Newport County manager Michael Flynn admitted he felt ‘gutted’ after his teams 1-1 League Two draw against Forest Green Rovers away.
“We were the better team and deserved the three points,” said Flynn.
“Rovers took the lead via an own goal and we missed a penalty so I’m a little gutted. The players, though, were excellent.
“There was some really good stuff played and we were excellent, but were just missing that final little bit of quality.
“If we had that we would have won comfortably.”
County stay in third place after Scott Bennett’s early own goal gave Forest Green the lead, while Padraig Amond finished neatly in the area after 38 minutes to take his tally for the season to five.
The score was 1-1 at the New Lawn when Mickey Demetriou sent his spot-kick over the bar and into the roof of the stand behind Forest Green’s goal.
That penalty was awarded by referee Tim Robinson after Reuben Reid handled on the line from Jamille Matt’s shot.
Mark Cooper, Forest Green’s manager, was adamant the penalty should not have been awarded, saying: “I hate moaning about officials, but Reuben lent into the ball and it clearly hit his chest or shoulder and went out for a corner.
“Justice was done when they missed from the spot. The fourth official said it wasn’t a penalty.”
Demetriou was bitterly disappointed with his effort from the spot, but Flynn said: “We’re frustrated with the penalty miss, but we all miss them. It happens.
“He’s brave enough to go up and take it so he’ll get no backlash from me for that.”
Forest Green extended their unbeaten record this season, although they have drawn eight of their 12 matches and are in sixth place.
County are three points clear of the chasing pack, still inside the automatic promotion spots and trail leaders Lincoln City.
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) October 6, 2018
The next match for Newport is against Stevenage, who are just in front of Rovers in the table, at Rodney Parade next Saturday.
Flynn elected to make one change to his starting line-up from the 3-3 draw against Macclesfield. Charlie Cooper is on loan from Forest Green and was ineligible for this fixture.
Robbie Willmott, back in after completing a three-match suspension, took over from Cooper.
Flynn tweaked Newport’s formation to match up with the home team and play 4-1-2-3.
Forest Green went ahead after 18 minutes when a quick throw-in next the halfway line led to a dangerous attack. Liam Shephard who picked out Reece Brown and he fired a long pass out to Dayle Grubb.
The midfield player swept past Tyler Forbes and drilled in a low cross which bounced off Bennett and into his own net for an own goal.
Matt and Tyreeq Bakinson both went close from headers when Newport worked to hit back and an equaliser came after 38 minutes when Willmott and Forbes working the right channel well.
Full-back Joseph Mills was beaten by Willmott, who pulled the ball back for Amond to finish from 12 yards.
Newport did not help their own cause by missing their second half penalty, but they headed back across the Severn Bridge having earned a point.
Newport County AFC: (4-1-2-3): Day, Forbes, Demetriou (capt), Franks, Butler, Bennett, Bakinson, Willmott (Pring 81), Amond, Matt (Harris 89), Semenyo. Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, Dolan, Marsh-Brown, Sheehan
Forest Green Rovers (4-1-2-3): Sanchez, Shephard, Rawson, Gunning (capt), Mills, Digby, Winchester, Brown (Worthington 82), Campbell (Morris 62), Reid, Grubb. Subs not used: Montgomery, James, Williams, Archibald, McGinley
Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 3,081 (964 away)