A STOPPAGE-TIME goal from Padraig Amond condemned Colchester United to a painful 2-1 defeat at leaders Newport County tonight.

The U’s thought they had rescued a late point after substitute Jevani Brown stabbed home an 89th minute equaliser, to cancel out Scott Twine’s spectacular strike early in the second half.

But Amond nodded home in the first minute of stoppage time to earn Newport victory and leave the U’s beaten.

The Exiles showed why they are leading the way at the top of League Two, as they racked up a fourth straight league win.

But after going behind, the U’s stayed in the game and the introduction of Kwame Poku off the bench gave them an extra attacking edge, in the final half hour.

Colchester boss Steve Ball made two changes to his starting line-up for their game at Newport.

Luke Norris and Courtney Senior were both recalled to the side, with Jevani Brown and Poku on the bench.

Newport were going in search of another victory and it showed in their confident play, in the opening half an hour.

The in-form hosts took the game to the U’s, signalling their intentions in only the fourth minute when Brandon Cooper advanced towards goal before planting a shot straight at Colchester keeper Dean Gerken.

The Exiles should have taken a 15th-minute lead when Amond nodded a great chance down and wide at the far post after Tristan Abrahams had done superbly to get down the left and pick him out with a precise cross.

The lively Abrahams went close to scoring himself two minutes later when his powerful curled effort was pushed away by Gerken, after Amond had picked him out.

And the woodwork saved Colchester a minute later when Twine’s brilliant free-kick from 30 yards rattled the crossbar.

Colchester found it difficult to get a foothold in the game in the opening half hour.

And the U's desire to play out from the back was hampered by a hungry Newport side who were reluctant to allow them to do so.

But as the first half came to a close, Colchester began to enjoy more possession and show more of their attacking qualities.

The U’s felt they should have had a penalty just after the half hour mark when Norris tumbled in the box as he attempted to get on the end of Senior’s cross, with referee Peter Wright waving away their spot-kick claims.

The teams went in level at the break but Newport almost grabbed the lead two minutes after the break when Mickey Demetriou headed a good chance over from close range, following a corner.

And the Exiles eventually took a 50th-minute lead through Twine, who let fly with a swerving 25-yard effort following a short free-kick that Gerken at full stretch could only help into the net.

It was no more than the hosts deserved and not content with the one goal, Newport immediately pressed for a second.

Cooper’s first-time effort from Ryan Haynes’ cutback flew wide, just after Colchester made a double change with Brown and Poku sent on for Norris and skipper Harry Pell and the pair made a difference, in the final third.

Harriott curled an effort straight at keeper Nick Townsend, as the U’s tried to find a route back into the game.

And the same two players were involved again midway through the second half when Harriott’s fine run and strike forced Townsend to dive to his left and push the ball away for a corner.

Josh Bohui was sent on for Harriott with 13 minutes remaining in a bid to find an equaliser and it came when Brown converted from close range, after keeper Townsend had only parried Poku’s curled effort from the edge of the box.

But just when it looked as though the visitors had claimed an away point, Amond netted from close range after the U’s had kept out a header to secure Newport victory.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Eastman, Smith, Bramall, Chilvers, Pell (sub Poku, 61), Stevenson, Senior, Harriott (sub Bohui, 77), Norris (sub Brown, 61).

Subs (not used): Sowunmi, Scarlett, Gambin, George.

U’s man of the match: Noah Chilvers.

Newport County: Townsend, Haynes, Labadie (sub Bennett, 84), Cooper, Dolan, Sheehan, Abrahams (sub Willmott, 90), Twine, Demetriou, Shephard, Amond (sub Ellison, 90).

Subs (not used): Baker, Webb, Proctor, King.

Referee: Peter Wright.

Goals: Colchester: Brown (89). Newport: Twine (50), Amond (90).

Bookings: Colchester: Harriott (unsporting behaviour, 29), Stevenson (foul, 34). Newport: Labadie (simulation, 28).