Mike Flynn heaped praise on his whole squad after a stunning 4-0 win at Forest Green Rovers, calling it “arguably” the best performance of his managerial reign so far.
Two goals in each half did the damage for the Exiles, with Padraig Amond getting his first away goals for County, alongside finishes from Scot Bennett and Shawn McCoulsky.
And as so often with County recently, Amond’s first of the afternoon came as a result of another set-play on 15 minutes.
Matty Dolan floated a corner into the area to find an unmarked Scot Bennett waiting at the far-post. Bennett then leaped above his marker to head back towards goal, with Amond providing the predatory finish from just inside the six-yard area.
Amond had his second four minutes before half-time after some superb work from Mickey Demetriou and Frank Nouble.
Demetriou launched a 50-yard cross field pass into the path of Nouble, who controlled the ball brilliantly to beat his man, before chipping a pass over the goalkeeper for Amond to tap home from four yards.
Then, when Rovers came in search of a route back into the contest, County sealed a fine away performance with two goals in the final fifteen minutes.
From a Ben Tozer long-throw, Joss Labadie miscued a shot strategically into the path of Bennett, who rifled home County's third on the penalty spot that home goalkeeper Sam Russell could do nothing about.
Substitute Shawn McCoulsky then got in on the act on 86 minutes, with a header from a Dan Butler cross.
It was the first time County had won 4-0 away since 29th November 2011, when the Exiles beat Hayes & Yeading in the Conference, leaving Flynn ecstatic with the performance.
“Arguably it is the best performance under me, yes,” he affirmed.
“I think Notts County at home last game of the season was the best in terms of result because it meant so much to the club and the city of Newport.
“But that was a solid performance, we played some good football, created lots of chances, set-play delivery was good, defending was good, talking was good and like I said, the boys were faultless today.”
The controlling manner of the Exiles performance was also a pleasing point for Flynn post-match.
“What an away performance that was – the boys were outstanding,” he added.
“It was a bit of a slow start in the opening five or ten minutes if I’m being totally honest where we were trying to get to grips with the game.
“But after that it was all one-way traffic and I don’t think we looked like conceding if I’m being honest with you.
“I’ve been asking them to take more of their chances and today they did that. They were ruthless, could have had a few more if I’m being a bit picky but the boys were outstanding today.
“I’m delighted - I was really pleased with our performance and how the boys were today.”
The victory means the Exiles have now picked up 12 out of the last 18 points available to them.
And while Flynn maintained that he still expected his players to take every game at a time, he admitted he was pleased with that points haul.
He commented: “I’d have taken that all day long – and I’ve just seen the scores so our result at Luton doesn’t look that bad now.
“It’s nice to get the plaudits for the players and the fans but I’m not worried what other people think of us.
“We have to keep on doing what we set out to do, keep doing the horrible side of the game, keep playing our football, and we’ll see where it takes us.”
After netting a double at The New Lawn, Padraig Amond is now County’s top scorer for the season with six goals.
And Flynn says that statistic shows why he tried so hard to bring the Irishman to the club this summer.
He continued: “Podge Amond, I’ve chased him all summer and that’s why.
“He’s got six goals, top scorer this year which is great for him.
He joked: “Our top scorer last season only had seven and if he doesn’t beat that then I’ll probably release him!!”
Following his goal, Shawn McCoulsky isn’t too far behind Amond, with the Bristol City loanee joining Frank Nouble on five goals.
And Flynn admitted post-match that he felt that McCoulsky would get a goal in Nailsworth.
“I put Shawn on and I told him that he was going to score here,” he added.
“He’s got five goals now and it gives you a healthy option at the moment to come off the bench because he’s been brilliant since he’s come here.”
Bennett’s goal was his second for the Exiles this season, already beating his tally for the entirety of the last campaign.
And Flynn says he has been happy with the output from his defender after a shaky start to the season.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” he said.
“I wasn’t critical of him, he was disappointed in himself at the start of the season, he’s a very good professional and he’s somebody that I have a lot of time for.
“He’s got ability and I’ve just told him that. The way he’s going at the minute, it will take a lot for him to not get in the team at the moment.
“I’m delighted for him because he’s been patient and a real team-player.
“Two goals and two assists now – what more could you ask for from your sweeper?”
The result was the perfect way for the Exiles to thank the 815 away fans that made the short trip over the Severn Bridge for the game.
And Flynn again praised the vocal support post-match.
He affirmed: “What more can I say? You’ve got over 800 travelling and it’s an outstanding effort from our fans.
“Look, we’ll have tough days, we’ll have bad results but it won’t be done on purpose because the players appreciate how much these fans give their time up, spend their money to come and watch us and trust me it goes a long way.”
The Exiles have a short turnaround now before going again against Colchester United at home on Tuesday.
And while Flynn was pleased with his early birthday present from his players, he wants another one under the floodlights at Rodney Parade.
He joked: “I’m greedy – I want to be like the Queen and have two birthdays!”
Flynn did, however, warn his players to not expect an easy game in South Wales.
He warned: “Colchester have lost at home today but listen, we have to turn up and be on our metal again like we have been recently and hopefully they’ll get me a birthday win.”
After naming an unchanged side against Forest Green Rovers, Flynn says he may make changes for the game.
“I don’t know to be honest,” he admitted.
“It was just precautionary with taking David Pipe off so we’ll have to see how they all are on Monday morning when we’re back in.
He added: “I wanted to play the same team today.
“I think the boys were that good against Yeovil that I thought to start them again. It was a big decision to leave Mark O’Brien out but Scot Bennett has been excellent recently.
“That’s exactly what I want, big competition for places, and the boys are certainly not letting me down in that respect.”
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