NEWPORT County AFC climbed to sixth in League Two with a 4-0 hammering of Scunthorpe United at Rodney Parade.

The Exiles climbed above Forest Green Rovers thanks to a comprehensive win courtesy of a George Taft own goal and a double from Mickey Demetriou either side of teenage forward Lewis Collins’ first senior goal.


It was a must-win game for County against the struggling Iron and they delivered with a fine display.

Here are the talking points from Rodney Parade…

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This race for the play-offs is horrendously tense and Saturday is going to be the nerviest yet, which could be followed by an even worse trip to Southend if results aren’t kind.

That made Tuesday evening all the more pleasant.

County had fired a blank in their six previous first halves but pretty much had the win in the bag by the time Craig Hicks gave the signal to head off for a half-time orange.

This was a very odd experience for the Exiles, who had won by more than a clear goal just six times in the previous 43 League Two games.

Only against Bradford and Morecambe had they scored three times and Demetriou's late header meant that they scored four for the first time this season and for the first time since winning at Notts County in February 2019.

It was the Exiles’ biggest win since embarrassing Forest Green Rovers 4-0 on their own patch in October, 2017.

It could have been more because they finished the first half on the front foot and then Nicky Maynard was incredibly unlucky to hit the bar with a delightful dink and Aaron Lewis just overcooked a tremendous 40-yard lob.

Scunthorpe were awful but County were very good and it's now four strong displays on the spin.

That gives reason for optimism against a strong Cheltenham side on Saturday.

Free Press Series: IMPRESSIVE: Mickey Demetriou was clattered when heading Newport 2-0 upIMPRESSIVE: Mickey Demetriou was clattered when heading Newport 2-0 up


Matty Dolan is my pick for County's player of the season but Mickey Demetriou is making a late charge for the honour.

The stalwart has been superb in recent weeks and has reacted brilliantly from his personal horror show at Barrow, when he was at fault for both goals and then saw red.

Demetriou has been solid and error-free down the left side while his two headers, the first of which was a stunner, were a real bonus against the Iron.

I wrote after the draw at Exeter that I would bring Dolan back into the XI because of how influential he has been in the campaign.

However, that would be an even bigger call after Demetriou, Scot Bennett and Liam Shephard recorded a third clean sheet on the spin in front of Tom King.

One thing to consider, would Dolan be useful against the long-throw missiles of Ben Tozer?

Free Press Series: LIVELY: Padraig Amond with Lewis Collins in supportLIVELY: Padraig Amond with Lewis Collins in support


Lewis Collins got the goal that his tireless running deserved and it was just a shame that Padraig Amond, who created the opener, didn’t end his drought.

The forwards have combined brilliantly in recent weeks and you’d imagine they will get the nod again on Saturday.

However, a word of praise for Nicky Maynard after a lively appearance off the bench.

The veteran showed his class with the timing of some of his runs, playing on the shoulder of the last man, and he will lament not being found by passes.

He was also incredibly unlucky with his lob from Tom King’s clearance but Maynard is looking sharper, which bodes well for what hopefully will be a big few weeks.


County's aim was to still have control of their play-off fate come full-time.

They achieved that and things were looking even better while Michael Flynn was carrying out his post-match media duties.

Late goals for Salford and Exeter put a slight dampener on things but this was still a very good night for the Exiles.

They have a very tough game on Saturday against a Cheltenham side who will hopefully have had a few beers to toast promotion.

It is going to be a cracking weekend with County taking on the title-chasing Robins, Exeter need to leave third-placed Bolton with something, Salford must not slip against Colchester while Forest Green Rovers need to beat fifth-placed Tranmere.

A point against Cheltenham would keep the Exiles in control of their destiny at Southend and might even be enough to cement a top-seven finish, barring a monumental goal difference swing. A maximum haul would be even better and put them on the brink.

County need to concentrate on the task at hand but it would be wise to also have an idea of what is going on at the New Lawn and the ground formerly known at the Reebok.