NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn says his repeat offenders are in the firing line after the Exiles' slump continued at Harrogate Town.

County started 2021 top of League Two but end January in seventh place after a 2-1 defeat in Yorkshire.

The Exiles went in front after 17 minutes when Luke Gambin’s shot went in off Jake Scrimshaw but they once again failed to hold onto a lead.

Harrogate levelled when a long ball was flicked on for Josh March to score after 34 minutes and Aaron Martin headed home the winner after 66 minutes.

County’s bad afternoon got worse when Liam Shephard was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Simon Power, with referee Christopher Pollard deeming it was dangerous even if the wing-back made no contact.

The Exiles have not won since December 8 and have taken just four points from a possible 24, with Flynn livid at the display.

South Wales Argus:

“We started quite well and then mistakes started creeping in,” said the boss. “We got punished for one and then we were very poor.

“They did the horrible side of the game a lot better than us and we didn't create anything of note until the one cleared off the line on 89 minutes. It was not a very good performance.

“I've just spoken to the players and I am not going to single out the individuals [in the media], but there are mistakes creeping in and one or two are constantly involved in them, so they have just been told.”

County were second best in all parts of the game that require no talent with Harrogate more than good value for just their second home win of the season.

South Wales Argus:

“We got bullied. We got caught by not matching their aggression and by not dealing with their physical threat,” admitted Flynn.

“That's disappointing and not what you want to see from the sideline. I haven’t got to say that very often but that's what we were missing, big time.”

Flynn is working to add signings before the transfer window shuts on Monday night and he will then look to prepare for a vital clash against struggling Grimsby at Rodney Parade.

“We've got to turn the corner quick because we don't want to be getting too far behind the other challengers at the top,” said the manager.

“It's frustrating at the moment because I know that we are so much better than we have been showing.”

At the time of the press conference, Flynn had not watched the Shephard dismissal back but an appeal would be unlikely given that it was a two-footed challenge.

That will lead to the wing-back missing the Grimsby game then the clashes with Southend and Port Vale.

Playmaker Josh Sheehan will make a welcome return against the Mariners but Joss Labadie has two games of his ban still to serve.