MANAGER Michael Flynn was not using the shocking Rodney Parade pitch as an excuse after Newport County AFC suffered another blow in their faltering promotion bid.

The Exiles are clinging on in the League Two play-off zone after losing 2-0 to second-placed Forest Green Rovers in Newport.

A goal on the stroke of half-time by Josh Davison put the Gloucestershire side in front and then former County striker Jamille Matt’s penalty secured the spoils.

Every game at Rodney Parade is dominated by chat about the conditions but Flynn was more concerned by his side switching off than the shocking surface.

South Wales Argus:

“Forest Green, without being a fantastic footballing team like they usually are, were excellent in the way that they didn’t make one mistake,” said the manager.

“I’ve said before that it is going to be tough to create chances on that pitch and it was the same today. The two chances that they had came from our mistakes and that’s why they will probably win the league.

“We’ve got to deal with the pitch. I am not going to stand here and make any excuses because they didn’t make one mistake, we made two and have lost 2-0.

“I will say that is the worst football pitch that I’ve ever been involved with but I will add that we didn’t lose because of the pitch, we lost because of two mistakes.

“I’m not start making excuses, I am going to stand up and be counted. We made two mistakes, they made none, they won the game, simple as that.”

County had just one shot on target – a tame effort from defender Mickey Demetriou that rolled to goalkeeper Lewis Thomas – but Flynn lamented a header over the bar in the opening exchanges.

The Exiles failed to be the team being chased rather than doing the chasing.

South Wales Argus:

“They didn’t create anything that I can remember apart from after our mistakes while Dom Telford should have scored. If it’s 1-0 then it changes the game,” he said.

“The first goal is going to be vital until the end of the season on that pitch. I said that after we beat Grimsby, so I’m not just saying it after we’ve lost a game.

“They’ve got to cut out the mistakes because we are getting punished for them and are not creating enough on there to get out of it.

“It’s come from our free-kick in their half when two of them decided to take it short. We gave it away and switched off after already committing men forward because we were going to put a cross in the box.”

County were denied victory at the New Lawn when Matt levelled late on and this time the former Exile applied the killer blow.

The experienced front man left Newport in the summer after the club were unable to offer a fresh contract because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Matt showed that he would have been the perfect focal point in testing conditions.

“I thought he was a thorn in our side all game. He was strong, he was a willing runner and was a non-stop pest,” admitted Flynn.

Seventh-placed Newport are next in action at Walsall on Wednesday evening when utility man Scot Bennett will be back from suspension.