WHO needs a new striker? Aaron O’Connor and substitute Shaun Jeffers both found the net as Newport County AFC sealed a vital three points at Accrington Stanley.

The Exiles piled the pressure on their rivals in the battle for a League Two play-off spot thanks to O’Connor’s opener midway through the second half and a Jeffers tap-in at the death.

And a third successive clean sheet ensured that Jimmy Dack’s men are up to sixth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures, four points clear of eighth-placed Plymouth Argyle.

All the talk before the match had been of Dack’s frustration having failed to add a striker on loan, with international clearance issues scuppering a move for Cardiff City youngster Rhys Healey.

With Rene Howe departing the club this week the manager was desperate to reinforce his attacking options for the run-in.

The Exiles also missed out on their back-up option as Kyle Vassell moved to League Two rivals Oxford United from Peterborough.

Dack and Wayne Hatswell were left empty handed as the emergency loan window closed at 5pm on Thursday so the pressure was on starting strikers Aaron O’Connor and Miles Storey to impress at the Crown Ground.

And County showed plenty of attacking intent from the off, forcing the first corner inside 30 seconds after good positive running from the front pair.

Ryan Jackson demonstrated his blistering pace with a lightning quick break down the right flank and his cross was cleared by the Stanley defence.

But shortly afterwards he was forced off with an injury and his withdrawal seemed to disrupt the visitors’ flow.

It forced Dack into a defensive reshuffle with David Tutonda coming off the bench to play left wing-back and Yan Klukowski switching to the right.

And it gave the hosts a boost as they didn’t have the threat of Jackson to cope with and they targeted Klukowski as they began to get on top.

Sean Maguire and Terry Gornell caused County problems, as did the set-piece delivery of Josh Windass.

But goalkeeper Joe Day didn’t have a save to make until he beat out a vicious long distance drive from Piero Mingoia.

Luke Joyce then blasted a good chance over the top as Stanley tried to crank up the pressure and give the sparse crowd something to get excited about.

But another injury to Day and further treatment for Lee Minshull, combined with a whistle-happy performance from referee Kevin Wright, meant the remainder of the first half was a stop-start affair and something of a stalemate.

County took no chances with Day’s fitness and reserve goalkeeper Jamie Stephens was straight into the action after the break, getting down well to hold a well struck Maguire effort.

It was the hosts who continued to look the more likely to score as the Exiles offered very little in terms of a goal threat…until they somehow scored on 66 minutes.

It was a goal completely out of the blue and one that caught many in the ground by surprise.

Storey’s shot was blocked by home keeper Scott Davies as he rushed out of his goal and as the ball was played back into the middle O’Connor got the faintest of touches to squeeze it inside the near post, with a bit of help from a red-faced Davies.

Stanley huffed and puffed in their search for a way back into the game but they were caught out at the other end in stoppage time.

Ismail Yakubu surged through the home defence and squared for Jeffers who had the simplest of tasks to sidefoot home and keep County’s play-off push on track

Accrington: Davies, Joyce, Jones, Winnard, Windass, Gornell, Naismith, Mingoia, Maguire (McCartan, 64), Atkinson, Crooks (Gilchrist, 86)

Subs not used: Warner, Hunt, Bruna, Barry, Conneely

Booked: Winnard, Joyce

County: Day (Stephens, 46), Jackson (Tutonda, 20), Jones, Yakubu, Sandell, Klukowski, Porter, Byrne, Minshull, O’Connor, Storey (Jeffers, 70)

Subs not used: Feely, Chapman, Parker, Collins

Booked: Storey, Tutonda

Referee: Kevin Wright

Attendance: 1,111 (95 County)

Argus star man: Ismail Yakubu