NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn was unhappy with the referee’s performance at Kenilworth Road but admitted that his team were beaten by the better side.

Luton Town raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to two goals from Danny Hylton, the second a contentious penalty, after Alan Sheehan’s 12th-minute opener.

Captain Joss Labadie pulled a goal back on 55 minutes but, despite Mickey Demetriou going close soon afterwards, they could not mount a comeback.

“I thought we were lucky to go in 3-0 down at half-time,” said Flynn.

“They were very good, we were very bad and it was unlike us.

“But in the second half we got a goal, got some pride back and didn’t give up.

“And if Mickey’s chance had gone in where he screwed it past the post it might have been a very interesting last 20 minutes.

“But the best team won today and in that first 45 minutes I thought they were excellent.

“I think they [the County players] knew how bad they were in the first half,” he added. “I think I’m always honest with my assessments and we weren’t at the races.

“Luton were very good and that’s why they are one of the promotion favourites because they can do that on their day, especially if teams help them along the way.”

On referee Mark Heywood, who sent County coach Wayne Hatswell to the stands for protesting the penalty, Flynn said: “I don’t think it was a penalty and for the second goal Mickey was tripped.

“But I’m not going to go on too much about the refereeing decisions because they still missed a few other chances.

“They could have scored three without any help from the referee.”