BOSS Michael Flynn feels Newport County AFC have been “punished” for their exploits in this season’s FA Cup.

Flynn made the comment after last night’s drab 0-0 draw with Port Vale at Rodney Parade, a fixture originally scheduled for January 5.

County played, and beat, Leicester City in the third round of the cup that weekend, a victory that set-up last Saturday’s draw against Middlesbrough.

Travelling to Teesside meant the league game with Notts County needed to be switched to February 19, a week after the postponed MK Dons match takes place.

A win over Boro in next Tuesday’s replay would secure a lucrative tie against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, meaning a new date for the home game with Swindon Town.

This Saturday, Flynn’s men embark on a 475-mile round trip to Cleethorpes as they lock horns with Grimsby Town, taking their away day travelling since the turn of the year to more than 1,600 miles.

Flynn reckoned the exertions of Middlesbrough caught up with his players as they were held to a goalless stalemate by the Valiants on a bitterly cold Tuesday night.

“It wasn’t a very good spectacle,” he said. “I think we looked tired at key moments and the pitch was a little bit bobbly.

“The boys gave their all, but you could see they looked tired.”

He added: “I just feel that maybe we’ve been punished a little bit having this game rearranged for this week after the FA Cup.

“It’s almost that you get punished for doing well in the FA Cup. It is what it is.

“It’s not like we played around the corner (last Saturday). We didn’t get back until midnight.

“Thankfully, we were at home (on Tuesday), otherwise it could have been even worse.”

Flynn reckoned it was his side’s decision making in the final third that left them unable to break the deadlock.

“We got into some good areas and didn’t quite make the right decision in the final third,” he said.

“I don’t think they let me down, they gave their all, it was just that, especially in the last 20 minutes, there were a few wrong decisions.

“Instead of keeping the ball moving and trying to switch the play, we were having shots from 30 or 40 yards, which is silly really.

“And with our crossing, we were hitting the front man at times.”