TWO goals in four minutes for visitors Colchester United ruined Michael Flynn’s birthday and ended his side’s unbeaten home run.

Flynn was hoping to celebrate turning 37 with another three points for Newport County AFC at Rodney Parade.

But, despite enjoying the lion’s share of the chances, County slipped to an unfortunate defeat as former favourite Ryan Jackson broke the deadlock on 72 minutes and the dangerous Mikael Mandron doubled the U’s advantage.

Substitute Shawn McCoulsky pulled one back four minutes from the end but it wasn’t the Exiles’ night as their 213-day unbeaten home league record was ended.

New striker Paul Hayes was not signed in time to be involved and defender Mark O’Brien had to be content with a place on the bench again as Flynn named an unchanged starting XI.

And County picked up where they had left off against Forest Green Rovers with a superb move that almost led to a goal inside two minutes.

Frank Nouble showed great skill to burst between two defenders and into the box.

He squared for Joss Labadie but the skipper slipped at the crucial moment and his shot from eight yards out was just off target.

That was to be Labadie’s only major contribution as he was forced off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury after just 15 minutes of the match.

South Wales Argus:

It was undoubtedly a big blow for the hosts but his replacement – the experienced Sean Rigg – offered a different threat in an attacking midfield role behind Nouble and Padraig Amond and he set about the visitors with plenty of energy.

County have scored a Football League-high nine goals from corners already this season and they almost added a 10th as Rigg’s header at the far post was deflected the wrong side of the post.

And Nouble, who was seeking to end a nine-game goal drought, tried his luck from distance but couldn’t get enough curl on his shot after good link-up play with Amond.

Rigg saw another goalbound shot blocked and Amond’s effort from Nouble’s clever cushioned header into his path was deflected over the top as the Exiles continued to make all the running.

Joe Day was not tested until the 34th minute when he managed to deflect Brandon Hanlan’s shot into the side netting with his studs.

Ryan Inniss headed wide from the corner as Colchester threatened for the first time in the contest.

But normal service was resumed before half-time as Rigg fired wide from distance and Ben White tried a spectacular volley from a Ben Tozer long throw.

The early stages of the second half were much more evenly contested with County fortunate that Mandron headed just wide of Day’s far post 10 minutes after the restart.

But Flynn’s men once again asserted their authority on the match and they so nearly broke the deadlock on the hour.

David Pipe, in barnstorming form down the right flank, picked out Amond with a delightful defence-splitting ball but the striker’s shot was well saved by Sam Walker in the Colchester goal.

And the Exiles went even closer in the aftermath as Tozer’s drive was diverted onto the post by the influential Scot Bennett.

The Rodney Parade crowd were on their feet again shortly afterwards as Nouble cut inside from the right and curled a shot inches over Walker’s bar.

But while it remained goalless the match was still on a knife-edge and the visitors staged a smash and grab raid in the final 20 minutes.

First Jackson fired past former teammate Day on 72 minutes and then Mandron got a touch to Sean Murray’s free-kick to help it into the bottom corner four minutes later.

Flynn threw on McCoulsky and Lamar Reynolds and the former gave County hope as he headed in four minutes from time.

But the hosts were left to rue missed chances as they suffered their first home defeat in the league since March 18.

County: Day; White, Bennett, Demetriou; Pipe (McCoulsky, 75), Tozer, Dolan (Reynolds, 78), Butler; Labadie (Rigg, 15); Nouble, Amond

Subs not used: Bittner, O’Brien, Owen-Evans, Quigley

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 2,704

Argus star man: Pipe