PADRAIG Amond prodded Newport County AFC to a dramatic 2-1 win at Rodney Parade, just as Colchester United looked to have sneaked a share of the spoils.

A thumping strike from Scott Twine six minutes into the second half looked set to be the winner for the League Two leaders.

It looked like a Jevani Brown finish in the 89th minute was going to leave to Michael Flynn lamenting two dropped points but the Exiles reacted superbly.

Mickey Demetriou’s header from a corner was cleared off the line only for poacher supreme Amond to poke home as the fourth official was about to put up the board for injury time.

Michael Flynn’s side have reacted to a defeat at fellow high-flyers Cambridge by taking 12 points from 12 and this success against a strong side will be particularly pleasing.

Played some lovely football while the work ethic was fantastic with the forwards’ industry once again helping their defence.

Yet it was the reaction to the disappointment of the leveller against strong opposition that will please the boss most.

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Flynn has been saying for weeks that the hectic schedule will force him into changes, yet he once again delayed pushing the button.

The manager was forced into a change for the first time in four games with the place of Saikou Janneh, who limped off in Bradford with a hamstring injury, going to Amond, who scored the second goal shortly after replacing him at Valley Parade.

The rest of the selection rewarded those who have been going well and also hammered home the importance of getting points on the board in a fiercely competitive decision.

The tinkering could wait with the coaches hoping that nobody followed Bristol City youngster Janneh onto the treatment table.

County made a sharp start and should have been able to test veteran ‘keeper Dean Gerken from a counter-attack only for Ryan Haynes, with his weaker right foot, to overcook his attempted pass to the open Amond.

The Exiles were moving nicely and posing plenty of questions without Gerken being forced into action.

The stopper was relieved to see the ball whistle last his left post after quarter of an hour when Tristan Abrahams did well down the left and Amond nodded just wide.

Abrahams then forced Gerken into a solid stop to his right and then midfielder Scott Twine went closest yet with a fantastic, dipping 30-metre free-kick in the 18th minute.

County were knocking at the door with their forwards’ movement stretching the U’s defence.

At Bradford their early goal led to them allowing the Bantams to have 64 per cent of possession over the 90 minutes, picking them off on the counter, but this time they were totally dominant.

The only negative from an encouraging half hour was a booking for Joss Labadie for diving, which was swiftly followed by a caution for Colchester forward Callum Harriott after he shoved Sheehan in the throat.

He was lucky - had the playmaker made a meal of it then it could easily have been red (and would have been in the Premier League).

United then came close to a classic counter after all the pressure with a pinged cross from the right just beyond the head of forward Luke Norris, who complained about his shirt being pulled.

It was a more even contest to finish the half but it remained goalless, with both teams having a grumble at referee Peter Wright as they walked off.

The Exiles had another good chance just two minutes after the resumption only for Mickey Demetriou to make a mess of a header from a Matty Dolan corner, the ball seeming to come off the centre back’s shoulder six metres out.

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But soon they had their noses in front with a cracking strike by Twine after he received a short free-kick from Dolan.

The on-loan Swindon midfielder carried the ball before slamming a long-range shot in from the left of the box with the dipping effort too good for Gerken, who got his fingertips to it.

County went hunting a second but were given a warning after 65 minutes when Harriott did superbly to wrongfoot the defence before firing in a shot that forced Townsend into a flying save to his left.

The Exiles had to stay aleart against a United side who possessed some players with fast feet while Abrahams continued to lead the line impressively at the other end, holding play up nicely along with the savvy Amond.

The clock ticked into the 80s and it was increasingly tense as Colchester’s dribblers got at the County defence.

Flynn reacted with his first change, bringing Scot Bennett on for Labadie but it wasn’t enough to prevent Colchester from levelling.

Kwame Poku cut in from the right and Townsend couldn’t handle the greasy ball with Brown on hand to seemingly snatch a draw.

But County showed their spirit to go straight back down the other end for Amond to be the hero at the death.

Newport: Townsend, Cooper, Dolan, Demetriou, Shephard, Haynes, Labadie (captain, Bennett 84), Sheehan, Twine, Amond (Ellison 90), Abrahams (Willmott 88).

Substitutes: King, Baker, Webb, Proctor.

Yellow cards: Labadie

Goals: Twine, Amond

Colchester: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Bramall, Smith, Senior, Pell (captain), Norris, Harriott, Chilvers, Eastman, Stevenson.

Substitutes: George, Sowunmi, Brown, Scarlett, Poku, Gambin, Bohui.

Yellow cards: Harriott, Stevenson

Goal: Brown

Referee: Peter Wright