NEWPORT County AFC moved up to second in League Two after a 1-0 win against Tranmere at Rodney Parade.

Saikou Janneh scored his first goal since moving to the Exiles on loan from Bristol City, the 20-year-old volleying home from close range from a corner after 25 minutes.

Tranmere were reduced to 10 men when Paul Lewis was dismissed for a dangerous tackle on Joss Labadie after 52 minutes.


It was a big test for young Bristol City prospect Saikou Janneh against two experienced and hefty central defenders in Peter Clarke and Manny Monthe.

Clarke signed his first professional contract at Everton before Janneh was born, so this was a big learning curve for the 20-year-old.

The striker copped a few blows but landed the biggest with the goal that took the three points.

South Wales Argus:

Janneh is raw, keen and full of running but, naturally given his age and experience, has work to do on his decision-making. He will also feel that it should have been a double after he wasted a late chance to kill off the game when firing straight at Joe Murphy in a one-on-one.

Nonetheless, he's up and running in County colours and that should do him the power of good in the battle for starts with Tristan Abrahams, Padraig Amond, Kevin Ellison and Jamie Proctor.


County have purred at times this season but this was a more workmanlike performance against direct, physical opposition.

The Exiles didn't flow as they have in the recent past but they also showed good concentration and organisation to keep a clean sheet without any scares.

Arguably the Exiles' best performance so far in 2020/21 was a 1-0 win against Cambridge in the Carabao Cup but this 1-0 was just as impressive in its own way against an experience team that were in League One last season.

South Wales Argus:


It's quite the contest for County's best signing of the summer – Liam Shephard has been excellent down the right flank while Scott Twine has grown in stature in support of the front men.

Twine was influential again versus Tranmere and his presence in midfield provides a problem for teams that want to take Josh Sheehan out of the game.

Concentrate on the number 10 and the number 19 has more space to work in.

Twine scored a cracker against Cambridge and came close to another superb strike with a dipping free-kick that forced Murphy into a scrambling save.

Given that Swindon have the option to call back the 21-year-old in January, perhaps Michael Flynn could do with his form just dropping a little!


Joss Labadie said in the pre-match press conference that he will never calm down but he has learned how to channel his aggression and tenacity.

The 30-year-old's experience showed throughout the game and he must be a nightmare to play against, constantly winding up and niggling.

Labadie was at the heart of the dismissal that made County's life easier in the second half, intercepting Lewis' pass and then being clobbered by the Rovers man.

South Wales Argus:

It looked a bit of a soft red and Tranmere boss Mike Jackson certainly saw it that way.

"I don't think it was a red card. Their player was rolling around all game. We have to be better at the dark arts," he said.

A comment that shows the value of all-action Labadie alongside Sheehan and Twine.


Flynn revealed after the game that the sprinklers had not been working at Rodney Parade, meaning the pitch was a little dry and hindering County's ambition of playing a slick, rapid game on the deck.

Noticeable that there was no nonsense from the defence.

Demetriou and Cooper not afraid to launch it, much to the delight of former Exiles Mark O'Brien, who was on the media bench working as a summariser on iFollow and is still involved at the club.

Flynn wants to play attractive football that makes the most of his ball players – and Cooper has a great range of passing while Matty Dolan is comfortable stepping out of defence – but there is a time and a place, especially when 1-0 up against a side creating little.