NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn praised the efforts of his patched-up team after they battled to a 0-0 draw at Macclesfield Town and insisted it could be a “huge point” in the race for the League Two play-offs.

The stalemate against Sol Campbell’s relegation-threatened Silkmen left both sides frustrated on a hot and humid Bank Holiday afternoon at Moss Rose.

But the results elsewhere mean the hosts stay out of the bottom two and County remain 11th in the table – two points behind seventh-placed Exeter City with a game in hand.

Flynn’s men know that three wins from their final three games will guarantee them a top-seven spot and the Exiles boss is staying positive.

“I thought we were by far the better team,” he said. “We didn't have too many clear-cut chances but I thought we dominated the game from start to finish.

“My players gave me everything. I had Regan Poole who wasn’t fit with a swollen foot, Dan Butler should never have played due to illness.

“Jamille Matt couldn’t play, [Joss] Labadie’s out, Crofty’s [Andrew Crofts] out; I can't praise them enough, they were excellent.

“We played some really good football and we should have had a penalty.”

Josh Sheehan appeared to be taken out in the box in the closing stages, but referee Matt Donahue waved away the midfielder’s appeals.

"Did that cost us the game? It could have,” said Flynn. “But I don't want to rely on those decisions, because I think we are better than that.”

%image('9749514', type="article-full", alt="ILLNESS: Dan Butler in action for Newport County at Macclesfield Town")

With champions Lincoln City next up at Rodney Parade on Saturday, a win would have given the Exiles more breathing space.

But Flynn does not see the draw as a missed opportunity.

“It could be a huge point,” he said. “We’re seven unbeaten and it’s still in our hands.

"We are not downhearted; I am very positive. We have one less game and we have made ground on a couple of teams with Swindon and Carlisle losing.

“It’s a warm day, a dry pitch, a lot of people struggling with illness and injuries and it’s tough [against teams fighting relegation] – Colchester have gone to Yeovil and drawn.

“We know what it’s like from past experiences, but I thought we were very good. It was just that final cutting edge [that we were missing].

“Thankfully we’ve got a few days now to get everybody back for next weekend.”

Matt, who missed out due to a dead leg, could return against Lincoln.

“He should be fine,” said the manager. “I had to give them something to think about. We were one short but he wanted to travel up so I put him on the bench and told him to pretend he could come on at any time.

“Congratulations to Lincoln on winning the title,” he added. “We know it’s going to be a difficult game.

“I’m sure they’ll have a look at a few new players, but they’re still a talented squad and it’s going to be tough. We’ve got to win.”

Read more: Match report from Moss Rose