DALE Gorman sealed a much-needed 1-0 win for Newport County AFC over Morecambe as they bounced back from last week’s mauling at Oldham Athletic with a battling three points.

Manager Michael Flynn questioned his players character after that 5-0 battering at Boundary Park, but there was no doubt about their commitment against the Shrimps.

There wasn’t much quality on the mud at Rodney Parade, but Gorman’s chipped finish 21 minutes from time was enough to settle the contest and ease some of the pressure on Flynn and his team.

It also sealed a first home win over Morecambe in seven attempts since 2013 and lifted up to 15th in the League Two table.

County welcomed back Scot Bennett from injury, while Matty Dolan and Tristan Abrahams were recalled to the starting XI.

Otis Khan and Padraig Amond dropped to the bench, while George Nurse was not included in the squad of 17.

Bennett’s return from a groin strain meant the Exiles reverted to three at the back and allowed Robbie Willmott and Ryan Haynes to concentrate more on getting forward, rather than their defensive duties.

And the wing-backs provided the brightest moments in a dreary first 45 minutes that produced very little for the sparse crowd to get excited about.

Willmott cut in from the right midway through the half and let fly but his shot was easily parried by Shrimps stopper Christoffer Mafoumbi.

Shortly afterwards, Haynes turned his man inside and out on the left and clipped in a tempting cross but neither Abrahams or Jamille Matt could get on the end of it and the ball was cleared.

A half-hearted Josh Sheehan penalty appeal aside, that really was that in terms of first-half highlights for the Exiles.

At the other end, Jordan Cranston fired over from distance early on and County keeper Tom King was almost caught out by a goal-kick from his opposite number Mafoumbi that caught the wind.

But, while the effort was there from both sides, neither did enough to break the deadlock before the break.

South Wales Argus:

The start of the second-half offered more of the same.

It took County 13 minutes to fashion a chance as Dale Gorman’s shot was deflected over after good link-up play between Sheehan, Ryan Inniss and Abrahams.

That seemed to spark the hosts into life and Bennett almost prodded in at the far post from a corner but Mafoumbi showed excellent reactions to bat the ball away to safety.

That got the fans off their seats and Flynn sent on Jordan Green in place of Abrahams to up the ante for the final half-hour.

The breakthrough finally arrived in the 69th minute as the Exiles took advantage of loss in concentration from the visitors following an injury to Carlos Mendes Gomes.

The Morecambe defence only partially cleared a long throw into the area from Mickey Demetriou and when Demetriou returned it and Mafoumbi puched away, Gorman produced a really clever chipped finish to send the ball over the goalkeeper and the men on the line and into the corner of the net.

Gorman almost had a second eight minutes later when his low drive was well saved by Mafoumbi after good work from Green on the right.

But, despite some nervy moments at the back in the closing stages -including Bennett clearing off the line in the sixth minute of time added on, one goal was enough to get Flynn’s men back to winning ways.

County: King; Inniss, Bennett, Demetriou; Willmott, Gorman, Dolan, Haynes; Sheehan; Matt, Abrahams (Green, 62)

Subs not used: Howkins, Woodiwiss, Collins, Waters, Khan, Amond

Booked: Gorman, Dolan

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 3,048 (Morecambe 60)

Argus star man: Bennett