ZAK Mills scored the only goal of the game as Oldham Athletic condemned Newport County AFC to a third straight defeat in League Two. Here are the talking points...

Annual autumnal blip 

Manager Michael Flynn admitted after the match that his team is going through a rough patch but he’s confident that they can bounce back, just like they have in the past.

In fact, the pattern of the last three seasons is for County to hit a rocky patch in late October and into November.

In 2017 the Exiles took just three points out of 18 between October 17 and November 21 to slip from sixth to 10th in the table.

Last season, it was five points from 18 between October 20 and November 24 as Flynn’s men dropped from third to fifth.

And this year they’ve earned just four points from 15 between October 19 and November 23 to fall from third to 11th.

“We’re not Real Madrid”

It was a frustrating day for everyone at Rodney Parade apart from the visitors and the 207 travelling fans and there were boos audible at half-time and after the final whistle.

But a small section of the home crowd appeared to be on their side’s back right from the off, prompting an angry response from the manager.

There were barely three minutes on the clock when Flynn remonstrated with a handful of fans behind him in the Rodney Road Stand.

“What do you expect, we’re not Real Madrid,” he said. “We’ve not even started yet, try backing the team.”

South Wales Argus:

Dino comes back to haunt County again

Oldham Athletic boss Dino Maamria didn’t enjoy too many good days at Rodney Parade when he was assistant to Graham Westley during the ill-fated 2016-2017 campaign but he was loving life on Saturday.

The Tunisian enjoyed a 1-0 in Newport with Stevenage in April 2018 and his only defeat as a manager at Rodney Parade came via a 98th-minute winner from Antoine Semenyo against Stevenage last October.

According to him, he used his inside knowledge of the Exiles players and manager to earn another three points this weekend.

It was clear that Maamria’s men had a game-plan to nullify County’s strengths and it worked, with the Latics pressing hard from the front and dealing easily with long balls pumped forward.

Cup clash takes on greater importance

Flynn admitted that his players look short of confidence at the moment and that means next Friday’s FA Cup trip to Maldon & Tiptree is vital for the Exiles’ morale.

Rightly or wrongly, County’s cup success has been blamed for a dip in results in the league for the past three seasons but it’s important that they avoid an upset against the Essex minnows.

A win will open up the chance of another big-money tie in the third round and will mean the cup can be put to one side until January.

A defeat against the eighth-tier side live on BBC Two would be another massive blow to an already fragile side in need of a boost after a disappointing month.

Read more: We were poor and we looked low on confidence, admits Newport County boss