BOSS James Rowberry hailed Jake Cain’s cameo as one of his best performances in a Newport County AFC shirt after the Liverpool loanee was part of a game-changing bench in the dramatic win at Swindon Town.

The Exiles climbed back into the play-off spots thanks to a 90th minute success against promotion rivals at the County Ground.

The only goal of the game came at the death when Swindon defender Dion Conroy put into his own net as Dom Telford waited to slot from Finn Azaz’s cross/shot.

County rode their luck in the first half but improved after the break, albeit without putting the Robins under serious pressure in the final third.

Rowberry was forced into a change in the 68th minute when Robbie Willmott limped off and his replacement Cain made a huge impact.

The Liverpool prospect has been slowly reintroduced after missing four games with a rib injury but was energetic off the ball and composed on it in an encouraging performance for the run-in.

South Wales Argus: ENERGY: Jake Cain puts Jack Payne under pressureENERGY: Jake Cain puts Jack Payne under pressure

“That was almost his best 20 or 30 minutes in a Newport shirt. I am really, really pleased with what he did and how he did it,” said Rowberry about the 20-year-old, who has played 25 times.

The manager also brought Dom Telford and Courtney Baker-Richardson, his first-choice strike partnership for most of the season, on for the final half hour.

“The three of them were terrific,” he continued about his trio of substitutes. “It’s a collective effort, we will all do this together.

“The starting XI were the workers and the rest come on to reap the rewards. It’s about the 26 players, the staff, the fans and everybody. There is a real good feel to the place at the minute.”

Telford, who is likely to win the League Two golden boot, has now gone eight games without a goal and had to settle for making an impact off the bench for the first time since September.

Rowberry stressed that it wasn’t down to poor performance and that the management made the call to get the striker firing for the five remaining games.

South Wales Argus: Dom Telford fired in County's first shot after coming off the benchDom Telford fired in County's first shot after coming off the bench

“Dom has played so many games in a row,” said the boss. “He just needed freshening up and it is our responsibility as a staff to manage his load. Fortunately it paid off at Swindon.

“Dom is a terrific lad and he understands it. That’s our job to manage those situations and I felt that we did that, which will help him with his performances.”

County have central defender Josh Pask back in contention for Crawley on Friday after a hamstring injury but the game might come too soon for attacking midfielder Ollie Cooper (groin).