MICHAEL Flynn hailed Newport County AFC’s battling three points against Grimsby Town as their best win of the League Two season.

The Exiles reignited their promotion push thanks to Nicky Maynard’s goal in the opening stages of the second half, that after midfielder Scot Bennett had been sent off in the first half.

County hadn’t won since their trip to Grimsby on December 8 but battled for a victory that lifts them from seventh to fourth.

READ MORE: Match report as County end winless streak

The Mariners are struggling at the wrong end of the table yet the manner of the success left the Exiles boss thrilled.

“For me it was probably the best win of the season,” said manager Flynn. “I feared the worst when we went down to 10 for the fourth game in five, which is not good enough.

“I wasn’t very confident, I don’t mind being honest about that. As soon as the red card happened you start fearing the worst.”

Bennett was dismissed for a late, needless challenge on Stefan Payne on halfway. The red came after Josh Sheehan’s against Salford, Joss Labadie’s in Oldham and Liam Shephard’s at Harrogate.

“We are giving referees the chance to give them and we need to learn quickly, because we are not always going to get away with it,” said Flynn, who felt the ball had been out of play before the tackle.

“The red cards have all gone to experienced players - Liam, Josh, Joss and Scot – who should know better.

“One or two might be harsh, but don’t give the referee an opportunity. I will speak to Scot on Monday because he’s already feeling bad enough about it.”

South Wales Argus:

At half-time County might have settled for a point yet they took all three thanks to Maynard’s first goal in amber.

The 34-year-old arrived on loan from Mansfield late on deadline day and struck on his first start since November.

“That’s why I wanted him, for those kind of moments,” said Flynn. “With the pitch as it is, there will be fewer chances at the beginning of the season, it’s not going to be pretty and if we get an opportunity I want it to fall to Nicky Maynard.

“It was the only opportunity that Nicky had, Dom Telford had a goal disallowed very harshly and Jake Scrimshaw should have scored at the end.

“We had the three best chances but it was an unbelievably disciplined defensive display.”

County switched from a back three to a flat four with another new boy, signed predominantly as a central defender from Connah’s Quay, impressing at right-back.

“It was very pleasing and Priestley Farquharson coming on at half-time was immense,” said Flynn. “He was faultless. We had to go a little bit more physical with Ash coming off and he has got a lot of pace as well.”