NEWPORT County AFC slipped back down to 16th in League Two after a 4-2 defeat at Grimsby Town last night. Here are the talking points...

Should have played in November

This fixture was originally scheduled for November 16, a week after the sides drew 1-1 at Blundell Park in the FA Cup and four days before the Exiles beat a poor Grimsby side 2-0 in the replay at Rodney Parade.

It was postponed for legitimate reasons with first-choice goalkeeper Tom King and number one right-back Danny McNamara, as well as Keanu Marsh-Brown, on international duty.

But, in hindsight, Michael Flynn and his players may well be wishing that they’d played the match back then.

They would have fancied their chances against the managerless Mariners after Michael Jolley’s sacking, but Grimsby are a different team under Ian Holloway and they were clinical in taking their chances last night.

South Wales Argus:

The goals are coming, finally

After going seven-and-a-half hours without scoring in League Two, County scored two in a match for the second time in three days.

The Exiles have still only managed 31 goals in 33 league games, but they are finally starting to take some of the chances they are creating.

And it was encouraging to see front men Jordan Green (above) and Padraig Amond both get on the scoresheet – the first time any strikers have scored since Jamille Matt hit three in three games against Scunthorpe United, Swindon Town and Leyton Orient in January.

Defence lets down the Exiles, for once

Just as County find their scoring boots, the usually reliable defence malfunctions – conceding four for the first time in the league this season.

The Exiles back line has been superb all season and they still have the second-best defensive record in the division with 32 goals conceded in 33 games.

But they had a rare off night with Tom King at fault for the first goal, Ryan Inniss giving away a silly free-kick for the second and nobody wanting to make a tackle for Grimsby’s third and fourth.

South Wales Argus:

50 up for Amond

Apart from the return from injury of George Nurse, who was a bright spark on the left flank for much of the night, the main positive was a landmark goal for Padraig Amond.

The Exiles top scorer was summoned from the bench for the start of the second half and he was in the right place at the right time to fire in the rebound after his good friend and former Grimsby teammate James McKeown had saved from Dale Gorman.

It was Amond’s 13th of the season and, together with his 23 last team and the 14 he scored in his first year as County player, he is now on 50 for the club.

And, while he may not have hit the heights of last season, like so many in County colours, the Irishman remains the best finisher at the club and the man most likely to take a chance when it comes his way.

Read more: Newport County boss frustrated after 4-2 defeat at Grimsby Town