IT’S been a disappointing week for Newport County AFC with just one point from six but even a battering from Storm Brian and a bucketful of bluster from Steve Evans didn’t dampen the spirits too much at Rodney Parade.

County have certainly been brought down to earth a little after that thumping 4-0 win at Forest Green Rovers last Saturday.

Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Colchester Rovers ended their seven-month unbeaten home run and the 1-1 draw against Mansfield Town has to go down as another opportunity missed.

The Exiles dominated both matches and could easily have earned another six points, which would have seen them sitting pretty in second in the table after 15 games.

As it was, they ended up empty handed against Colchester and had to settle for a point against the Stags when they could and probably should have taken all three.

The positive for manager Michael Flynn is that his side hasn’t lost too much ground.

They remain sixth, a point clear of eighth and four off the automatic promotion places, and they once again demonstrated the character in the squad.

Conditions were tricky throughout and there was not much quality on display in the first 45 minutes.

Mansfield led through Danny Rose’s side foot finish on 21 minutes and County needed to improve.

And they did, with the fightback inspired by two changes as Flynn withdrew Ben White and Scot Bennett and sent on Sean Rigg (below) and Shawn McCoulsky in their place.

South Wales Argus:

The switch from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3, even 4-2-4 at times, proved decisive and McCoulsky produced the goods again as he volleyed in after Mark O’Brien had nodded on Ben Tozer’s long throw.

And, while McCoulsky rightly hogged the headlines, Flynn was keen to spread the praise around.

“I thought we were the better team in the first half,” said the manager.

“We were just a little bit flat-footed and waiting for something to happen.

“But I think the change of shape worked very well.

“There were some really good performances. I thought Frank Nouble was unplayable in the second half.

“I just wish he hadn’t tired at the end because I think a fully fit Frank Nouble at the end would have won the game for us.

“They were doubling up on him and fouling him but he was running through people, putting crosses into the box and having shots topped over the.

“I thought David Pipe was brilliant, Mark O’Brien was a rock at the back and I don’t think Joe Day had much to do.

“Riggy did very well,” he added. “I thought he did more in 20 minutes than he had in 80 on Tuesday.

“That’s not me having a go at Sean; I know he can be that good and that’s what I want from him.”

Flynn demands a lot from his team and he admitted to being “massively disappointed” not to get a winner after McCoulsky’s 69th-minute equaliser.

Mansfield could even have stolen all three points themselves if Alfie Potter’s header had bounced in off the post rather than away from danger.

But most of the action was at the other end as Nouble, McCoulsky, Rigg and Padraig Amond were all denied by Stags goalkeeper Conrad Logan.

And, despite repeated warnings from the referee, the visitors somehow escaped without conceding a penalty for their constant shirt-pulling in the box.

The Exiles were clapped off at the end nonetheless, with the home fans satisfied by the effort and commitment on display from those in amber and anticipating another clash between promotion contenders at Notts County next week.

County: Day; White (Rigg, 59), O’Brien, Demetriou; Pipe, Bennett (McCoulsky, 64) Dolan, Tozer, Butler; Nouble, Amond

Subs not used: Bittner, Barnum-Bobb, Willmott, Owen-Evans, Quigley

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 3,146