KYLE Howkins' header earned Newport County AFC a 1-0 win over Plymouth Argyle at Rodney Parade. Here are the talking points...

Exiles delivered that statement win

Striker Jamille Matt said beforehand that beating early-season pacesetters Plymouth would send out a statement to the rest of the division and County did just that.

Kyle Howkins’ winner was the first goal that Argyle have conceded this season and it ended their 100 per cent start to the campaign.

The win also extended County’s undefeated run in regular-season league games to 13 – a club record that stretches back all the way to December 1938.

Full-backs continue to impress

Left-back Ryan Haynes won the sponsors’ man of the match award for another excellent display in defence and attack.

It was his cross for the goal and he took over the set-piece duties in the absence of Matty Dolan, while also demonstrating a long throw to rival Mickey Demetriou’s.

Right-back Danny McNamara (below) was the Argus star man for another dazzling display. The Millwall youngster was positive going forward and always calm and composed even under pressure at the back.

South Wales Argus:

County defending as a team

After losing Demetriou so early, it would have been easy for the Exiles to crumble under intense pressure from the visitors in the first half.

But Mark O’Brien led the defence superbly, ably assisted by Howkins and the full-backs, and goalkeeper Tom King made a stunning save to deny Joe Riley early on.

And the whole team pitched in to keep out the Pilgrims with Padraig Amond clearing off the line, heading clear at centre-back and even popping up as a makeshift left-back at one point.

Scot Bennett and Robbie Willmott shackled Danny Mayor effectively before and after the break respectively, while Jamille Matt and Josh Sheehan also played their part in a second successive clean sheet in the league.

South Wales Argus:

Losing Demetriou a big blow

Michael Flynn said after the match that he feared that Demetriou had broken a bone in his leg and it looks as if the centre-back could be out for some time.

That took the shine off a great day for the Exiles boss and may even mean that he looks to bring in another defender before the transfer deadline on September 2.

In the short term it should give Howkins a chance to establish himself alongside O’Brien. That looked a solid partnership yesterday, but everyone will be hoping that Demetriou’s injury is not as bad as it appears.