MICHAEL Flynn declared Newport County AFC's promotion push "back on track" – but warned they must repeat the dirty work that did for Grimsby when they host Southend tomorrow.

The Exiles climbed from seventh to fourth in League Two thanks to a hard-fought win against the Mariners at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

The eight-game league winless streak looked set to be extended when Scot Bennett was sent off in the first half but Nicky Maynard struck a debut goal soon after the restart.

The battling success led to Flynn calling it "the best win of the season".

County – with new boy Priestley Farquharson superb at right-back – produced a well-drilled, disciplined performance to take the spoils.

Flynn knows that more of the same will be needed on a testing Rodney Parade surface that means they have had to ditch the expansive style that led to them setting the pace in the first half of the campaign.

"I'm really pleased. It's three points and we are back on track," said the manager.

"We've got another tough game on Tuesday because that pitch isn't going to get any better, there won't be more grass on it.

"It does affect us a lot more this season than in previous years, so we are at a disadvantage."

South Wales Argus: Midfielder Luke Gambin challenges for the ballMidfielder Luke Gambin challenges for the ball

County grafted impressively when down to 10 men, preventing Grimsby from creating any clear openings thanks to mixing discipline with controlled aggression.

"That was why I was so frustrated the previous week. I know that we can do it and Grimsby are a lot more physical than Harrogate," said Flynn.

"We have just shown there how much they stick together, how much hard work they do for each other and how they can mix it against a physical team.

“Maybe that was the shot in the arm that they all needed to know that they can do the horrible side of the game, because they are going to have to for 12 games on that pitch."

Flynn must now mull over his side for the Shrimpers after battling hard on a draining effort.

He opted to give 34-year-old deadline day signing Maynard his first start since November and reaped the rewards.

“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."

County will be without three players through suspension against Southend - Bennett, Joss Labadie and Liam Shephard.

Farquharson is a contender for a full debut after a hugely impressive bow off the bench while the forward line could be freshened up given the hectic schedule.