AN EARLY goal from Padraig Amond and a late strike from Ryan Haynes earned Newport County AFC all three points against 10-man Forest Green Rovers and propelled them up to second in League Two.

Forest Green were a man down for over an hour after goalkeeper Joe Wollacott was sent off in the 28th minute.

And they made life difficult for County, who should have been comfortably ahead before Haynes’ long-range effort in stoppage time.

But a fifth successive clean sheet in League Two sealed a first away win of the season, extended the club-record unbeaten run to 16 regular-season games and sent the 898 travelling fans home happy.

Manager Michael Flynn made three changes to the starting XI from Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham United.

Tom King reclaimed his place in goal, with Nick Townsend dropping to the bench, and Joss Labadie returned from injury in place of Corey Whitely.

And centre-back Kyle Howkins paid for his mistake that allowed Jack Wilshere to open the scoring for the Hammers, as he was replaced by Ryan Inniss.

It was an Exiles debut for Inniss, who arrived on a season-long loan from Crystal Palace last week, but he was a spectator for the opening 15 minutes with all the action at the other end.

Flynn’s men tore into their hosts and pressed the life out of them at the back, led by Amond and the excellent Tristan Abrahams.

Wollacott’s woeful afternoon began in the fourth minute as he was caught dawdling on the ball and robbed by Abrahams, who nicked it to his strike partner Amond 25 yards from goal.

The Irishman shook off the attention of his marker to fire into the empty net and give the visitors the perfect start.

Rovers were rattled with Wollacott booting a clearance into touch and Matt Mills slicing another one behind for a corner before Robbie Willmott saw a shot deflected just wide.

Mark Cooper’s men recovered their composure slowly and began to threaten sporadically, with Inniss forced to block a Dayle Grubb shot with his chest and Dom Bernard shooting just off target after cutting in from the right.

But there was another big swing towards County in the 28th minute when Wollacott was shown a straight red car for bringing down the effervescent Abrahams just outside the area.

They didn’t immediately make the most of their numerical advantage, but they finished the half strongly and should have been further ahead before the break.

Willmott broke upfield on his own and, surrounded by green shirts, saw his shot deflected behind.

Labadie, who picked up his customary yellow card to appease the home fans, headed wide from a Matty Dolan corner.

Dolan could have won a penalty when he looked to be tugged back in the box.

And Josh Sheehan forced a fine save from substitute goalkeeper Lewis Thomas, once of Swansea City and Carmarthen Town, before Abrahams scrambled a corner onto the post in stoppage time.

South Wales Argus: STAR MAN: Tristan Abrahams in action at The New LawnSTAR MAN: Tristan Abrahams in action at The New Lawn

County were forced into a change as Howkins replaced the injured Mark O’Brien for the second half, but they continued to attack the 10 men with Sheehan shooting high and wide and Labadie tumbling in the box to no avail.

At 1-0, however, the contest was far from over and King made his first real save in the 56th minute as he got down well to his left to deny Kyle Taylor.

Abrahams should have settled it on 71 minutes when Labadie and Amond combined down the right to set him free through the middle, but the former Norwich City youngster dragged his shot wide from 20 yards.

Abrahams then lost the ball and conceded a silly free-kick, which Joseph Mills blasted past King and off the inside of his far post.

That was a big warning for the visitors and Flynn soon brought on Taylor Maloney for Dolan, while Exiles academy graduate Aaron Collins was introduced for Rovers.

Abrahams then escaped with a yellow card for a high challenge on the keeper before Amond saw a shot blocked in a frantic finale.

Rovers still thought they had a chance as seven minutes of added time were announced and Collins fired into the side netting.

But Haynes’ long-distance effort finally put the seal on it in the 92nd minute.

County: King; McNamara, Inniss, O’Brien (Howkins, 46), Haynes; Willmott, Sheehan, Labadie (Whitely, 85), Dolan (Maloney, 77); Abrahams, Amond

Subs not used: Townsend; Ekpiteta, Leadbitter, Collins

Booked: Labadie, McNamara

Referee: James Adcock

Attendance: 2,897 (898 County)

Argus star man: Abrahams