JOE Day saved a first-half penalty but Newport County AFC conceded twice after the break to slip to defeat at MK Dons. Here are the talking points...

Delayed-onset FA Cup hangover

This was the performance and the result that many expected immediately after last week’s magnificent effort against Manchester City.

County were evidently still on a cup high and fuelled by adrenaline as they romped to a 4-1 win at Notts County on Tuesday, but the physical and emotional effort of the last few weeks seemed to catch up with them yesterday against much tougher opponents.

Manager Michael Flynn admitted that his side looked ‘flat’ and he’s glad to have a full week for his players to rest, recover and prepare for next Saturday’s home clash with Carlisle United.

Chances go begging again against MK

Flynn bemoaned a host of missed opportunities in the 1-0 home defeat to MK Dons on February 12 as his side hit the woodwork four times.

They were certainly ruthless at Notts County in midweek, but they again failed to make the most of their chance against Paul Tisdale’s men.

The Exiles created nothing before the break but they came out fighting after the interval and Jamille Matt, Ade Azeez, Ben Kennedy and Scot Bennett will all feel they could have levelled. The Dons will wonder how they’ve kept two clean sheets against County in 11 days.

No replacement for Joss Labadie

Once again, the County midfield had a big Joss Labadie-shaped hole in it and once again the machine spluttered and stalled as a result.

Labadie was just getting back to his barnstorming best before being forced off with another niggling injury at Notts County on Tuesday.

Tyreeq Bakinson struggled to make an impact on his return to the starting XI and, with Andrew Crofts also sidelined, Flynn will be hoping that Labadie is fit and firing as soon as possible.

South Wales Argus:

Joe Day didn’t deserve to be on the losing side

The Exiles goalkeeper is the only member of the squad who could be 100 per cent satisfied with his individual performance on a frustrating afternoon at Stadium MK.

Day is a team player and he was as disappointed as anyone else after the match, but he will know that he kept his side in the match for longer than their collective display deserved with a superb penalty save and several other important stops.

The County number one could do nothing to prevent the opener and was powerless to prevent the second in the final minute, but his performance was one bright spot on a difficult day.

Read more: Match report from Stadium MK

Read more: Flynn frustrated by 'flat' performance