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REACTION | Michael Flynn: "I will be onto these boys to make sure they are at their best because that is what we are going to need to get to Wembley"

19 May 2021

Manager Michael Flynn says Newport County AFC have achieved nothing yet despite holding the advantage in their Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final.

The Exiles took a step closer to Wembley after a 2-0 win over Forest Green Rovers in the first leg at Rodney Parade on Tuesday evening.

Matty Dolan’s thunder strike put County ahead in the first half before Lewis Collins, who saw his elder brother Aaron go close to drawing the visitors level moments earlier, doubled their lead 11 minutes after the restart.

It has put County in pole position heading into Sunday’s second leg at the Innocent New Lawn, but Flynn says his players will be keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground.

And he was quick to note Northampton Town’s miraculous play-off semi-final turnaround against Cheltenham Town after trailing by two goals after the first leg last season. 

"I am not getting carried away with this," said the Exiles boss.

"They will still have hope and think that they can turn it around. We have seen what happened last season with Cheltenham and Northampton.

"I will be onto these boys to make sure they are at their best because that is what we are going to need to get to Wembley.

"Stranger things have happened and you will never get me being disrespectful to Forest Green because they are a very dangerous team with a lot of good players.

"We have got to be professional, look after ourselves over the next few days and see the tie out on Sunday."

County were good value for the victory and took a deserved lead through Dolan’s opener, but they could have put the tie to bed after creating several opportunities.

Forest Green goalkeeper Luke McGee kept out an early effort from Collins, while Padraig Amond, Nicky Maynard and Aaron Lewis all enjoyed good chances to test the shot-stopper.

And Flynn says his side should have been out of sight.

"We had a chance to put this to bed and we didn’t," he added.

"I’m a little bit angry that we didn’t kill the tie off because we could and should have scored a lot more goals. I’ve said that all season."

The Exiles were roared on by a home crowd for the first time this season after the fixture was selected as a pilot event to test the safe return of supporters by the Welsh Government.

900 fans made their way through the Rodney Parade gates for their first fixture in 14 months, and Flynn dedicated the victory to the Amber Army.

"It was our last home game of the season and we managed to get them here," he said. 

"I thought they were very noisy tonight and it’s pleasing to see them here because that one was for them. Hopefully we can finish it off on Sunday and have more of them at Wembley."

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