Newport County AFC finally reaped the benefits that the levels of their performance deserved as they secured a first league victory since 27th November, according to Exiles striker Jamille Matt.
Matt’s divine intervention in the 72nd minute was enough to give County all three points against Exeter City at Rodney Parade, with the striker netting from close range after Mark O’Brien flicked on a Robbie Wilmott free-kick.
That goal brought up Matt’s 15th of the season and means he has already scored more goals than he ever has in an individual season at any level.
Here, you can exclusively read what Matt told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the contest…
On victory over Exeter City at Rodney Parade…
"It’s definitely a long overdue league victory. I think the performances have been more or less there, probably a little inconsistent, in the last couple of weeks in terms of league matches.
"It’s been really frustrating for us because we know what we are capable of. We probably weren’t at our best today either, but the important thing is to come out of the game with three points.
"We see this as a chance [to kickstart the league season.] Every team goes through a blip over a season, we’ve been through ours now and we’ll push on from here going forward.
"I don’t know what it is about Rodney Parade – the fans obviously play a massive part and they are always behind us at home.
"We just seem to be able to grind out results a little bit more at home – I think we’ve got a couple of games coming up at home so if we can use that as a springboard to pick up more points and get back up the table then that would be brilliant."
On netting his 15th goal of the campaign – already his best goal tally for an individual season…
"That’s always a nice accolade [most goals ever in a Football League campaign.]
"It’s nice to get the winner and it’s especially good to score when you get three points at the end of the it.
"I’m pleased for everyone today because like I said, I’ve got the goal but it’s a reflection of everyone’s hard-work."
On the service provided into the strikers…
"As a forward, you are always making runs but the ball doesn’t always gets to you.
"With Robbie Willmott, you know that if you make a decent run and get into a good position then he’ll find you or put in a cross that makes you favourite to get to the ball. That makes my job as a striker a lot easier and it’s brilliant to have Robbie in the team.
"But it’s the same on the other side with Dan Butler as well to be honest. We’ve got great delivery throughout the team and there’s more players I could mention like Matty Dolan.
"As strikers, that’s something we thrive off and long may it continue."
On trying to maintain the pressure on the play-offs – especially with four of the next five League Two matches coming at home…
"It’s an old cliché but we just have to keep on taking each game as it comes.
"You can’t look too far ahead and say that four of our next five league games are at home so that means we’ll win them all – we’ve got to do the business first.
"The FA Cup is the next game, so we’ll switch our attentions to that and then after that game, we’ll concentrate on the next league game.
"The boys are working really hard in training and believe me when I say that, everyone is chomping to get into the starting line-up to give the gaffer a headache.
"The be all and end all for us is the league to be honest. It’s nice to have the distraction of the FA Cup and of course we want to do well on all fronts."
On next weekend’s massive Emirates FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough…
"The FA Cup happens to be the next game and we’ll have to prepare right to cause Middlesbrough a problem.
"I can’t speak for everyone but I’m sure they’d say the same that we only ever look at the next game.
"Last weekend was bitterly disappointing with the way the game ended being 2-1 up after 88 minutes and we all know what happened. A few things were said that needed to be said after the game and we put that behind us and worked extremely hard in training. I think you could see that on the pitch today.
"Middlesbrough are up near the play-offs [in the Championship] on merit.
"But we’re in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup on merit also – we’re a good team and we need to believe in ourselves that we can go there and get a result."
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