NEWPORT County AFC returned to action with another famous scalp, dumping Swansea City out of the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 win at Rodney Parade.

Tristan Abrahams struck twice for the Exiles in the first half and they deservedly earned a place in round two of the competition after shutting out the Swans.


Here are the talking points from the derby win which put Michael Flynn's men in today's draw at just after 2pm...


County hadn’t played a competitive game since losing at Carlisle in March and their pre-season was impacted by the use of the job retention scheme.

That put pressure on the squad to put in graft without as much contact with the Exiles coaching staff as everyone would have liked.

Michael Flynn praised the efforts of his players to the Argus last month – “the boys came back in fantastic condition, they are all beating their times from last year in pre-season” – and it showed at Rodney Parade.

South Wales Argus: ENERGY: Liam ShephardENERGY: Liam Shephard

Their energy was noticeable throughout with Ryan Haynes and Liam Shephard getting up and down the flanks and the forwards giving plenty of protection to their defence with work high up the field.

It continued to the bitter end with Flynn shouting his praise for Josh Sheehan in injury time after the midfielder battled to nip in for possession on the edge of his box and then earn a free-kick to help secure the win.

"In simple terms, the non-negotiables of football we were second best at,” admitted Swansea boss Steve Cooper.


Tristan Abrahams earned the plaudits with his two strikes in the first half but his work rate also stood out.

The forward was a pain in the backside for a Swansea defence that included the highly-rated Joe Rodon.

“The amount of work that Tristan Abrahams got through was unbelievable – he looked like a Championship striker today. He was superb,” said Flynn.

South Wales Argus:

It could have been even better – Abrahams should have done better with a first-half header when unmarked and when sent through on goal only to tamely shoot at Freddie Woodman.

As a greedy forward he will regret not heading home with the matchball but the 21-year-old’s performance was selfless and he also created a golden chance for Lewis Collins.

With Padraig Amond, Ryan Taylor and Saikou Janneh on the bench, Abrahams laid down a marker.


It wasn’t until the opening minutes of the second half that County goalkeeper Nick Townsend was forced into a save, solidly repelling Wayne Routledge’s effort. It wasn’t the first of many.

Plenty of credit for that should go to Matty Dolan, who dropped back from midfield to boss the defence with Mickey Demetriou and Kyle Howkins either side of him.

The 27-year-old won his aerial duels and made sound decisions against a fluid attack; his performance led to Andre Ayew getting more than a bit tetchy.

The BBC possession stats of 64 per cent to the Swans should be taken with a pinch of salt – it never felt like County were under the pump, with Dolan a leading figure.

South Wales Argus:

“He reads the game so well and is comfortable on the ball. He was superb and made all the right calls, even when he had to come out deep to follow Ayew when he was dropping off,” said Flynn.

“We worked on it with Matty in pre-season and in training, so we were more than confident he could do it.

“It’s a position that he’s comfortable in and if we feel it’s right to use him there then we will.”

Over the course of a long season, the versatility of Dolan and Scot Bennett will be invaluable.


County will be determined to repeat their Swansea performance when they head up to Scunthorpe on Saturday to get League Two under way, but first is the EFL Trophy encounter with Cheltenham.

South Wales Argus:

That presents an opportunity for those that missed out against the Swans to give Flynn a headache.

The bench for the derby clash featured Tom King, Ashley Baker, Robbie Willmott, Padraig Amond, Saikou Janneh, Ryan Taylor and Joe Woodiwiss.

Scot Bennett and Kevin Ellison weren't involved but are proven performers in the EFL while summer signing David Longe-King will need to show he can make the step up from St Albans.

This mammoth season will stretch squads, especially when injuries hit, but the Exiles need competition for places.