NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn admitted league leaders Exeter City’s ruthless edge proved the difference in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash.

County missed a host of chances and had a goal disallowed – a decision Flynn described as “disgusting” – before Lee Holmes scored the winner for Exeter on 58 minutes.

Frank Nouble then hit the post for the visitors but they could not find an equalizer on a frustrating afternoon at St James Park.

Flynn is certain, however, that his side are making good progress despite their first defeat of the season in League Two and he’s backing Padraig Amond and his fellow strikers to prove their worth.

“Padraig could have had a hat-trick but he will score goals,” said the Exiles boss.

“He’s in the right place at the right time and he’ll score more often than not.

“They were possibly a bit more ruthless than us,” he added.

“If we were on our toes a little bit more in the box in the first half I think we would have had converted the chances that we created.

“We’ve got to obviously stop the crosses at the other end but when you start missing chance after chance and you have a goal disallowed, which should have been given, and you hit the inside of the post you do start thinking ‘is it going to be our day?’

“But I’m not going to overreact; the boys have put in a magnificent effort and created a lot of chances.

“It was a good performance but a poor result.”

With Shawn McCoulsky, Lamar Reynolds and Marlon Jackson injured and Joe Quigley on international duty with Ireland under-21s, Flynn had limited attacking options on the bench.

“We had seven strikers not so long ago,” he said. “One is out on loan [Aaron Williams], one was on international duty and three are injured. That’s why I needed seven!

“Shawn got injured in training, Lamar’s just got a niggle and it wasn’t worth risking it.

“When you’re that quick and you’ve got the lack of body fat that those two have then it’s a recipe for disaster if you play them when they’re not quite right.

“At the end of the day I’ve missed them for one game and I don’t want to miss them for six or seven.

“I hope they’ll be back next week.”

Flynn confirmed that he did miss out on signing a player before the transfer window closed on Thursday night.

“I did want to bring in another one but it didn’t work out,” he said.

“I was looking at getting one more and the player wanted to come but we didn’t get it across the line so it was a bit disappointing.”

Flynn will only be able to bring in unattached players between now and January 1 if he wants to add to his 11 summer signings.