Harrogate Town came from behind to post a 2-1 victory over fifth placed Newport County.
When Town’s team sheet appeared it contained the name of Will Smith who was returning from injury after a gap of three months to replace the suspended Connor Hall.
Simon Power and Josh March were also given starts,replacing Brendan Kiernan and Jack Muldoon.
After some early, slick possession football from the visitors,it was Town who were first to threaten when Ed Francis curled a free kick just wide of the near post.
But it was the Exiles who took the lead on 17 minutes,after the Town defence could only clear a left wing corner to the edge of the area, where the lurking Luke Gambin’s volley was touched in by Jake Scrimshaw.
Town hit back strongly and the impressive Josh McPake tested Nick Townsend in the Newport goal after being played in by George Thomson.
However,on 34 minutes,Town scored an equaliser of the highest quality.A James Belshaw free kick was flicked on by Aaron Martin and Josh March beat Townsend with a well struck shot into the far corner of the net.
Scrimshaw almost hit back immediately with a powerful drive from distance which flashed past Belshaw’s right post.
Just before the break,it looked as though Town would be awarded a stonewall penalty when Power was chopped down inside the area,but Referee Pollard waved play on and booked March for protesting too strongly.
Town kept up the pressure in the second half and a dangerous centre across the goal from Power evaded both March and Martin.
But Town were not to be denied, and on 66 minutes they made the vital breakthrough when Martin rose at the far post
To head in Thomson’s deep corner.
Harrogate’s task was made slightly easier fifteen minutes from time when Shephard was given a straight red card for a two footed tackle on Power.
Although Town saw out the remaining time well,they had to survive one late scare,when deep into stoppage time,Jake Lawlor had to clear off the goal line.
Scorers,March 34,Martin 66.
Booked,March 44,Burrell 82
Townsend,Haynes,Dolan(Willmott 62),Longe-King,Gambin(Amond 77),Bennett,Hartigan(Collins 88),
Sent Off,Shephard 74.
By John Harrison