NEWPORT County’s long-ball tactic on a truly dreadful Rodney Parade pitch worked a treat as Swindon Town were beaten for only the fourth time away from home in League Two this season.

Josh Sheehan put County ahead with only a minute played before Jamille Matt’s poachers goal four minutes into the second half doubled the hosts’ advantage.

Town could only answer to Michael Flynn’s tactics in the final 30 minutes where a series of half chances were created, though Tom King’s net was rarely threatened.

Though second placed Exeter City snatched a 0-1 win at Grimsby, Town remain top of the division on goal difference.

One change from last week’s XI that beat Crewe was made by Wellens ahead of kick-off.

New loan signing Rarmani Edmonds-Green linked up with Tom Broadbent in the heart of defence while Michael Doughty missed out through illness.

Barely a minute had been played before Newport had the ball in the back of the net to silence some 1,000 plus travelling Swindon fans.

Matt’s spring-heeled jump allowed County’s striker to nod the ball down into the path of Sheehan, who burst between Edmonds-Green and Grant just in front of the right byline.

Sheehan picked out the gaping hole between Benda and his near post to send a vocal home crowd into raptures.

That move was the prettiest the first half ever was as 45 minutes of ugly football followed, largely owing to a dreadful pitch littered with sawdust and divots following Dragons’ rugby game from the night before.

Nevertheless, the goal certainly rattled Town – who appeared to struggle with Rodney Parade’s hostile atmosphere generated by the passionate army of home fans.

Newport pressed forward several times in the 20 minutes that followed their opener.

Abrahams went closest to doubling County’s lead in that period when Haynes’ cross from the right fell to the forward’s feet 12 yards from goal.

The 21-year-old’s effort was blocked with the ball dribbling wide for another corner that was eventually dealt with.

Besides that, the hosts’ best chances were largely generated by the long throw of Demetriou. Several times Swindon had to clear their lines amid a pinball scrap in and around the penalty area with goalscorer Sheehan, Abrahams and Matt always looking a poachers’ threat.

Demetriou forced a genuine save out of Benda with 42 minutes played when his free kick from 25 yards out dipped into the German’s arms. Abrahams could’ve tested Benda too in injury time, but his near post effort was crashed against the visitors’ side netting.

Town never threatened home ‘keeper King once in the first half as it ended 1-0.

That goal lead was quickly doubled when play resumed, though, as Matt bagged a typical poachers goal from one of Demetriou’s long throws.

Initially, Matt flicked on Demetriou’s throw before Benda was forced into making a brave stop to his left. The ball bobbled in front of Abrahams before his shot fell to Matt’s feet – his effort deflected off Hunt and into the Town net.

It was a typically scrappy goal that epitomised the game’s nature.

From Town’s point of view, something had to change. Twine came on for Isgrove with an hour played while long ball tactics were adopted from both defence and throw ins.

The tactical tweak certainly worked. Edmonds-Green went close from the edge of the penalty area when his effort from Twine’s pass whistled past King’s far post and Woolery was denied by King after he was sent into the penalty area by Yates.

County were forced to weather a storm – their own predictable tactics started to work against them.

Michael Flynn’s side did have a chance to put the game to bed with 15 minutes remaining. Another Demetriou throw wasn’t held by Benda and Abrahams’ effort was eventually cleared.

Town’s flow of half-chances continued to occur, though none were taken. Yates did pick up a needless yellow card in the final minutes, though, following a scuffle between several men.

Newport: King, Haynes, Labadie, Sheehan, Matt (Gorman, 90+2), Baker, Abrahams (Green, 83’), Bennett (Watters, 90+2), O'Brien, Inniss, Demetriou.

Swindon: Benda, Hunt, Edmonds-Green, Broadbent, Caddis, Grant, Rose (McGilp, 81’), Isgrove (Twine 59’), Jaiyesimi, Woolery, Yates.