NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh blamed defeat to League Two basement boys Northampton Town on sloppy defending and poor finishing.

County went down to their second defeat of the season against the Cobblers yesterday, losing 2-1 at Rodney Parade.

Everton loanee Hallam Hope put the visitors ahead and Darren Carter added the second after Harry Worley had levelled for County.

Matt Duke was the hero for Northampton after he saved Andy Sandell’s penalty in the 88th minute to seal the win.

“Unfortunately Northampton have taken six points off us. That’s disappointing but we had enough chance to win three games,” said a frustrated Edinburgh.

“That’s probably the most chances we’ve created in any one game for a long time.

“We just haven’t been ruthless enough in front of goal to make them chances count.

“I thought the goals we gave away were poor,” he added. “We scored an equaliser at a great time but then gave them a gift of a goal for the second.

“It’s a good strike but it shouldn’t have come to that.”

But ultimately it was a lack of composure up front that proved costly.

“I applaud the players for the amount of chances we created and the way we played second half but you can dress it up any way you want we had six one-on-ones today and we have to put one away,” said the Exiles boss, who defended his decision to rest Conor Washington.

“Conor has played 30 games at this level this season and he needed to come out. He’s struggling a little bit with a groin problem as well.

“It’s three points that we’ve let slip,” he added.

“We’re always disappointed when we lose. Since I’ve been here we’re not used to it.

“It’s only two home defeats at home this season and probably five over the calendar year so we can’t be too despondent.”