NEWPORT County AFC put themselves right in the mix for the League Two play-offs with a superb 2-0 win at AFC Wimbledon.

The Exiles recorded back-to-back wins against rivals for the top seven by following up their thrilling 5-3 success against Morecambe with a disciplined and determined triumph at Plough Lane.

County led 1-0 at the break thanks to a stunning drive by Bryn Morris from outside the box, his seventh of a terrific first campaign in Newport.

That was followed by centre-back Kyle Jameson’s first of an injury-hit season 10 minutes after the start to put the visitors in a commanding position.

They then defended strongly against a Wimbledon side who started the day in seventh to bag three precious points to close to within two of the play-offs.

It was another mightily impressive performance on the road by the Exiles, who got their game plan spot-on for a clash with a Dons side who have a mean defence and lead the division for clean sheets with 15.

They got their noses in front and then soaked up the pressure to keep a clean sheet to please boss Graham Coughlan.Now they will try to repeat the trick next Saturday at promotion-chasing Barrow – win there and an unlikely bid for the play-offs really will be on.

South Wales Argus: OPENER: Bryn Morris struck for County at WimbledonOPENER: Bryn Morris struck for County at Wimbledon (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

Coughlan made one change to the XI that beat Morecambe with Offrande Zanzala replacing Luke Jephcott up front.

Central defender Declan Drysdale was absent and that led to another bench outing for youngster Nelson Sanca, who was to be an unused substitute for the 12th time.

The Dons settled the better and tested County’s defence with Mickey Demetriou-esque long-throw missiles from the arms of central defender Kofi Balmer.

Nick Townsend saved the first effort of the afternoon comfortably from Jake Reeves from distance in the sixth minute after the Exiles gave the ball away in midfield.

County had been on the back foot yet got their noses in front with a cracker in the ninth minute against one of the division’s meanest defences.

Adam Lewis played a ball in behind and Zanzala did superbly to hold up play and lay it off for Morris to drill in from distance, low and hard to give Alex Bass no chance.

The Exiles had the lead and they managed the next section of the game perfectly with the next Dons response coming after 25 minutes when Armani Little wastefully fired well over from the edge of the area.

County had a golden chance to go 2-0 up after half an hour when Zanzala was left in space down the left, rounded defender John-Joe O’Toole but was denied in a one-on-one by Bass, with Will Evans screaming for a cut-back.

At the other end a Reeves attempt from distance was blocked by his own man with Townsend on the dive, then he had another effort from the edge of the box deflected over the bar.

Then came a moment of controversy in the 37th minute that left both sides unhappy – the Exiles were annoyed that referee Thomas Parsons gave a foul against the scrambling Jameson for his challenge on John-Kymani Gordon, the Dons were miffed that the defender was shown yellow rather than red.

Reeves struck the free-kick low and Townsend saved before the official was in the thick of it again.

Mr Parsons correctly penalised a shove in the back on Matt Baker, who then handled before Omar Bugiel netted.

South Wales Argus: Offrande Zanzala on the run for County at WimbledonOffrande Zanzala on the run for County at Wimbledon (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

County added to the Dons’ frustrations by holding firm to take their 1-0 lead into the second half.

The visitors had a tentative appeal for handball in the area soon after the restart with the ball then falling for Will Evans to have a shot on the turn that was deflected over.

That was followed by a scramble in the County box after a corner caused problems, Townsend stumbling because of a crowd on his line.

Wimbledon were pushing for a leveller, but fell two goals down in the 55th minute.

Adam Lewis whipped in a free-kick, it came off a desperate Dons boot and Jameson finished superbly with his rarely-used right boot at the far post.

Wimbledon needed a response and early got one in the 62nd minute when sub Josh Kelly chased a long ball and lobbed Townsend, who was saved by the top of the bar.

He was in the action again in the 69th minute when he turned on the edge of the box and shot inches wide of Townsend’s right post.

The clock was against Wimbledon, who were frustrated again after 77 minutes when a long throw led to Baker blocking from Kelly.

County went down the other end and top scorer Evans did majestically to turn and create a shooting chance only for Bass to deny him.

Coughlan brought on fresh legs with eight to go with Luke Jephcott and James Waite joining Seb Palmer-Houlden, on for Zanzala just past the hour, in coming off the bench.

The Dons bossed the ball but County kept them at bay as the 90 approached, keen to avoid giving them a sniff of a point.

Six minutes were added on but the Exiles finished off the job superbly before joining the 469-strong Amber Army to celebrate.

County: Townsend, Payne, Baker, Bennett (captain), Jameson, Lewis, Morris, Wildig (Jephcott 82), Charsley (Waite 82), Zanzala (Palmer-Houlden 63), Evans.

Substitutes not used: Maxted, Bright, Bondswell, Sanca.

Yellow: Jameson, Lewis, Bennett, Evans, Payne.

Goals: Morris, Jameson.

Referee: Thomas Parsons.

Attendance: 8,307 (469 County).