MANAGER Michael Flynn slammed his Newport County AFC side as “cowardly” after they collapsed in the second half to lose 2-1 at Barrow.

The Exiles made a strong start to lead 1-0 at Holker Street thanks to Finn Azaz’s strike in the 10th minute.

However, they were dominated after the break and Barrow got the win that the deserved thanks to strikes from outside the box by Josh Kay, who was left unmarked, and Josh Gordon, after possession was gifted away.

County are struggling for consistency – they are yet to record back-to-back wins in League Two – and are leaking goals.

South Wales Argus: DESPAIR: County lost 2-1 after leading 1-0 at half-timeDESPAIR: County lost 2-1 after leading 1-0 at half-time

“They need to learn because they are making some very, very bad mistakes at the moment,” said Flynn.

“I take the blame sometimes but I am not having the blame for that second half. I've just told them, it was cowardly.

“You might say that I brought these players in but you saw what they did in the first half hour. I am not having that. I am not upset, I am absolutely fuming.

“The first goal you could see coming. We let him have a free shot on the edge of the area and then we didn't keep the ball [for the second]. People went into their shells.”

Flynn was forced into changing a winning side after the 2-1 success at Walsall with defender Ryan Haynes, midfielders Azaz and Robbie Willmott and forward Courtney Baker-Richardson coming into the team.

It was Azaz, who replaced teenager Aneurin Livermore, and Ed Upson that the manager had in his sights.

South Wales Argus: ANGRY: County boss Michael Flynn was content at the break and furious at full-timeANGRY: County boss Michael Flynn was content at the break and furious at full-time

“Robbie Willmott was the only defending midfielder that we had in the whole game, not just second half,” he said.

“The other two were defensively way off it and then Aaron Lewis went in there [from wing-back] and made the same mistake five times.

“I am not even going to go on about the players that we were missing and the ones that we had to change because those on there were still better than the mistakes they made.

“We are giving away soft goals this season and it is frustrating because there is a good team in there.

"Hopefully sooner or later it actually clicks because they are letting themselves down massively.”

County responded to a poor performance against Northampton to beat Walsall and will look to bounce back against strugglers Scunthorpe in Newport next weekend.

“I don't want to keep having reactions. I want to put a run together,” said Flynn, whose team have taken 11 points from nine games.

“We had a good win and performance against Walsall and came a long way to Barrow after good preparation. We got off to a very good start but that second half performance was just not acceptable.”