NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn refused to be too critical of his side after last night’s 2-1 home defeat to Colchester United.

Flynn’s men missed a number of chances before former County player Ryan Jackson opened the scoring on 72 minutes and Mikael Mandron added a second for the visitors four minutes later.

Substitute Shawn McCoulsky gave the Exiles hope with a header on 86 minutes but Colchester held on to become the first away team to win at Rodney Parade in League Two since March.

“It was a really frustrating night,” said Flynn. “I can’t fault the effort of the players; they were fantastic.

“They kept going until the end but I just felt we were a little bit too open in the second half and we paid for the chances we missed when it was 0-0.

“We had the best chances and we missed them.

“Padraig [Amond] went close, we hit the post as well and Joss [Labadie] missed one before he pulled his hamstring.

“You start to wonder if it is going to be your night and it obviously wasn’t.

“We said at half-time that the first goal was going to be crucial and, unfortunately for us, they got it.”

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On the end of the 213-day unbeaten run at home, Flynn said: “It’s done now, the monkey is off our back.

“We’ve got to make sure we go on another long run and that starts on Saturday.

“We’re still sixth in the league,” he added. “How many people would have taken this six or seven months ago?

“I think every single person would have.

“We’re going to get games wrong, we’re going to lose games but we’ve just got to keep that momentum going and make sure we win more than we lose.”

County captain Labadie was forced off with a hamstring injury after just 15 minutes and is likely to miss Saturday’s home clash with Mansfield Town.

Flynn said: “It obviously does not look good at the moment.

“We will find out more on Thursday when it settles down and it stops bleeding.

“He is a big miss because we missed him as soon as he went off.”