MICHAEL Flynn insisted there were plenty of positives from his side’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Cheltenham Town at Rodney Parade.

The Newport County AFC manager gave debuts to academy prospects Tom Hillman, Lewis Collins and Evan Press in the starting XI and Owen Taylor from the bench, while Jay Foulston also earned another start. 

Marlon Jackson returned from injury and Lamar Reynolds scored his first goal in professional football after Cheltenham had netted twice in the opening 11 minutes through Brian Graham and Harry Pell.

“I thought it was a brilliant performance from a team where I gave four players from the youth team their debuts,” said Flynn.

“We were out of the competition and I know there was £10,000 at stake but I’ve got a lot of injuries and illness in the camp and I thought it was more beneficial to see what a couple of the youth players can do.

“I thought we were the better side throughout.

“We gave away two sloppy goals at the start, which wasn’t ideal but they will have learned a lot tonight.”

Flynn added: “I thought Lamar was brilliant and he scored his first professional goal so that is another positive.

“Marlon had 65 minutes as well so there were a lot of positives to come from tonight.”