Newport County AFC manager Michael Flynn says Kevin Ellison’s opening day winner ensured his side finished the week on a high after difficult preparations ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The Exiles got their new campaign up and running with a 1-0 victory over Oldham Athletic after a dramatic ending at Boundary Park.
Substitute Ellison was introduced late in the second half and nodded in Ryan Haynes’ cross with two minutes left to send the travelling Exiles supporters, who returned to an away end for the first time in 515 days, home with smiles on their faces.
It ensured County sealed an opening day victory for the first time since 2013 and rounded off a challenging few days for Flynn and his side ahead of the curtain-raiser.
"It’s been a tough week," said the Exiles boss.
"Wayne Hatswell had to bury his auntie, my dad had a suspected heart attack and we’ve had Matty Dolan and Courtney Baker-Richardson go down injured.
"We have had a tough week, so that made it all worthwhile."
Flynn handed first starts to trio Cameron Norman, Ed Upson and Jermaine Hylton in Greater Manchester.
Timmy Abraham and James Clarke also featured for the first time following their arrivals in the summer window, but the latter’s introduction came after an injury to Matty Dolan in the first half.
"I don’t know on Matty’s injury but I’m hoping it’s his calf rather than his achilles,” added Flynn.
"Ed Upson controlled the game and was always on the ball. We didn’t really create enough but it’s always like that at the beginning of the season.
"We’ve played a lot better than today and lost, so I’m delighted with the three points. We are away for a few weeks and the main thing is that we got three points. I don’t care how it was done against a dangerous Oldham team."