A STOPPAGE-TIME screamer from substitute George Nurse saw Newport County AFC claim all three points against Carlisle United and move into the top three in League Two.

Michael Flynn’s men, who missed injured captain Joss Labadie, failed to get out of second gear for much of the match and a point was the least that the visitors deserved.

But Nurse’s extraordinary intervention in the sixth minute of time added on, blasting a rocket past Carlisle keeper Adam Collin from 30 yards, meant County claimed all three.

And it lifted the Exiles up to third in the table, just one point behind new leaders Forest Green Rovers.

Matty Dolan replaced Labadie in midfield after the skipper picked up an ankle injury in training on Friday and Padraig Amond was recalled in place of Tristan Abrahams up front.

Amond, who came off the bench to create the second goal in last week’s win at Swindon Town, had scored in his previous three appearances against Carlisle.

And the Irish striker was close to breaking the deadlock early on when Jamille Matt chested down a cross into his path and his shot from the edge of the area fizzed just over the bar.

But that was something of a false dawn in a poor quality first 45 minutes when both sides cancelled each other out.

Dolan saw an effort deflected over from 20 yards out midway through the first half, but that was it in terms of first-half chances with County too often passing backwards or sideways.

Carlisle defended well and pressed the Exiles into errors at times and they grew in confidence as the half progressed.

They could even have led at the break when a ball over the top from Mike Jones caught out the home defence and Jack Bridge shot across goal and just wide of Tom King’s far post on 39 minutes.

Jones saw another effort blocked by Mark O’Brien just before the interval as the visitors finished the stronger.

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Flynn made a tactical change for the start of the second half with Danny McNamara making way for Abrahams and Robbie Willmott switching to right wing-back with Amond playing behind the front two.

The attacking move had the desired effect initially as County began the second period on the front foot but they still struggled to create clear-cut chances.

There was another let-off at the other end just before the hour mark when Hallam Hope blazed over from the edge of the area.

Hope had another opportunity soon afterwards but he failed to really test King, who gathered easily.

And O’Brien did well to get a foot in to stop a rampaging run into the box from Carlisle left-back Jack Iredale.

As former Exiles loan striker Harry McKirdy was introduced for the visitors, Flynn made another change himself with Corey Whitely replacing Amond.

Josh Sheehan had County’s first shot on target in the 78th minute but a deflection took the power out of it and meant Collin wasn’t seriously tested.

Whitley then fired just off target from 25 yards out on 82 minutes but the game appeared to be petering out to a stalemate before Nurse, on for Dolan, sent the home fans wild with almost the last kick of the game.

County: King; Howkins, Bennett, O’Brien; McNamara (Abrahams, 46), Sheehan, Dolan (Nurse, 87), Haynes; Willmott; Matt, Amond (Whitely, 69)

Subs not used: Townsend, Maloney, Collins, Poleon

Booked: Haynes, Howkins

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 3,681 (167 Carlisle)

Argus star man: Bennett