Newport County moved a point closer to leaders Lincoln City thanks to a 3-3 draw against Macclesfield Town at home, but manager Michael Flynn was an angry man after the final whistle.
The Exiles faced a Macclesfield team who are bottom of League Two and still without a win, but the home team only secured a point thanks to an injury time equaliser.
Jamille Matt scored the crucial goal, while Flynn’s anger was directed at referee Trevor Kettle.
“One of the worst refereeing performances I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Flynn.
🗣️ POST-MATCH| “I didn’t celebrate anything really, I’m glad we managed to get a point at the end, but I still think we deserved all three."
Mixed emotions for the gaffer at the end of yesterday's 3-3 draw at Macclesfield.
👉 https://t.co/o77cbjQ6W6 pic.twitter.com/cUddaB2ig3
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) October 3, 2018
“They were never penalties – either of them. The ball hit Mickey Demetriou’s hand, but he’s being pulled and funnily enough the player who won the penalty should have been sent off earlier.
“It was an absolute disgusting performance and needs looking at. I knew today when he [referee Kettle, a late replacement for Robert Lewis] was appointed that we were going to be in trouble. And that’s worrying.
“This was certainly two points lost.”
David Fitzpatrick converted both penalties for Macclesfield, whose other goal was netted by Fiacre Kelleher.
The Silkmen were two goals ahead in 11 minutes, while County fought back thanks to strikes by Dan Butler just before the half hour and Demetriou from a penalty (59 mins).
Fitzpatrick’s second spot-kick with eight minutes left seemed to have earned the visitors victory at Rodney Parade, but them came Matt’s late header to complete a 3-3 scoreline.
Newport dropped one place to third in League Two on goal difference from Exeter City, while Macclesfield are bottom and four points adrift of safety.
The next test for Newport will see them visit Forest Green Rovers in Gloucestershire on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Joe Day returned to the County starting line-up, having missed a league game for the first time in nearly two years because of personal reasons on Saturday.
Day was back in place of Nick Townsend, while Charlie Cooper made his full debut in place of Josh Sheehan.
Mark O’Brien was missing because of a hamstring injury was called up Matt came in a 4-3-3 formation.
Macclesfield manager Mark Yates made one change with midfield player Peter Vincenti selected ahead of Danny Whitaker.
Newport are certainly showing their character, having fought back from 2-0 down against Cambridge United to win 3-2 on Saturday and battled for 90 minutes against Macclesfield.
They trailed 2-0 and 3-2, but grabbed a crucial point thanks to Matt’s late strike, a clinical finish from Demetriou’s long pass.
Newport dominated most of the match after a slow start, but Macclesfield’s battle was given new life by their penalties.
Newport County AFC (4-3-3): Day, Forbes, Demetriou (capt), Franks, Butler, Bennett, Bakinson, Cooper (Harris 78), Semenyo, Matt, Amond. Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, Marsh-Brown, Harris, Sheehan, Foulston, Pring
Macclesfield Town (4-2-3-1): O’Hara, Hodgkiss, Lowe, Kelleher, Fitzpatrick (capt), Marsh (Pearson 94), Arthur (Napa 78), Maycock, Vincenti, Wilson (Smith 70), Blissett. Subs not used: Taylor, Grimes, Welch-Hayes, Stevens
Referee: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 2,624 (52 away)
Next up for County: Forest Green Rovers (Saturday, October 6, away)