DOM Telford scored the first hat-trick of his career as Newport County AFC brushed Stevenage aside 5-0 in League Two.

The Exiles backed up their 3-1 win at Bristol Rovers with a comprehensive success at Rodney Parade.

Telford prodded in from close range and then doubled the lead with the help of a deflection after 26 minutes.

A wonder-goal from Courtney Baker-Richardson after 33 minutes made it 3-0 and then Telford completed his hat-trick with a curler from outside the box early in the second half.

Finn Azaz smashed in a fifth from distance after 49 minutes and Stevenage were content to limit the damage to 5-0.

Here are the talking points from Newport…


This was County’s biggest win since returning to the Football League, beating last season’s 4-0 against Scunthorpe, and their best success since the 7-1 Conference triumph at Gatesehead in April 2011.

It could have been even more.

Telford had chances before completing his hat-trick, Mickey Demetriou headed a yard over from a corner and also had a penalty shout, Ollie Cooper failed to make the most of an opening at 5-0 and substitute Kevin Ellison was denied twice.

County have been brave with their attacking line-up and are a formidable side when on the front foot, one blessed with a variety of different threats.

They do have the ability to mix up their game but the summer work to install a perfect Rodney Parade pitch means that, unlike last year, there should be no need to play the percentages over the winter.

With the talent in this squad, the hope is that County will at least be in the mix for the play-offs.

South Wales Argus: RED-HOT: Dom Telford has scored 10 goals this seasonRED-HOT: Dom Telford has scored 10 goals this season


Telford could have been on his way out on transfer deadline day but instead lined up against Plymouth Argyle that evening and fired in the shots against his former side, getting his reward with a terrific goal from outside the box.

That performance proved to be a turning point and the 24-year-old has kept up that approach to force his way into Michael Flynn’s side, then lead the line for Wayne Hatswell and now James Rowberry.

At times last season County tried another pass instead of having a crack but Telford is not shy to try his luck and is reaping the rewards.

The striker now has 10 goals in all competitions and nine in League Two, tallies that have already beaten last season’s leaders Padraig Amond and Matty Dolan.

The variety is pleasing with Telford mixing tap-ins like the opener against Stevenage with neat finishes like against Orient, ingenious ones like at Bristol Rovers and stunning efforts like against Carlisle.

In this form the striker will want the games to keep coming thick and fast.

South Wales Argus: CONTROL: Robbie Willmott pulling the strings for CountyCONTROL: Robbie Willmott pulling the strings for County


Nobody would have predicted Robbie Willmott starring as a holding midfielder when the utility man who was primarily a winger signed a new County contract after spending the second half of last season on loan at Exeter.

The 31-year-old has had a superb start to the campaign, largely operating with Ed Upson as the deepest man.

His suspension led to Willmott having the sitting role at Bristol Rovers and against Stevenage, providing the experience and League Two knowhow to allow the loan trio of Azaz, Cooper and Jake Cain to thrive.

James Rowberry described his latest performance as a “masterclass” with the stalwart demanding the ball and showing the calmness under pressure that the manager wants from his midfielders while also recognising danger.

Willmott’s importance to this County side was shown after minutes when he was the third man to be replaced and wrapped in cotton wool for the challenges ahead.

South Wales Argus: STRONG: Mickey Demetriou heads clearSTRONG: Mickey Demetriou heads clear


It was a day when attacking play got the headlines but the tidy footballers were able to do their stuff thanks to the efforts of those at the back.

Cameron Norman continued his superb season at right-back while Aaron Lewis has grasped his opportunity down the left after Ryan Haynes’ suspension.

However, it was the experienced pairing of Mickey Demetriou and James Clarke that enabled their gifted teammates to shine.

Granted, well-organised Stevenage aren’t the most challenging of sides to face but they do possess the seriously rapid Elliott List.

The County centre-backs didn’t give the visitors a sniff until the last minute when Demetriou played a loose pass back to Joe Day.

Clarke has gone under the radar so far since arriving from Walsall – the 31-year-old has been an astute, solid signing.