Newport boss Michael Flynn was delighted to put a difficult week behind him with a 1-0 win over Oldham.
Kevin Ellison struck in the 88th minute to get County’s Sky Bet League Two campaign off to a winning start.
It was Flynn’s first opening day victory as manager and the win was made even sweeter by the difficulties which he and the rest of the squad faced this week – including his father having a suspected heart attack the day before the match.
“I think it is my first time as manager winning on the opening day,” he said. “We were beaten at Mansfield, Crewe, Stevenage, we drew with Scunthorpe.
“We controlled the game, didn’t really create enough. It’s always like that at the beginning of the season.
“We’ve played a lot better than that and lost so I’m delighted with the three points.
“I called it, I said he’s going to score from a cross. I don’t like bragging about it in the press and everything.
“[Ellison’s goal] is a credit to how he looks after himself. I’m made up for him and I thought it was an absolutely superb header from a great Ryan Haynes cross.”
He added: “It’s been a tough week. My dad had a suspected heart attack yesterday, we’ve had Matty Dolan go down, we’ve had Courtney Baker-Richardson go down, we had nowhere to train on Wednesday.
“That’s put the icing on the cake and made it all worthwhile.”
Newport came close to opening the scoring when Mickey Demetriou nodded in a Robbie Willmott free-kick in the 57th minute but he was adjudged to have been offside.
But County took advantage of Latics squandering a chance going forwards to counter and the ball eventually made its way to 42-year-old Ellison, who beat goalkeeper Danny Rogers with a glancing header.
“We did OK in bits,” said Oldham boss Keith Curle. “We were well organised, there was a good understanding of the roles.
“I think the frustrating thing is that we get an opportunity to break with the three on two, their lad makes a step on to it and even within a second we’ve got a four on three, then within three seconds, the ball’s in the back of our net.
“It’s difficult to take but it’s a learning curve. The game’s 90, 95 minutes and you’ve got to be switched on.
“Even then, loss of possession, loss of possession, allowing the ball to come into our box too easily, allowing people to get runs on you in the box far too easily…
“It’s difficult because we’ve had players who’ve just joined us within the last two days, players who haven’t trained for the last 10 days and seven first-team players not available for the squad because of Covid, injury or registration issues.”