NEWPORT County AFC’s winning run was brought to a halt at Brunton Park on Tuesday night.

Michael Flynn’s men were well below their best during the 3-2 reverse in Cumbria, although they remain top of League Two.

Carlisle United went into a 3-0 lead thanks to a dubious penalty award and double from Jon Mellish, before late Jamie Devitt and Josh Sheehan strikes gave County hope.

Here are the talking points…


Even if you’re flying high at the top of the table and on a five-match winning streak, like County were after beating Harrogate Town, going all the way to Carlisle on a Tuesday night is always going to test you.

Saying that, Flynn would have expected his men to be a lot better than they were during the opening 45 minutes, and the manager later admitted that County could have been 3-0 down at the break.

Carlisle were fortunate to get their penalty, but they did all the pressing and created all the chances in the first half.

The introduction of Jamie Proctor at half-time seemed to get the Exiles going and they were better, although it was hard not to be following that first 45 minutes.


Watching the replay of the incident that led to Carlisle taking the lead from the penalty spot, you really do wonder how referee Scott Oldham felt Ryan Haynes was at fault.

If anything, it was Carlisle striker Joshua Kayode who fouled Haynes as the two went shoulder to shoulder in the County box.

You couldn’t argue that Carlisle didn’t deserve to be ahead at the break, but it should never have been from the spot.


The form of Liam Shephard and Scott Twine has been a major factor in County’s excellent start to the season.

However, Shephard missed the trip north with swelling on his knee and, despite being on the bench, Twine was suffering from a dead leg.

Flynn brought in Robbie Willmott and Matty Dolan, but both were unable to have much of an impact on the game.

County weren’t helped by the injury to skipper Joss Labadie during the first period. The midfielder appeared to be clutching his right groin after testing the Carlisle keeper from distance.