POST-MATCH | Crewe (away)

Mike Flynn says the Exiles must take the positives from the 1-1 draw at Crewe Alexandra, despite the home side playing over 70 minutes with ten men at Gresty Road.

Frank Nouble scored for County in the 13th minute, stabbing home a shot after Crewe ‘keeper Ben Garratt had earlier denied Joss Labadie and Ben White.

Perry Ng was shown a red card for a second bookable offence just four minutes later, after committing fouls on both Joss Labadie and White early on. 

But the home side didn’t let the dismissal affect them, and were level just a minute later.

Striker Chris Dagnall tapped home from two yards after winger George Cooper had evaded the challenge of Dan Butler, and unselfishly squared the ball across the area for the 31-year-old.

Chris Porter could have given Crewe a half-time lead, only for Ben White to miraculously block off the line, before strikers Frank Nouble and Lamar Reynolds had chances to win the game for the Exiles in the second-half.

But no winner could be found as both teams find themselves with two points from the opening two fixtures.

And Flynn says the team are not too far away from securing a first league win of the season.

“They showed the right courage and attitude today and that’s all I can ask from them,” he said.

“If we’d have won 2-1 here, we’d have been saying ‘great, what a start’ so we’re not that far away really.

“We played some really good stuff, opened them up on several occasions but was just lacking that final killer instinct in the box at times - but it’s something we can improve on.”

The result means the Exiles are unbeaten from their opening three away games of the season, something else Flynn is taking encouragement from.

“We’re unbeaten after three away games so it’s not all doom and gloom,” he added.

“The boys have been fantastic with the travelling they have had to do but this one against Crewe, I just felt under the circumstances we should have won the game with the player being sent off so early on.”

There are things Flynn wants the Exiles to improve upon after the opening three fixtures, before the side head to Coventry City next weekend.

“I’ll be honest and say I want to get three points in every game, so of course I’m frustrated,” he continued.

“The amount of shots, crosses and blocks that we forced them to defend was too many really without scoring a goal.

“We created enough chances to win two or three football matches today. If you don’t take the chances that you create then of course you’re going to struggle.

“But we are creating those kinds of opportunities, so we have to take encouragement from that.”

Flynn also credited the home-side for frustrating the Exiles, and battling hard to get a point.

He continued: “Fair play to Crewe, they had ten men, rolled up their sleeves and caused us a few problems.”

County will now rest and recover before heading back out on the road for the next two fixtures. Coventry City await next weekend at the Ricoh Arena before the Carabao Cup second round tie against Leeds United at Elland Road.

And Flynn says it is important at this stage of the season for the players to have a mid-week off.

“We’ve got a nice free week now so we’ll look to rest, recover and go again at Coventry City, who will be another tough test for us.”

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