GRAHAM Coughlan admitted he is relieved that Newport County AFC’s season is over after they suffered an eighth straight League Two loss.

The Exiles finished the campaign with a 4-1 defeat at Bradford City, who narrowly missed out on the play-offs because of Crawley’s win against Grimsby.

County produced a strong first-half performance only to blow their hard work by conceding a pair of late headers.

Former Exiles loanee Calum Kavanagh put the Bantams in front in the 44th minute and Andy Cook doubled the lead in added time.

Bobby Pointon fired in from distance before County midfielder Harry Charsley made it 3-1 in the 65th minute.

Bradford had the final say when Jamie Walker slotted with almost the final kick, with the loss meaning the Exiles finished 18th.

“It’s been 10 games too many for us. It’s not been good or acceptable, so there’s a feeling of relief that the season is over,” said Coughlan.

“We’ve got too small a squad to try and compete for 57 games, we were running in treacle every game.

“We have demanded a lot of them and got a lot from them; if the season had finished in mid-March then we would have been relatively happy but it didn’t. We ran out of steam.”

South Wales Argus: Luke Jephcott hooks the ball forward for County at BradfordLuke Jephcott hooks the ball forward for County at Bradford (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

County’s display was better than in recent weeks but the sloppy ending to the first half infuriated the manager.

“For the first half an hour we were really good. I don’t see that as a 4-1 game but we have been getting punished,” said Coughlan.

“Let’s get it straight, the first two goals that we conceded were inexcusable. With 44 minutes on the clock we just needed to turn the ball in midfield, put it in behind, chase and lock them in to see it through to half-time 0-0.

“Instead we came in 2-0 down after two free headers six yards out - that needs to be cut out and sorted if we are to take play-offs and promotions seriously next season.

“I was really annoyed with the players because I thought that they were the better team for 44 minutes.

“Our game plan was spot-on and everything about it was really good, then we had two mad, crazy moments and came in at 2-0 down with the game effectively over.”