CONSISTENTLY inconsistent, Newport County AFC remain something of an enigma in League Two after this defeat in Bletchley – home of the Second World War codebreakers.

Leaving their FA Cup heroics to one side, February has seen County’s fortunes swing one way and then the other in the league.

The month started with a 3-0 pasting at Grimsby Town when Michael Flynn rested several players ahead of the cup replay with Middlesbrough.

After battering Boro, the Exiles ground out a gritty 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.

But that was followed by an unfortunate defeat to MK Dons at Rodney Parade, when the hosts hit the woodwork four times.

After a superb effort against Premier League champions Manchester City in the cup, Flynn’s men thumped Notts County 4-1 last Tuesday to reignite their fading play-off hopes.

The manager challenged his players to back up that triumph with another win at Stadium MK, which would really have put them back in the mix for a top-seven finish.

But back-to-back wins are hard to come by in the league.

County haven’t been able to string two victories together since September when Tranmere Rovers and Cambridge United were beaten in successive weeks.

They managed four in a row in late August and early September as Notts County, Grimsby, Port Vale and Oldham Athletic were all dispatched in the space of 19 heady days.

Minds and bodies are wearier as we approach the final months of a long campaign and the FA Cup hangover, which many expected to see at Meadow Lane last week, duly materialised on Saturday.

Flynn admitted his players looked jaded and they created next to nothing in the first 45 minutes.

They were grateful to goalkeeper Joe Day for keeping them in the game with a penalty save and several other important stops before Ousseynou Cissé climbed above Mark O’Brien to head the hosts in front on 57 minutes.

County did create enough chances after the break to get something out of the game but Jamille Matt, Scot Bennett and substitutes Ben Kennedy and Ade Azeez all failed to hit the target before Dons sub Chuks Aneke wrapped up the points in the 89th minute after Bennett and Mickey Demetriou failed to deal with a long ball forward.

“At 1-0 it is never over, and we were really trying to get that second goal,” said MK manager Paul Tisdale after the match.

“It wasn’t a case of us sitting on that 1-0 lead, and we tried our very best to put more pressure on them, and eventually we got that second goal.

“I think it was a really good game against a team who went for us.

“As you would expect, they changed things when it was 1-0 and really tried to put us under pressure, but it was a really tough, robust and committed performance, and I am delighted we won.

“We are developing, and I have just congratulated the team on the manner of the performance.

“There is a 2-0 win and there is a 2-0 win, and that was a result, performance and scoreline that pleases the manager.”

After a rough patch of their own, Tisdale’s men are hot on the heels of the top three but he isn’t thinking too far ahead.

“We have a dozen more games, there is a good quarter of the season still to go, and there is a lot of football to be played,” he told the MK Citizen.

“We have to concentrate on the next game, and although it is an old cliché, it happens to be true.”

That is just as true for County, who still have 39 points to play for.

But they know that consistency is the key if they are to put any pressure on the sides above them.

County: Day; Poole, O’Brien, Demetriou, Butler; Bennett; Willmott, Bakinson (Kennedy, 63), Dolan (McKirdy, 76); Amond (Azeez, 63), Matt

Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, Sheehan, Marsh-Brown

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 6,984 (340 County)