NEWPORT County AFC backed up ending leaders Stockport’s hunt for a record by becoming the first team to win at Morecambe in League Two this season.

The Exiles recorded a superb 2-1 win at Mazuma Stadium to meet the demands of boss Graham Coughlan.

The manager called for more of the same from County after they had stunned pace-setting Stockport, who had been hunting a record 13th straight league win.

The Exiles did just that, coming from behind after Morecambe hit the front in the 12th minute when teenage Burnley loanee Michael Mellon scored his 12th of the campaign with an inch-perfect strike on the turn.

County levelled in the 28th minute when their prolific striker, Will Evans, made it 13 for the campaign in all competitions when lashing in from a corner.

That ended a mini-drought of eight fixtures without a strike for the mid-Walian and then fit-again Seb Palmer-Houlden nodded the visitors in front after 56 minutes from a free-kick.

Set pieces earned the lead and the Exiles did a professional job to become the first team to leave Morecambe with the spoils after five Shrimps wins and three draws.

Coughlan’s men took six points from a pair of tricky games that many of us feared would be pointless.

Now they focus on looking to boost the coffers by beating Barnet to earn a spot in the third round of the FA Cup before returning to the bread and butter with a key trip to Tranmere.

South Wales Argus: Michael Mellon put Morecambe in front against Newport CountyMichael Mellon put Morecambe in front against Newport County (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

After a long midweek trip north, County named the same XI that beat Stockport with James Clarke and Palmer-Houlden fit to start again.

Midfielder Harry Charsley made a welcome return on the bench after being out since September 9 with an ankle injury.

That meant Coughlan had the luxury of seven substitutes for the first time since Notts County on October 24, albeit one of them was academy novice Nelson Sanca.

It was a cagey opening but the Shrimps hit the front in the 12th minute, just after County captain Ryan Delaney had returned to the field with a bandage after a clash of heads.

Striker Omar Bogle, who started in a slightly deeper role, lost possession in midfield and a cross by Adam Mayor found Mellon in the box and the in-form forward, son of former Tranmere boss Micky, turned gave Nick Townsend no chance with a shot low into the bottom left corner.

The Exiles should have had a clean sheet against Stockport when they conceded deep in added time but were chasing from early on in Lancashire.

Morecambe had bossed possession but County grew into the game and posed some questions from the right boot of Shane McLoughlin at set pieces.

A free-kick led to a half-chance in the 24th minute after the ball rebounded to top scorer Evans on the left but his effort from a tight angle was wild.

The striker made no mistake just minutes later when presented with a chance on his other foot, lashing in after Bogle was denied by a fine block when a McLoughlin from the right was flicked on by Clarke.

South Wales Argus: LEVEL: Will Evans slams in for Newport County to make it 1-1 at MorecambeLEVEL: Will Evans slams in for Newport County to make it 1-1 at Morecambe (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Morecambe had a pair of appeals for penalties, JJ McKiernan going down in the box and then for a James Clarke handball, but thankfully Ross Joyce wasn’t as keen to point to the spot as Bobby Madley was at Wembley two years ago.

The Shrimps were close to restoring their lead two minutes before the break when McKiernan outjumped Matt Baker from a corner but his header struck the bar.

The start of the second half was disrupted by a clash of heads between Delaney and Mellon that required lengthy treatment for the Morecambe man.

The Shrimps were inches away from making it 2-1 when Tom Bloxham put the ball across the six-yard box but Mayor couldn’t stretch to apply the finish.

Instead it was the Exiles that got their noses in front thanks to their set-piece prowess with a McLoughlin free-kick launched into the box in the 57th minute.

Captain Ryan Delaney climbed high on his return to Morecambe and Palmer-Houlden nodded in from close range for his first goal since his promising start to the season was ended by a hamstring injury in August.

The Bristol City prospect was replaced by fellow teen Kiban Rai in the 70th minute as Coughlan looked for fresh legs to press in defence and threaten on the break.

Bogle won possession but failed to hit the target from distance a minute later then it was County’s turn to appeal for a spot-kick only for Mr Joyce to deem there was no offence against Matt Baker after a tangle.

The Exiles were on top but were almost undone with a counter-attack from their own corner but Townsend saved sharply to his right from Mellon in the 80th minute.

Midfielder Charsley made his return with eight minutes plus plenty for stoppages to go, replacing Evans, and the Exiles made it to 90, when eight more went up on the board.

The players had emptied the tank but dug deep, getting heads and boots to anything in the box, to ensure there was no late sickener.

Morecambe scorers: Mellon.

County: Townsend, Payne, Baker, Clarke, Delaney (captain), McLoughlin, Bennett, Morris, Bogle, Evans (Charsley 82), Palmer-Houlden (Rai 69).

Substitutes: Maxted, Bondswell, Waite, Wood, Sanca.

Yellow: Bennett.

Scorers: Evans, Palmer-Houlden.

Referee: Ross Joyce.

Attendance: 2,982 (83 County).