 3,946 (178 Scunthorpe)