NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn blamed poor defending from his side as they went down to a 3-0 opening day defeat at Mansfield Town.

Flynn was not happy with the way the Exiles allowed Stags debutants Tyler Walker and Otis Khan to score but he admitted that Mansfield were the stronger side.

Walker, son of former England defender Des, stabbed home the first goal on 12 minutes and the hosts led 1-0 at the break.

Khan, signed this summer from Yeovil Town, then took centre stage as he headed in Walker’s cross on 56 minutes and curled in a brilliants second eight minutes later to put the game to bed.

“I think the worst period was the 20-minute spell in the second half when they got their second goal,” said a frustrated Flynn.

“We lost the battle in that 20 minutes and they punished us. They scored two goals and really went for the jugular.

“It was frustrating because I thought in the first half, even though we were losing, we were playing quite well.

“But you can’t have 20-minute periods like we did in the second half where we were second best all over the pitch.

“How can you have a free header in the box? Khan is 5ft 7ins.

“And then he had time on the edge of the area and he picked out his spot where he was going to hit it.

“You can’t have that time. We didn’t get that time.

“It was too easy for them to score. I think there was a foul for the first one but the other two were poor defending from us.”

Padraig Amond and substitute Josh Sheehan went close late on but it was not County’s day and Flynn praised Mansfield’s performance.

“They went right to the end,” he added. “Podge went round the keeper and should have scored but their man cleared it off the line.

“Then Josh Sheehan should have scored but the keeper makes a save.

“But they’re a strong team and credit to them for finishing us off.

“They were stronger than us and you’ve got to give the opposition credit at times.”