PADRAIG Amond scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner to see Newport County AFC edge past Crewe Alexandra on a scorching day at Rodney Parade.

Crewe came to town as league leaders, just as Plymouth Argyle had last weekend, and they will feel a little hard done by to be going home with nothing on a day when both sets of players struggled to cope with the heat.

There was a general lack of creativity on display and it looked like being a frustrating afternoon for all concerned before Amond popped up with his third goal of the campaign in the 93rd minute.

The win lifted the Exiles up to fifth in the table and extended their club-record unbeaten run to 15 regular-season games.

County’s early-season injury crisis turned out not to be quite as bad as feared with Matty Dolan able to return from a hamstring strain to replace captain Joss Labadie, who dropped to the bench due to his own hamstring problem picked up at Walsall in midweek.

Robbie Willmott was also passed fit to start after struggling at Bescot Stadium but striker Jamille Matt made way for Corey Whitely, who was handed his first start in League Two.

New loan signing Ryan Inniss, who was brought in to replace broken-leg victim Mickey Demetriou, started on the bench.

Dolan slotted in alongside Josh Sheehan in front of the back four, while Whitely started in the number 10 role behind Amond, with Willmott and Tristan Abrahams either side of him.

It was an attacking line-up but Michael Flynn’s men struggled to create too much before the break.

Willmott and Josh Sheehan optimistically tried their luck from distance without troubling Crewe goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen, son of former Bolton Wanderers stopper Jussi.

Whitely began nervously but he grew into the game and he went closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half.

The former Ebbsfleet United man climbed high to meet a deep cross from Ryan Haynes and his header flashed wide.

Amond also headed just off target from a Danny McNamara cross but he had already been penalised for a push on Eddie Nolan.

But generally it was a frustrating first 45 minutes, with some home fans getting on Dolan’s back for passing backward rather than forward.

Crewe enjoyed plenty of pressure, with Daniel Powell and Tom Lowery both impressive, but they didn’t test Tom King in the County goal until he got down well to deny Charlie Kirk in first-half stoppage time.

Before that, referee Leigh Doughty had dismissed a half-hearted penalty appeal when Chris Porter hit the deck under minimal pressure from McNamara, Kyle Howkins had blocked a shot from Powell and a looping effort from Paul Green landed on top of King’s goal.

South Wales Argus:

The visitors started the second half on top with Kirk curling a shot wide before Howkins and Mark O’Brien blocked long-distance efforts from Lowery and Perry Ng respectively.

And King then had to make a sharp save to keep out Kirk’s header after the Crewe winger had lost Willmott at the far post.

Flynn didn’t have too many attacking options on the bench but he withdrew Whitely just after the hour and switched to 4-4-2 with George Nurse introduced to play in front of Haynes on the left flank.

And Taylor Maloney soon replaced Dolan in central midfield, but the hosts struggled to create much of note in the blazing sun.

The fans showed their frustration as Willmott and Maloney lost possession and, if anything, it was the visitors who looked like they might nick the win in the closing stages.

Lowery saw a shot deflected just wide before Abrahams and Nurse both tested Jaaskelainen at the death.

And, just when it looked like time was up, Nurse took advantage of some hesitant defending to feed Abrahams and he squared for Amond to roll the ball into an empty net.

County: King; McNamara, O’Brien, Howkins, Haynes; Sheehan, Dolan (Maloney, 66); Willmott (Collins, 87), Whitely (Nurse, 62), Abrahams; Amond

Subs not used: Townsend, Inniss, Leadbitter, Labadie

Referee: Leigh Doughty

Attendance: 3,712 (230 Crewe)

Argus star man: Howkins