“IT’S A two-way relationship. We need to give them something to cheer, then when they sense we need it, they’ve gone and delivered and got us over the line.”

Gary Bowyer’s words in the pre-match press conference on Thursday when he discussed the growing partnership between City’s players and the fans.

“Immense” was the word he used to describe the impact that the largest supporter base in League Two can have this season.

Evidence of that came around 4.15 on Saturday afternoon. Short of kicking the ball into the Newport net themselves, the Kop suddenly decided to come to the party.

As the drum banged and the familiar tones of “Everywhere we go” rang out across a chilly Valley Parade, City finally got their act in gear.

For the previous hour of so a muted audience had sat in bored indifference at a tepid tussle between two sides effectively cancelling each other out.

It was all a bit cautious between two teams seemingly set up not to lose. City, adapting to a change of system Bowyer insisted was forced on them by late withdrawals, looked like an away team playing at home.

It made for a stultifyingly dull spectacle against a Newport side who have forgotten how to score.

By the close of play, with three points successfully banked, the audience trailed into the crisp night suitably satisfied with the result.

It’s wins like these that add up to forging a promotion campaign; quantity over quality is all that matters at this level.

And the supporters who had broken the silence can take a nod for their part in geeing up the Bantams to a first win since the last home league outing on November 2.

That bond between those in claret and amber on and off the pitch that Bowyer had vowed to fix from day one had come up trumps.

Of course, the jury is still out on City’s long-term prospects. The knives might have followed with anything less than a win on Saturday.

Even given the three cup ties, five games without a victory was cause enough for growing concern about this team’s capabilities.

Those fans who raised their voices to help lift City from humdrum nothingness to ultimately worthy winners could have been just as noisily unleashing their dissent had the stalemate not been broken.

The season of goodwill to all men only stretches so far and the public urgency to escape the bottom division at the first attempt ensures the expectation level will not drop.

Michael Flynn had touched on that in the build-up when he revealed how he had relished playing in an arena more suited to the Championship – and how others had cracked under that strain.

City players, past and present, don’t need to be reminded that this particular relationship with the fans is of the high maintenance and demanding kind.

Flynn, all smiles when he set foot at the ground for the first time in seven years, endured a generally joyless return.

The only card to mark his Valley Parade comeback was of the yellow variety.

The two managers were among nine names in Anthony Backhouse’s busy little book, eight of them after the break, after a touchline contretemps that apparently started with a throwaway remark from the Newport boss about the standard of officiating.

Flynn has been highly critical of his team’s poor finishing in recent weeks. A fourth league loss on the bounce will only intensify his search for a goal-scorer in the January window.

City have got one of those. It’s just he keeps banging them in for Swindon.

Eoin Doyle’s phenomenal run extended to scoring for the eighth successive game to maintain their League Two lead.

Bowyer once more flat-batted the predictable question afterwards but the smoke will clear in just over three weeks.

What direction that goes in could prove pivotal in where City’s season is headed.

Bowyer had given James Vaughan a strike partner as Aramide Oteh was recalled in a reshuffle that also included places for Paudie O’Connor and Kelvin Mellor in a back three and a midfield return for Callum Cooke.

Oteh fired over with the game’s only effort at goal in the opening half hour before Mellor headed over a far more inviting chance from a Jake Reeves free-kick.

That was earned by Oteh hustling and pushing Newport deep into their own half before drawing the foul. The fact it drew the loudest applause of the half showed what little else was going on.

Reeves, at least, was once more dictating play as his resurgence builds steam. His delivery from set-pieces was a particularly fruitful source against opponents who struggled to defend corners.

Newport did show a flicker of ambition to start the second half before the crowd took matters into their own hands.

As Bowyer and Flynn exchanged “pleasantries”, the Kop chorus struck up and their song was taken up around the ground.

City’s tempo kicked up as Oteh panicked Ryan Inniss into a blind back pass on halfway.

It fell criminally short and James Vaughan pounced, rounding Nick Townsend before the Newport keeper cynically dragged him down.

The ridiculous “double jeopardy” rule spared him from a rightful red card but Vaughan served up justice by sending him the wrong way with the penalty.

The game had finally come alive, City certainly.

Oteh was a few studs away from sliding on the end of Vaughan’s cross before his header was brilliantly tipped on to the bar by Townsend.

The stopper cashed in on his penalty reprieve again with a brave block from Paudie O’Connor. Though how much he knew about the shot smashing into his nose was debatable.

Newport’s generous lack of marking at corners allowed Chris Taylor and Anthony O’Connor further chances to cement City’s increasing superiority.

Fourth official Geoffrey Liddle caused widespread consternation when he put the board up showing nine added minutes - the first five of which were probably spent wondering where the referee had conjured up all that extra time from.

Josh Sheehan, Newport's only threat going forward, whistled one long-range effort over the bar and another straight through to Richard O'Donnell.

But the morale-boosting win was never in any real danger from last season's play-off finalists. City's own ambitions of going one step further remain on course, although nobody is going to shout about it for a while yet.