TRISTAN Abrahams' late missed penalty condemned Newport County AFC to a 2-1 home defeat against Salford City. Here are the talking points...

Fortress Rodney Parade finally breached

There were 263 days between County’s last home defeat in League Two against MK Dons in February and yesterday’s victory for Salford City.

Michael Flynn’s men went 16 league games without being beaten at Rodney Parade but, after several disjointed displays at home in recent weeks, their luck finally ran out this weekend.

On another day, Padraig Amond would have buried a first-half header, Josh Sheehan’s late effort would have snuck inside the post and Tristan Abrahams would have scored from the spot.

It wasn’t to be and the Exiles will now have to start from scratch as they attempt to begin another long unbeaten run in NP19.

South Wales Argus:

Midfield muddle for Flynn

The manager admitted after the match that he is concerned by his misfiring midfield and his decision to recall both Matty Dolan and Taylor Maloney just didn’t work out.

Joss Labadie is back from suspension next week but star man Sheehan is now facing a one-game ban after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Scot Bennett is likely to return to midfield to plug a gap but he has looked at his best in central defence in recent weeks and Flynn could turn to the likes of Corey Whitely to help combat a lack of creativity that saw his side muster just one shot on target against Salford.

Set-piece struggles

Flynn’s team are renowned as set-piece specialists in League Two but the boot was on the other foot on Saturday as they allowed Salford to score from a corner and a free-kick.

The manager was furious that Ryan Inniss lost his man for the first and Dolan was outmuscled for the second and those two mistakes ultimately proved to be the difference between victory and defeat.

County can still boast the second-best defensive record in League Two but they have now conceded seven times in their last four games and it is a month since their last clean sheet.

FA Cup distraction

After a miserable 10 days in the league, which saw County collect just one point from nine and drop to seventh in the table, nest Saturday’s FA Cup trip to Grimsby Town could serve as a welcome distraction.

The Exiles are still only four points off top spot after 16 games but they look in need of a break from the routine and a return to the competition that has given them so many magnificent memories over the past two years could do the trick.

The long trek to Blundell Park is hardly ideal but a win over the Mariners could boost confidence and strike a psychological blow as Flynn’s men return to league action at the same venue a week later.

Read more: Newport County boss admits defeat to Salford City is a reality check