Mike Flynn admits he was left disappointed at seeing his side concede a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Accrington Stanley.
The first-half came and went without any real opportunities for either side, with only Robbie Willmott trying his luck from around thirty yards on three occasions that made easy pickings for home goalkeeper Aaron Chapman.
But the second-half sprung into life just two minutes after the restart as Frank Nouble grabbed his seventh goal of the campaign with a composed finish.
It was a textbook corner move that the Exiles had so nearly made work in previous matches, with Willmott drilling the delivery across the floor for Nouble to curl into the top corner from just inside the area.
But from there, Accrington upped the tempo and started to get a foothold back into the game as they tried to utilise their home advantage.
Joint League 2 top-scorer Billy Kee hit the crossbar as they went in search of the equaliser, while Joe Day had to produce a top save whilst on the floor to keep out midfielder Jordan Clark.
But the resilient County resistance was finally broken with two minutes to go following more Accrington pressure in the penalty area.
Kayden Jackson smashed a delivery across the face of goal, and after a scramble in the box, substitute Mallik Wilks forced the ball home through a sea of bodies as both sides had to settle for a point.
It was the second game in a row that County had conceded after the 80th minute mark, leaving Flynn frustrated at missing out on all three points.
“I’m gutted we didn’t win the game,” he affirmed.
“We didn’t look like conceding for 87 minutes but then we looked like conceding at will.
“The last few minutes, it really was crazy. We maybe sat back a little bit, but they did not look like scoring.
“We were comfortable but again it’s an individual error for the goal I think. I need to watch it back before I start pointing the finger and I’ve just told the players that but it’s a cheap goal to concede and it’s taken the gloss off what would have been an absolutely perfect away performance.”
It is now one win from seven matches in all competitions for the Exiles, meaning the late goal was certainly playing on Flynn’s mind post-match.
He continued: “The chance after that was worse for me where their number eight had a free shot and Scot Bennett has had to block it.
“I don’t know how somebody can have that much space in the area when you’ve got that many players in the area defending.
“It was a crazy final few minutes but look, I thought they were outstanding and I’m just disappointed that we haven’t got the win.”
Prior to the game, Stanley were sitting in 2nd position in the League 2 table having only lost twice at home this season.
So, Flynn was able to find numerous positives after getting a well-earned point in Lancashire.
He commented: “Would we have taken a point before the game? Probably, so it’s good that I’m disappointed that we haven’t won.
“I thought the boys put in an unbelievable shift and they worked their socks off. It’s just unfortunate that they switched off at that moment.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t get the win, but we’ll go again Tuesday with a lot of positives to take out of this game.”
Nouble’s goal was his first away from Rodney Parade since the second game of the league season when he scored in the draw at Crewe Alexandra on August 12th.
It was a goal straight from the training ground, something County had come close to utilising in previous matches already this season, as Nouble scored directly in-front of the 183 travelling fans.
And Flynn was pleased to see that some tactical plays worked on in training paid dividends at the Wham Stadium.
He said: “We’ve worked on that set-play and the other one nearly came off as-well.
“We don’t just pull a corner back and hope for the best, we work on these things and we watch what the opposition does and see how we can stop there’s.
“Robbie did very well in the first-half because they tried to pull it back to the edge and it was very good from him.
“The goal was very pleasing because we’ve worked on it.”
County now have three days to prepare for their next league game as Barnet make the trip to Rodney Parade on Tuesday.
Matty Dolan will be back after completing his suspension at Accrington while Joss Labadie continues to face a fight to be available for the game.
But Flynn confirmed post-match that he may also be missing further players for the match after confirming all three of his substitutions in Lancashire were made through injury concerns.
Captain for the day Mark O’Brien, Frank Nouble and Padraig Amond were all forced off, with Flynn providing mixed news regarding the trio post-match.
“I’m not too optimistic about Mark O’Brien,” he confirmed.
“Frank’s achilles is tight, he didn’t train last week, and I may not train him next week either because the amount of work he did today was unbelievable, he did not stop all game.
“Podge I think will be alright because it was just a knock but it’s probably a no for Mark O’Brien.
“If it was Saturday, then I think we would have a chance to get it iced up and rested up, but I doubt it on Tuesday. I think it will be a bit too much.
“It’s not ideal but we’ll go again Tuesday."
NEXT UP: We face Barnet FC on Tuesday 21st November at Home. Get tickets here.
AFTER THAT: It's our first trip to Swindon Town in the League for thirty years. Join us there on the 25th November - get tickets here.