PADRAIG Amond's stoppage-time winner gave Newport County AFC a 1-0 win over Crewe Alexandra. Here are the talking points...

County are clean sheet kings

Michael Flynn’s men have now kept four successive clean sheets in League Two and have recorded 16 shut-outs in the league in 2019 – more than anyone else in the top four tiers in English football.

Kyle Howkins has impressed since replacing the injured Mickey Demetriou and the Exiles also have new loan signing Ryan Inniss to play alongside the ever-reliable Mark O’Brien as and when he’s needed, while full-backs Ryan Haynes and Danny McNamara have both fitted in seamlessly.

And that defensive solidity means they’re always in the game, even when they aren’t firing on all cylinders going forward – as was the case against Crewe yesterday.

Collins gets his chance

The manager shut up shop and took a point at Walsall on Tuesday, but he went for the win at home with Lewis Collins handed his Football League debut in the closing stages and the teenager was involved in the build-up to the winning goal.

The younger brother of former Exiles front man Aaron has a long way to go but showed enough promise to suggest he does have a role to play this season.

“I’m over the moon, obviously,” said the 18-year-old afterwards.

“For the gaffer to have faith in me and put me on, even just for the last five minutes, and for me to be involved in the goal as well – it was a great experience and I loved every minute of it.”

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Amond earned his goal

It was a frustrating afternoon for all concerned until the death and nobody toiled harder than County’s number one striker.

The Irishman went the extra mile in the baking hot sun and he finally got his reward in the 93rd minute when Tristan Abrahams selflessly squared the ball for him to slot in the winner.

It was a third goal of the campaign for last season’s top scorer and, importantly, a first from open play after penalties against Mansfield Town and Gillingham in the Carabao Cup.

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Flynn shares fans’ frustrations

The home fans were not afraid to voice their displeasure with the likes of Matty Dolan, Robbie Willmott and substitute Taylor Maloney (above) as County struggled to impose themselves on the game and frequently turned over possession.

And the manager admitted after the match that his side were lucky to win the game after a poor performance, especially going forward.

The Exiles rode their luck with Crewe enjoying 63 per cent of the possession throughouth the match and recording 12 shots to seven.

They will certainly have to raise their game significantly if they are to have a chance of causing another upset against West Ham United on Tuesday.

Read more: We didn't turn up until the 88th minute, says Newport County boss