NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn admitted a second successive defeat and a first League Two loss at Rodney Parade since February was a “reality check” for his team.

After a 3-1 reverse at Colchester United last Saturday, County were beaten 2-1 at home by newly-promoted Salford City to end a run of 16 home games without defeat in the league.

Headed goals from Cameron Burgess and Lois Maynard either side of the break sealed the victory for Salford after a Nathan Pond own goal had briefly drawn the Exiles level in first-half stoppage time.

Padraig Amond had earlier put a header wide at the far post at 0-0 and Josh Sheehan hit the upright before substitute Tristan Abrahams saw a penalty saved in the closing stages.

“We lost the game to two set-plays and it’s not good enough,” said Flynn.

“We worked on them, showed them and did everything, bar mark the players for them.

“It’s two really cheap goals. Ryan Inniss gets done too easily [for the first] and Matty Dolan [for the second]. It’s not good enough.

“We knew what they were good at, we knew they caused a problem on set-plays, but we caused our own problems.

“We didn’t get near them. It’s two free headers and it’s not good enough.”

South Wales Argus:

Despite those defensive deficiencies, Flynn felt his side could still have won the game.

“We were the better team and we should have scored four with the chance Podge missed, Sheehan should have scored when he hit the inside of the post and I don’t know what Tristan was doing with the penalty.

“I don’t mind somebody taking a penalty and missing, but not when they go down the middle.

“It doesn’t sit right with me. If he’d scored, we would have gone on and won the game – that’s what we do.

“If he puts it down the middle and scores then everybody says he did the right thing, but his other penalties he put them right in the corner.

“I never hit a penalty down the middle throughout my career.”

Reflecting on back-to-back defeats in the league, the Exiles boss added: “It should be a harsh lesson for us. I don’t mind if we get played off the park. I can take defeat pretty well, like last week. If you lose to a better team, you’ve just got to hold your hands up. But, not today.

“It’s a reality check for them. A couple of them were maybe getting carried away and maybe thinking they were better than they are.

“But League Two will bite you right on the backside and that’s what it’s done.”

Read more: Newport County 1 Salford City 2 - match report from Rodney Parade