Kevin Ellison found the net against his old side as Newport County AFC secured a well-deserved victory over 10-man Morecambe at the Mazuma Stadium.
The 42-year-old striker, who joined the Exiles in the summer after he was released by the Shrimps, collected a pass from Nicky Maynard before beating Welsh goalkeeper Kyle Letheren to seal the three points.
Josh Sheehan had given County the lead on the stroke of half time after Yann Songo’o had cancelled out Matty Dolan’s early penalty.
The win moves County into fourth place, five points behind leaders Cheltenham Town and four from second-placed Cambridge United with two games in hand.
The visitors played 52 minutes against 10 men after Sam Lavelle was given his marching orders for hauling down Ryan Taylor, who replaced Maynard in the only change for County from the dramatic late win over Bradford City AFC in Cardiff.
And the Exiles started where they left off with Dolan slotting home from the spot after just eight minutes with home captain Lavelle adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.
County were confident on the ball and positive going forward, defender Mickey Demetriou provided the perfect example as he drove forward from his own box to the edge of Morecambe’s but he put too much power in the cross.
With two goals in his last game and an early strike in this one, Dolan had the appetite for scoring and he set his sights from range, however, his effort lacked the necessary power and swerve to trouble Letheren, who spent time on loan at Newport County in 2005.
Morecambe had given County a couple of warnings with neat exchanges down both flanks but it was a thunderous effort from the centre that levelled proceedings. Songo’o was given too much space 30 yards from goal and the midfielder unleashed a ferocious effort that gave Nick Townsend no chance.
Dolan had a shot blocked, Aaron Lewis tested the palms of Letheren and Joss Labadie narrowly missed the target in response to the equaliser.
The game swung in County’s favour on 38 minutes when Lavelle was sent off for pulling down Taylor as the last man and the visitors made their numerical advantage count before the break.
Labadie went close when Liam Shephard’s cut back found him in plenty of space in the box but he fired over. However, in the final seconds of the half Sheehan cut inside between John O’Sullivan and Kelvin Mellor and arrowed a shot through the gloves of Letheren.
Apart from an early goalmouth scramble it was a relatively comfortable second half with County controlling possession and asking plenty of questions of the Shrimps defence. However, Morecambe enjoyed a rare spell of pressure with quarter of an hour to go but Ryan Cooney couldn’t beat Townsend when the opportunity presented itself.
Maynard and Ellison, who spent nine years at the Globe Arena, were introduced for the final 20 minutes and the two combined to seal the victory. Maynard showed great skill to control a long ball on the edge of the box and set up Ellison with a neat back heel. The veteran striker took one touch before rifling a shot beyond Letheren for his second goal in Newport County amber.
Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend; Priestley Farquharson (David Longe-King 84), Matty Dolan, Mickey Demetriou; Liam Shephard, Scot Bennett (Kevin Ellison 69), Joss Labadie (C), Josh Sheehan, Aaron Lewis; Padraig Amond (Nicky Maynard 69), Ryan Taylor (Dom Telford 87).
Subs not used: Tom King, Anthony Hartigan, Jake Scrimshaw.