NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn was delighted with his team’s effort and resolve as they started 2018 with a bang.

Flynn’s men claimed a big three points at Rodney Parade as goals in either half from Padraig Amond and Robbie Willmott saw them edge past promotion hopefuls Exeter City.

Jayden Stockley had levelled for the visitors after the break but County claimed a deserved victory to move to within three points of the League Two play-off places.

“I thought we were outstanding in the first half playing against the wind,” said the Exiles boss.

“We looked like the team who was in the play-off final last year [rather than Exeter].

“We came out in the second half and conceded a very sloppy goal.

“I said to them that it’s either they want to give me a heart attack or they get bored.

“They do have those lapses in concentration but – their effort, their work-rate, the way we pressed Exeter and the chances we created – I thought the boys were superb.”

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Flynn reserved special praise for match-winner Willmott (above), who also created the first goal for Amond.

“Robbie Willmott was excellent,” he said. “He set one up, he scored one, he played in a couple of positions and his work-rate was unbelievable.

“He’s a clever footballer. He’s got his knockers but he’s a broad-shouldered lad and he just takes it in his stride.”