Padraig Amond says Newport County AFC got their game plan absolutely spot on as they continued their imperious start to the League Two campaign with a commanding 2-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers.
Another clean sheet means the Exiles have gone 491 minutes without conceding a league goal and that defensive resilience combined with attacking clinicality gave County their first victory on the road in 2019/20.
Amond’s early opener set the tone for a comfortable afternoon but the points weren’t completely assured until deep into stoppage time when Ryan Haynes fired home a 25-yard stunner.
Here, read what Amond exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the game…
On the victory over Forest Green Rovers…
"We had a game plan; we went out there and we stuck to it.
"It worked really well, got the goal early from it and Tristan Abrahams has done brilliant again to close the goalkeeper down – that was something we worked on during the week and it was a great start to the game for us.
"We were comfortable throughout the game, especially after the red card. For ten / fifteen minutes afterwards, we were a bit lax maybe but once we came out for the second half, we started passing it around really well and getting into good positions.
"We needed the second goal just to kill the game off. The longer it stays 1-0, obviously the more chance they have of nicking one from a set piece or something like that.
"Thrilled that Haynesy scored the late goal to get us the 2-0 victory, another clean sheet, extend the Club’s unbeaten record in the league. Up to second as well so it’s a good weekend for us."
On making it five clean sheets from eight appearances in 2019/20…
"It’s brilliant, isn’t it? Defences win leagues – we’re starting to click going the other way as well now and creating good opportunities.
"We have a lot of competition at the back now which was proved with big Ryan coming in and he was outstanding. He’s just needs to not get cramp next time because I couldn’t lift him up!
"He was outstanding as was O’B in the first half and Kyle in the second – it was a collective effort from everyone. That’s what it’s all about here, taking your chance when it comes and being ready to do a job when you’re asked to, like Kyle was at half time with the injury.
"You can’t get too upset being left out of the team and Kyle’s proven that with his professionalism."
On Ryan Haynes suggesting he was happier with the clean sheet than his first Exiles goal…
"That is a lie! Did you see the way he celebrated the goal? I don’t think he celebrated the clean sheet like that.
"It’s funny because he’s gone over to take the free kick but because it was late in the game, I didn’t know what was going on. Neither of the centre halves went up.
"Robbie has touched it to him, and he’s just hit it. I’m not sure if he was actually trying to clear it out of the stand to waste a bit of time but it was a great strike.
"He’s been brilliant since he’s come in, especially when he’s had to fill such a big position considering what Dan Butler did for the club and how good he was.
"So far Haynesy’s been excellent and been a more than able replacement for Dan Butler and he’s only going to get better and better. Long may it continue."
On moving up to second in the League Two table…
"I think everyone thought at the start of the season when the fixtures came out that we’d have a tough start, especially with the hangover from last season.
"But that was put to bed early doors from the gaffer and from us all. The beauty of signing lots of new players is they weren’t involved in the disappointment, so they’ve reinvigorated everyone else.
"It’s brilliant we’ve had the start we’ve had but we need to capitalise on that and stay there for as long as possible.
"We don’t know what’s going to happen for the rest of the season, but it’ll be a lot easier going up through the automatic positions than it would through the play-offs again.
"It’s just a case of staying up there for as long as possible, keep getting results and seeing where it takes us."