NEWPORT County AFC manager James Rowberry was “bamboozled” after his side suffered defeat to Walsall in League Two.

Michael Flynn’s Saddlers took the spoils at Rodney Parade thanks to scrambled goal from a corner just past the hour with Exiles defender Mickey Demetriou credited with putting the ball over his own line.

County had the better of the first half and then piled on the pressure in the closing stages but were unable to rescue a draw.

READ MORE: Match report from Rodney Parade

Rowberry’s side suffered five defeats to end their 2021/22 campaign and, after drawing 1-1 at Sutton on opening weekend, endured another frustrating afternoon.

“I said to the lads before the game, at half-time and all week that we had to be brilliant at the basics. We were for a period until the lead up to the goal,” said the manager.

“We conceded from a set play and it was soft, we didn’t defend it well enough and that was the difference in the game.

“I am bamboozled that we have not got something from that game. I think that they had three shots all game and we had lots.

“I can say about the defending but at the other end it’s the attacking elements, we have to score those goals. We have to be better in the key moments.

I would be worried if we hadn’t had the chances, we are still in the process of building something and it was six home debuts plus two off the bench. I am just bitterly disappointed – that one hurts.”

South Wales Argus: FRUSTRATED: County boss James Rowberry before the gameFRUSTRATED: County boss James Rowberry before the game

Rowberry made eight summer signings and is hoping to add another pair of midfielders to his squad in the coming week.

It is a new-look County side that will grow as the weeks progress but the boss is setting high standards.

“That is no excuse, it was the same for Walsall. We just have to be better at key moments and at basic things, but I know that we will get there,” said Rowberry.

“There is no formula to find, we are clear with our principles and how we do things. We still dominated the game but we needed to do better in certain elements.

“Walsall know the dark arts and that is football. I can’t get frustrated with that, I am not going to waste my energy on that, what we have got to do is find a way to get a result and we need to be better at that.

“We created a lot of chances, I still think we have an excellent front two, we have players to come off the bench to help us like Lewis Collins and James Waite did, and I still think that we have lots more to come.

“We have shown what we are capable of doing but I was bitterly disappointed today.”

County are next in action at Luton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night before a trip to Bradford City.