Mike Flynn believes it was “two points dropped” at Rodney Parade after his Newport County AFC side controlled the majority of the game against Macclesfield Town but had to settle for a 3-3 draw.
The visitors raced into a two-goal lead within 11 minutes at Rodney Parade, Oxford loanee Fiacre Kelleher powering a header into the far corner before David Fitzpatrick converted a spot kick after Dan Butler was adjudged to have felled Tyrone Marsh in the penalty area.
County hit back from there and found a way back into the game on the half hour with a move straight from the training ground. It was something they had tried against Cambridge United on Saturday, but it didn’t quite work out, although this time the Exiles made it count.
Charlie Cooper played his corner-kick short into the path of Padraig Amond, the Irishman flicked the ball back towards the edge of the area where Dan Butler was awaiting with a perfectly executed run, taking one touch to get the ball under control before firing into the middle of the goal.
Amond and Tyreeq Bakinson both came close before the half-time whistle as County continued to pile forward, and they took that momentum into the second-half as well when finding the equaliser on 60 minutes.
Up until that point, Manchester United loanee Kieran O’Hara had been having a superb game in the Silkmen net, but when he misjudged a high ball into his area, Jamille Matt was able to take the ball around him and force Fitzpatrick to haul him to the floor.
Still brimming with confidence after getting his inaugural goal of the campaign on Saturday, Mickey Demetriou again stood up to convert the spot kick – keeping his 100% penalty record intact since joining the Exiles.
O’Hara made amends for his mistake when acrobatically denying Amond and Butler shortly after, as it continued to be one-way traffic from County.
But games can change in an instant and when Demetriou was adjudged to have handled Jared Hodgkiss’ corner-kick in the area, a third penalty of the game was awarded.
Fitzpatrick again calmly slotted it inside the right-hand post to restore his sides advantage, the power and accuracy of the attempt taking it past Joe Day who had guessed right.
That set up a frantic finale at Rodney Parade as County tried to salvage a draw, Demetriou seeing a header bounce back off the crossbar and onto the goal line although it wasn’t given, before top scorer Matt popped up with the last play of the game to head home a deserved leveller.
Twinned with Lincoln City’s defeat at Tranmere Rovers, County closed the gap on the summit of the League Two table to just two points – and Flynn feels his side should be level with the Imps after a dominative performance at Rodney Parade.
“It’s definitely two points lost unfortunately,” he affirmed.
“I didn’t celebrate anything really, I’m glad we managed to get a point at the end obviously, but I still think we deserved all three.
“The credit has to go to the players for getting the draw at the end. They kept going and going, never gave up, and fought to the end.”
The most frustrating thing for Flynn during the game was the fact his side again conceded goals in a home league match.
He continued: “The first goal was poor to concede from our point of view. It was too easy for them, it was from a corner-kick and we knew what they were going to do.
“The worrying thing for me is now we have conceded 11 goals in three home league games and that’s not good enough.”
In spite of the three goals let in, County still created enough chances to have won the game and probably would have done so had O’Hara not been in goal.
County dominated the statistics, 23 shots compared to Macclesfield’s six, while O’Hara had to make eight top saves as 11 of the shots were on target by the Exiles.
Flynn stated: “Listen, there was only one team in it during the second-half. We absolutely murdered them, played some really good stuff and Dan Butler’s delivery tonight was one of the best I have seen.
“Padraig Amond definitely should have scored even if the goalkeeper does make a good save. It was all one-way traffic but again, we conceded three poor goals and should be two points better off.”