NEWPORT County AFC extended their lead at the top of League Two thanks to Kevin Ellison’s injury time strike against Port Vale.

The Exiles looked set to drop points for the first time at Rodney Parade this season after failing to take a raft of chances.

However, Leon Legge was shown a second yellow card to allow the hosts to apply late pressure and it eventually paid off when Ellison slammed home after Matty Dolan’s corner fell his way.


With Cambridge not in action, County moved three points clear at the top of the table with the U’s losing their second place to Cheltenham.

Here are some talking points from the dramatic win at Rodney Parade...

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Against Mansfield it was a Matty Dolan penalty, versus Colchester it was a prodded finish by Padraig Amond, Harrogate were denied by Brandon Cooper’s towering header and it was Ellison’s slammed shot that did for Port Vale.

County have won six from six at Rodney Parade in League Two and on four occasions they have left it very, very late.

Even the win against Cambridge came when Scott Twine hammered home after 80 minutes.

Good sides find a way to win and Vale’s red card allowed County to put the pressure on with Robbie Willmott making a real impression with his energy down the right.

The Exiles have shown their character and desire by fighting until the bitter end; it can't just be luck when it has happened so frequently.

“It shows that we keep going, we keep trying and keep probing. It also says that we should score a few more earlier on in games,” said Flynn.


Flynn’s point from above is one that he has been making all season, despite County having 28 points from a possible 36.

They have played some lovely football but only once have they put a side to the sword, and their 3-0 win at Bradford could have been even more comprehensive.

Chances have gone begging and Jamie Proctor, Liam Shephard (three times), Padraig Amond and Brandon Cooper will feel they should have been the hero, not Ellison.

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Flynn will demand that his team are more cutthroat when they welcome Walsall to Newport on Tuesday.

“The pleasing thing is that we are creating chances, which we weren’t doing that so much last year,” said the manager. “We are creating chance after chance and it took until the 96th minute to get the winner.

“I don’t care if we score the winner in the first minute or the last, it’s three points and we thoroughly deserved it. We had over 60 per cent possession and 24 shots but we just didn’t test the keeper enough.”


It was a surprise when the County team was announced at 2pm and Flynn had opted for an attacking midfield trio of Josh Sheehan, Jamie Devitt and Scott Twine.

Sheehan has been the sitting man all season, dictating play with poise that will serve him well as he climbs the leagues, and the Exiles selected two creative, nimble players alongside him.

Twine has been a revelation this season but didn’t have his most productive afternoon; on one occasion he failed to get a shot off in the box and he should cut out his dramatic tumbles.

Devitt played some delightful balls but also frustrated at times before tiring and being replaced by Joss Labadie.

The midfield certainly seems to have a better balance with the energetic, physical captain in it.

It will be interesting to see if the forward-thinking trio get the nod again versus Walsall, because they have the talent and spark to cause all manner of problems when County boss possession.


Flynn can now make five changes in League Two fixtures and on Saturday he made four, bringing on Padraig Amond and Joss Labadie together, then Robbie Willmott and finally Ellison.

It worked perfectly with the subs bringing energy, then Ellison becoming the last-gasp hero.

“The subs were excellent – Robbie, Podge, Kev and Labs – they gave us that little bit more of a push in the final third.

“I though that Robbie was excellent when he came on with quality balls into the box, he was always keeping their left-back on the back foot and he kept pushing us forward.

“He has been frustrated (about not starting) but he has come on to help us get a win.”

Once again Flynn has food for though ahead of Tuesday’s encounter with Walsall, with Saturday’s game played in torrential rain that would have sapped the energy.

“We’ve got a strong squad with another couple back in contention for Tuesday. Seven missed out today and I will have to choose carefully,” said the manager.