Caretaker manager Mike Flynn has hailed an “outstanding” all-round team performance after seeing his side beat Exeter City 1-0, writes Ryan Robinson.
Tom Owen-Evans scored the game’s decisive goal in the 53rd minute, with a strike worthy of his first as a professional goal. Read what Tom had to say about the match here.
And Flynn heaped praise on every player for the battling determination shown in Devon.
“The manner in which we won, I’d have to say it was the best performance since I’ve come in,” he said.
“The lads were absolutely outstanding and deserved the victory.”
He added: “I had 100% confidence in the players defending today throughout the game. We knew we would have to deal with crosses and we practised that before the game so it’s great to get a second clean-sheet in a row.”
The delayed kick-off due to traffic congestion in the surrounding area seemed to have no effect on a resurgent Exiles display, something Flynn was proud about post-match.
He said: “The lads have been magnificent since I’ve been here and again they’ve showed that. There were no excuses, what happened happened and we made it clear that there would be no excuses. It’s one of those things and the boys deserve all the credit for how they handled the situation.”
The victory puts County within touching distance of safety, but Flynn maintains it is important to focus on their own display and not those of the other teams.
“We’ve won four from seven so we’ve definitely got momentum,” he added.
“However, momentum counts for nothing and we still want to catch two teams. It’s down to three points now and we’ve got to keep going, believing in ourselves and focusing on getting the right results.”
He continued: “We’re not scared of anyone. It’s a big statement to win [here] and we’re going to keep fighting and the boys will not stop while I’m here and I know they won’t.”
One player singled out for praise was man of the match Tom Owen-Evans.
Flynn said: “That was his best performance as a professional player. His finish was superb, his energy was outstanding and his discipline was excellent. He was unlucky to have his goal chalked off at the Morecambe postponement so I’m made up for him. He deserves it.”
Another player Flynn acknowledged was Mark Randall.
The 27-year-old was named in the starting team for the first time since January and Flynn says his performance was exemplary.
“He was the best player on the park by a country mile,” he continued.
“When he plays like that, he’s too good for this level.”
Flynn also commended another terrific turn-out from the Exiles faithful, with nearly 350 battling against the traffic to get to St James Park.
He said: “The fans were superb today, they made so much noise. The Exeter fans were quite quiet if I’m honest and our fans were superb and are a credit to themselves.”
County can move out of the drop-zone for the first time since November if they overcome Yeovil Town at Rodney Parade and other results go their way.
And one player that should be back to welcome the Glovers is midfielder Sean Rigg.
Rigg missed the trip to Exeter with an ankle injury, but Flynn remains optimistic that he should be back for Friday.
He said: “Sean hurt his ankle earlier in the week and we thought it would be alright. He tried it on Thursday but it wasn’t quite right so we didn’t want to risk it. I’m hoping he’ll be back for Friday which is a big boost.”