MICHAEL Flynn admits Shawn McCoulsky is close to forcing his way into the starting XI after the substitute earned a point against Mansfield Town with his seventh goal of the season.

The striker, on loan from Bristol City, is now County’s top goal scorer after coming off the bench to score for the third successive match in League Two.

McCoulsky’s volley from a Ben Tozer long throw saw the Exiles draw level with Mansfield, who had led through Danny Rose’s first-half strike.

“Shawn is knocking on the door for a start now,” said Flynn after the 1-1 draw.

“He’s scoring for fun now and he was outstanding when he came on.

“He’s the club’s top scorer now and, fair play to him, he works hard and he did well today with his back to goal.

“When he got hold of the ball he did really well and I’m delighted for him because he’s a great kid.”

The point means Flynn’s men remain sixth in the table but the manager felt his side should have had all three.

“We were by far the better team,” he said.

“I thought we dominated, especially in the second half, and their keeper was man of the match.

“We should have had three or four penalties for shirt pulling and we conceded a sloppy goal,” he added.

“I’ve spoken to the referee at half-time, in a respectful manner, and I said he had to keep an eye on it.

“He said he would but they kept getting away with it.

“It was bizarre. It happened that many times and I don’t know how they kept getting away with it.”