MANAGER Michael Flynn admitted that Newport County AFC “never fail to surprise” after a farcical trip to Cambridge United on Saturday.

A forgettable contest played in swirling wind ended 0-0 but it will be remembered for a series of blunders and mishaps that affected County’s pre-match preparations.

Most serious was the “admin error” that forced defender Mark O’Brien to miss the game – something that Flynn only found out about after informing Kyle Howkins that he was to be dropped to accommodate the Irishman’s return from suspension.

“There was a big admin error by the club,” explained the Exiles boss.

“The wrong forms were lodged so last week’s suspension didn’t count and he had to miss this one.

“It’s not ideal. I found out after training [on Friday]. I picked my team and he [O’Brien] was starting.

“I had to drop Kyle [Howkins], which he took very well, and then had to go back on it.

“It’s a difficult situation but I thought the players were fantastically professional and they dealt with it really well.”

And that wasn’t the only thing to go wrong on a day for the club to forget.

The Exiles opted to make the 195-mile journey to Abbey Stadium on the morning of the match, having also done so in April and won 3-0.

But the food that had been ordered for the players to consume on the coach was not delivered.

That meant they had to stop at Reading Services for their pre-match meal and their late arrival at the ground led to Ryan Haynes, who had travelled separately, having to step in as a temporary captain.

The summer signing from Shrewsbury Town led the teams out and completed the pre-match formalities before handing the armband over to regular skipper Joss Labadie.

South Wales Argus:

“The food didn’t turn up for the coach so we had to stop off and get food on the way and the team sheet has to be handed in at 1.45pm [by the captain],” said Flynn.

“Ryan was here and Joss Labadie wasn’t because he was on the coach with me.

“So protocol takes over and, to make sure we didn’t get a fine from the FA, Ryan was captain – for about 30 seconds.

“It’s a silly rule, really. I’ve never seen anything like that before but it’s Newport County and we never fail to surprise.

“Four hours and 25 minutes on the day is a long way to go,” he added.

“But I’m not going to blame the club for the food because it’s sourced [from outside] and it didn’t turn up.”

County also took to the field in an unfamiliar white shirt with red detail because of a delay in delivering their new third strip.

“We’ve not seen it before and we probably won’t see it again either,” joked Flynn.

“I don’t think that’s the club’s fault either.

“It’s not in the country until September 22, I think.”

Read more: Cambridge United 0 Newport County 0 - match report