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REACTION | Michael Flynn: "They were brilliant and I don't care who scores"

21 April 2021

Manager Michael Flynn says he isn't concerned with who scores the goals for Newport County AFC - as long as his side maintain their Sky Bet League Two promotion charge.

The Exiles boss watched his side cruise to a 2-0 victory over Crawley Town, who missed out on the opportunity to close the gap on the Exiles, at Rodney Parade.

Flynn's men put in a dominant display to ensure they remained seventh in the Sky Bet League Two table and also kept the distance between themselves and the chasing pack.

But it was two unlikely goalscorers in the form of defenders - Liam Shephard and Aaron Lewis - who helped County on their way to the win against the Reds, who saw Tom Nichols dismissed late on.

Shephard's 25-yard strike - his second of the campaign - gave County a deserved lead after the interval before Lewis struck his first goal for the Exiles in the 10th minute of stoppage time.

Matty Dolan and Padraig Amond lead the way as County's top scorers in the league this term, but Flynn says he doesn't mind who finds the net.

"They were brilliant tonight, but you start thinking again, when you miss so many brilliant chances as we did, that it might not be our night," said Flynn.

"But when Liam Shephard scores a deflected goal maybe it is your night and then obviously Aaron Lewis at the end with a great finish. 

"I don’t care who scores. We’ve got an unbelievable amount of points and the scary thing is the number of points we’ve thrown away from individual errors. That’s the frustrating thing because we should be a bit higher up."

The Exiles had failed to score in their last two outings - against Carlisle and Cambridge - and had to be patient again against John Yems' side before Shephard gave them the breakthrough.

Flynn felt his side were hard done by after coming away from the clash against Cambridge empty-handed following a fine display, but the Exiles boss says results are a priority in the run-in.

"We played some unbelievable stuff tonight and it was the same on Saturday [against Cambridge United]," added Flynn.

"They were saying ‘we played really well’ but I would rather play terrible and nick a goal at the end. 

"We’re at the business end of the season - I’m not going to get away from that. You’ve seen tonight, when we don’t make any mistakes and we’re fully focussed, we win the game.

"It’s not very often when we’ve not made a mistake and not won the game - and I’m talking about winning and not drawing."

Flynn made three changes from the Exiles’ defeat against league leaders Cambridge United on Saturday, including a switch between the sticks as Tom King replaced Nick Townsend.

King, who hadn’t featured since the 3-2 defeat against Oldham Athletic in January, enjoyed a quiet evening - with the visitors managing just one attempt on target - but helped the Exiles chalk up their 14th clean sheet of the league campaign.

And Flynn says the competition between Townsend - the number one choice this term - and King is a welcome dilemma.

"I've said all season that there is healthy competition,” said Flynn on his goalkeeping options.

"I’ve chatted with Tom and I've tried to be true to my word. It's a tough position because when they make a mistake it's highlighted.

"Nick has been outstanding this season and that's why he's had a new deal, Tom has been champing at the bit and had to back it up.

"Unfortunately [for him] he had nothing to do against Crawley, but I was really impressed with his kicking and talking.”


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