BRANDON Cooper proved that timing is everything on Saturday – the pre-match goal pledge, the run in the box and the towering header to steal the spoils.

Newport County AFC take on Carlisle tomorrow evening with a five-point lead at the top of League Two thanks to another late, late show.

The Exiles beat Colchester United 2-1 last Tuesday thanks to Padraig Amond’s 90th minute effort and they repeated the trick on Saturday when Cooper struck at the death against Harrogate Town.

The clock was showing 88 minutes when the on-loan Swansea defender thumped the ball in from Scott Twine’s whipped corner from the left.

On Friday morning Cooper had said that he wanted to be more of a goal threat.

“It's coming soon! It's something that I've always looked at when growing up with Sergio Ramos and John Terry,” he said.

Wales Under-21s international Cooper was once again on press duties on Saturday after being the match winner.

“Timing-wise it was great. It’s something that I have been working on in training and I was glad to get one in and help the team to win a game,” he said.

“The chances were coming, someone was going to score and luckily it was me. It was so close to the goal that if I didn’t touch it then it might have gone in anyway!

“I really want to attack the ball and now I’ve got that first one hopefully I can chip in so that we have got goals coming from everywhere.”

County have dug deep twice to extend their winning streak to five games, reaping the rewards of going until the bitter end when frustrating draws looked likely.

South Wales Argus:

“It’s definitely a mentality thing,” said Cooper. “There’s a togetherness that we are all going to help each other out, that we are not going to back down.

“It’s still early days but if we do that through the season then hopefully we can go on and do great things.

“We’ve only played 10 league games and there are a lot more to go but it’s good for the fans if it gives them a lift in these harder times.”

The way that County fought for the spoils against an energetic and hungry Harrogate side that played for 53 minutes down to 10 men bodes well for another tough encounter.

Carlisle have made a strong start to the season themselves and were unlucky to not add to their 17 points when edged out at Exeter at the weekend.

“It’s one of the longest trips that we can possibly do – we go on the Monday and get back on Wednesday – but we are on a run and if we can keep that going then it will be a good journey home,” said Cooper.

South Wales Argus:

“Mentality is key every game but that’s definitely the case on the long trips. We’ve got to get the job done and go the full 90/95 minutes. If we can keep the momentum going it would be great.”

County could well be without Matty Dolan at the heart of the defence after a severe dental problem led to him being a late withdrawal against Harrogate.

Scott Bennett, one of the Exiles’ top performers in the curtailed 2019/20 campaign, replaced him in between Cooper and Mickey Demetriou.

“That shows the depth of the squad, Scot came in was excellent and Matty has been excellent every game that we have played,” said Cooper.

“It shows that everyone is ready to go and that comes from the gaffer and the coaching staff, making sure that everyone is at it every day. It’s competitive to get into the team and when you have that competition you get the results.”