JAMES Rowberry was thrilled his Newport County AFC side showed what they are capable of when derailing Port Vale’s bid for automatic promotion from League Two.

The Exiles stunned the Valiants with a 2-1 away win thanks to goals by Ryan Haynes and Finn Azaz either side of Ben Garrity’s equaliser.

County had nothing to play for while the hosts would have gone third in the table with success yet it was the 318-strong travelling contingent going wild at the final whistle.

Rowberry’s side hit a poor patch of form at the worst possible time to slip from third to 11th, with four points from a possible 21 ending their hopes with two games to go.

But they bossed the first half after Haynes’ third-minute opener and then rallied after being put under pressure by Vale to score against the run of play with 19 minutes to go.

South Wales Argus: DELIGHT: James Rowberry (right) at the final whistleDELIGHT: James Rowberry (right) at the final whistle

“It shows what we are capable of. The challenge now for the players, me and the staff is dealing with those moments of pressure that we have got to come through,” said Rowberry.

“I know that we will work on that in the off-season with regard to the work we will do and the recruitment. We’ve got to ensure that we build on what we are trying to do here.

“What pleased me was the lads’ attitude and focus. It was that cliché of having nothing to play for, but we demonstrated what we are about.”

Aston Villa loanee Azaz once again showed the quality that has led to the midfielder being named as League Two young player of the year.

He set up Haynes before slotting with a superb left-footed volley to earn the three points, just as he did in the 2-1 win against Vale in Newport.

“He has done terrifically. There are still elements in his game that he can improve but you can see what he is about and what he tries to do,” said Rowberry.

“He could have made life easy for himself but he is a driven individual and I admire that.”

County made five changes to the XI that lost to Colchester while they also changed formation with Matty Dolan returning to the central defensive role in a 3-5-2 that saw him win the club’s player of the season a year ago.

“We have gone with 3-5-2, 4-box-2, 4-1-3-2. The base of the build gave us a little bit more solidity behind the ball,” said Rowberry.

“Regardless of recent results, it was always in my head to play 3-5-2 against Port Vale. It’s a system that has had success for the club but the principles don’t change.

“You can see that in what we do, it just sometimes gives you that greater security behind the ball away from home.”

Mickey Demetriou missed out with a niggle that forced him off in the closing stages of the 2-1 defeat to Colchester.

“I hope he will be available for Saturday but what I loved about Mickey was that he phoned me on Sunday asking if he can travel with the squad. That shows how committed and professional he is,” said Rowberry.

County finish against Rochdale at Rodney Parade.