Forest Green goalkeeper Joe Wollacott was sent off in the first-half as unbeaten Newport County leapfrogged up to second in League Two after a 2-0 win in the Severnside derby.

Bristol City loanee Wollacott was handed a straight red on 28 minutes for bringing down Tristan Abrahams after Ebou Adams' short back-pass put Rovers on the ropes.

Padraig Amond had given Newport the lead on three minutes after Wollacott had the ball pinched off him by the alert Tristan Abrahams.

And Rovers were down to nine men on 90 minutes when Matt Mills hobbled off and salt was rubbed into the wounds when Ryan Haynes embarrassed sub keeper Lewis Thomas in the 93rd minute.

Earlier, manager Mark Cooper made four changes to the team that pushed Premier League Bournemouth to a penalty shootout on Wednesday.

Player-coach Matt Mills retuned from a one-game suspension after his sending off at Bradford City last weekend. Kevin Dawson, Junior Mondal, Matty Stevens, Udoka Godwin-Malife and James Morton dropped to the bench following their exploits at Bournemouth. Kyle Taylor, signed from Bournemouth on a season-long loan on Friday was afforded a start and teenage striker Taylor Allen was handed his first league start.

Newport were at it from the get-go with their brand of in your face football.

A clearly rattled Wollacott played a scratchy ball into Carl Winchester, who was forced to foul Josh Sheehan inside sixty-seconds. Matt Dolan’s free-kick saw the Bristol City loanee keeper gather at the second attempt.

Rovers were stung just two minutes later. Wollacott embarked on an excursion outside the his box and  Abrahams pinched the ball off his foot for Amond to gleefully turn the ball into the inviting net.

Newport fans thought it was 2-0 – Robbie Willmott’s howitzer fingered expertly behind by the stretching Wollacott in a breath-taking opening 20 minutes.

Eight minutes later and Rovers were reduced to ten men. Wollacott was handed a straight red for clipping Abrahams outside the box after Ebou Adams short back pass put Rovers on the ropes.

Immediately, Cooper sacrificed Nathan McGinley with keeper Lewis Thomas coming on for red-carded Wollacott.

Josh Labadie should have made it 2-0 to the Welshmen on 35 minutes, but his free header was wide of the mark.

Newport boss Michael Flynn cut a relaxed figure as he dished out the chewing gum to assistant Wayne Hatswell. Meanwhile, Cooper patrolled his technical area as he cajoled his shell-shocked side.

Rovers had failed to lay a glove on Newport but had their best opening on 44 minutes. Joseph Mills played a long ball forward for Allen to get in behind the Newport defence, but Ryan Inniss got back to block as Allen pulled the trigger.

Thomas produced a smart glove to deny Sheehan in stoppage-time.

Rovers looked for a way back into the game – Allen producing a sprawling save from Tom King after Adams had conjured the opportunity.

Allen was hooked soon after for Junior Mondal with 31 minutes to go.

The ten men of Forest Green were huffing and puffing as Newport turned the screw. Abrahams spanked wide when hitting the target seemed the easier option as the clock ticked.

Cooper rolled the dice – switching to a back three as he looked for a way back into the game.

Rovers were a whisker away from parity on 75 minutes.

Joseph Mills arching free-kick clipped the crossbar after Carl Winchester was fouled by Abrahams.

Former Newport striker Aaron Collins came on for Rovers for Allen as Cooper used his final sub.

Abrahams saw yellow for Newport with 10 minutes to go, catching Thomas as he claimed the ball and in the ensuing melee Matt Mills was booked for his reaction to the foul.

Rovers were reduced to nine on 89 minutes after Matt Mills hobbled with a hamstring injury as seven minutes of added time were played.

Newport wrapped it up when Thomas failed to keep out Haynes’ 93rd-minute free-kick.

FOREST GREEN: Wollacott (Thomas 29), Bernard, M. Mills, Rawson, McGinley, J.Mills, Adams, Winchester, Grubb, Taylor (Mondal 59), Allen (Collins 78)

Subs not used: Morton, Stevens, Godwin-Malife, Kitching

Bookings: M Mills 80

Sent off: Wollacott 28

NEWPORT COUNTY: King, Haynes, Labadie ( Whitely 84), Willmott, Dolan ( Maloney 76), Amond, Sheehan, McNanara ,Abrahams, O’Brien (Howkins 45), Inniss

Subs not used: Leadbitter, Collins, Ekpiteta, Townsend

Bookings: Labadie 31, McNamara 58, Abrahams 80

Star man: Dayle Grubb.

Attendance: 2,897

Referee: Mr James Adock

Next up: Forest Green face Southampton U21s in the Trophy on Tuesday, 7pm. Next Saturday, Mark Cooper’s side travel to Cambridge United.