NEWPORT County manager Dean Holdsworth praised his team for doing a “professional job” in overcoming Andover in the FA Trophy third qualifying round on Saturday.

The Exiles continued their excellent form in the past 10 days by strolling to a 3-0 win at the Hampshire club, and Holdsworth was a contented man at the final whistle.

“I’m very happy with 3-0. It’s another clean sheet, which is fantastic, and we’re through to the next round,” he said.

“We could have got seven if everything had gone for us, but it was a good team performance and you can see the confidence coming back now.

“We came and did a professional job and I’m pleased.”

Goals from Danny Rose, Craig Reid and Craig Hughes sealed the win and Holdsworth brushed aside any controversy over the second, when Rob Duffy appeared to foul an Andover defender, preferring to praise his own players.

“They weren’t happy about the second goal but we could have had two penalties and won by more so it didn’t really affect the outcome,” he said.

“I think we looked fitter, stronger and more confident and it’s good to see.

“Kris Leek did well coming back from on loan and Paul Cochlin was outstanding but everyone performed well,” he added.

“Martyn Giles trained Thursday night and I decided to give him a run because we’ll lose Ashley Vickers for a game through suspension and he’s got to be able to step in.”

One possible cloud on the horizon is the lack of goals from Duffy, but Holdsworth says he hasn’t lost any sleep over his striker’s drought: “I’m not worried at all about Rob. He’s looking fitter and stronger than he has for a while and goals will come from him. He has a great track record.”

And that positive attitude was again in evidence when Holdsworth was asked about the prospect of a relegation six-pointer at home to Bishop’s Stortford next Saturday, with the Exiles boss insisting the only way is up.

“Winning is a habit and we’re getting into a little run now and we want to continue that against Stortford,” said Holdsworth.

“But I’m not even looking behind me in the league, I’m looking to see how far we can climb that table.”