SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner praised his team for digging out one of their most hard-fought wins of the season after a 2-1 victory away at Newport County on Saturday.

A thrilling contest at Rodney Parade appeared to be heading for a draw after an own-goal late in the second half had given Town the lead before Dom Telford equalised seconds later.

But Jack Payne powered in an 88th-minute winner to send the 1000 Town fans into raptures and steal all three points for Garner’s men.

Reacting to a performance that occasionally saw Swindon dip below their usual standards, Garner admitted it was not vintage but still a valuable victory all the same.

He said: “That was one of our hardest-fought wins of the season, probably one of our hardest games of the season too.

“Massive credit to James and his Newport team because I thought they were very, very good, and it was a tough game.

“We dug in, we fought, and we had spells where we passed the ball really well. But then they had spells where they gained momentum, and they were a huge threat with their long throws and when they delivered great balls into the box.

“We stood up defensively, despite being a little light on numbers, so massive credit to the players for standing up to the pressure when it did come.”

Town might have felt aggrieved if they had not won given the visitors saw two penalties waved away and Newport’s equaliser feature a potential handball in the build-up.

Garner was just pleased to see his team come through an extremely difficult test at a place they had failed to win at in the league since 1980.

He said: “It was a really, really good three points at a really difficult place to come. It was a brilliant goal from Payney, and I’m delighted to score from a set-piece.

“It looked like a foul on Ellis in the build-up to their equaliser, but overall I’m delighted to come away with the three points.”