Newport boss Justin Edinburgh paid tribute to substitute Andy Sandell after he struck to beat Portsmouth 1-0.
Sandell was a victim of County's poor start to the season and had been dropped but reacted in perfect fashion with a goal to earn Newport their first win of the campaign.
Edinburgh said: "I'm glad for Andy, because he's had to take it on the chin. He started the season as captain but I left him out. He could have taken it badly but he's responded in the best possible way."
Sandell almost made a dramatic impact following his 80th minute introduction when his first touch was a searing drive which Pompey keeper Paul Jones tipped over his bar.
But the Newport midfielder had better luck with his second effort four minutes later when wide on the right, he curled a free-kick towards the far post which crept in the corner.
Edinburgh added: "We needed that bit of luck to swing our way. We've been frustrated of late, but perhaps the pendulum has swung our way a bit today.
"I'm also pleased with the way we saw the game out after taking the lead, which is something we haven't been able to to of late.
"People made us favourites for promotion last season and we haven't started well. It's my job to protect the players from that sort of this.
"We have to remember where we have come from and learn to come to places like this in front of big crowds and learn to enjoy the victory."
Pompey boss Andy Awford admitted Newport's plan to frustrate his side worked as he suffered his first defeat in 11 league games either side of the close season break as his former Fratton Park team-mate Edinburgh left with the points.
Awford said: "All credit to Justin and Newport. They came with a plan and stuck to it and it worked for them.
"We had two chances and didn't take either of them, and you have to do that. Had we taken the lead it might well have been a completely different story, but we didn't.
"I'm disappointed that we didn't create more chances than we did but hopefully this will be a lesson for the players and everyone at the club, that we can't just turn up to games and expect to win.
"We didn't take our chances and you have to concentrate at all times. We switched off towards the end and they nicked it.
"All of their goals have come crom set pieces this season and it's particularly disappointing we conceded from one, when we worked hard on preventing that during the week."