SOMETIMES you don’t get what you deserve in football and, while Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell was left to bemoan his side’s luck, Newport County AFC manager Michael Flynn was happy to admit that this was a fortunate win.

Frustrations weren’t exactly boiling over on a scorcher of a day at Rodney Parade, but there were certainly murmurings of discontent from the home fans as their side huffed and puffed and failed to create anything of note – until Padraig Amond’s stoppage-time winner brought the house down.

Crewe didn’t carve open the County defence but they always looked the more likely to edge this scrappy contest, dominating in terms of possession and shots on goal.

The Exiles back line was again in fine form, with full-backs Ryan Haynes and Danny McNamara impressing once more and Kyle Howkins the standout performer alongside no-nonsense Mark O’Brien.

And goalkeeper Tom King only had two proper saves to make as he denied Charlie Kirk either side of half-time.

But that was more than the hosts managed until the closing stages, with Flynn admitting that his side didn’t turn up until the 88th minute – just after academy graduate Lewis Collins was handed his Football League debut in place of Robbie Willmott.

Collins showed some nice touches but it was Tristan Abrahams who came to life at the death, first testing Crewe keeper Will Jaaskelainen from distance and then creating the winner for Amond.

The striker collected a ball from substitute George Nurse, cleverly spun away from the ponderous Eddie Nolan and then did brilliantly to draw out Jaaskelainen before squaring the ball for Amond to slot it into the unguarded net.

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It was tough on the visitors and Artell was understandably unhappy.

The Crewe manager said: “I don’t think it was complacency, it was a mistake – we’ve completely dominated the game.

“Credit to Newport because they defended heroically. We didn’t create too much, but we dominated the game in terms of possession and territory and we’ve been caught by an absolute sucker-punch, which we didn’t deserve.”

Whereas County played for a draw in the end at Walsall last Tuesday and came away with a 0-0 draw, Crewe were going for the win at Rodney Parade on Saturday and it cost them dearly as they were picked off on the break.

“I love the fact that they’re trying to win the game of football in the 92nd minute, I’m not going to knock that out of them, but at the same time we’ve got to be disciplined and realistic enough to know that it’s a good point,” lamented Artell.

“We had pressure and plenty of the ball and I just felt it was coming.

“The performance was there; the energy was there and we ultimately kept last season’s play-off finalists down to two or three chances all game and we completely dominated the ball against them.”

But the County defence ultimately held firm once again to register a fourth successive clean sheet in League Two and a 16th of the calendar year – more than anyone else in the top four tiers of English football.

That is a statistic to be proud of, as is the club-record unbeaten run that has now been extended to 15 regular-season games.

That solid base ensures that they are always in the contest and, while a lack of creativity of late has to be a concern, the Exiles’ work-rate and desire cannot be faulted.

They’re Newport County, they fight to the end.

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)