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Michael Flynn: Newport At Cambridge Should Have Been Abandoned . . . But We Can’t Afford The Petrol

By Alex Bywater

Michael Flynn has revealed he would have called for Newport County’s weekend match at Cambridge United to have been called off were it not for the coronavirus pandemic.

A first defeat of the League Two season for the Exiles came at Abbey Stadium and in awful conditions with torrential rain arriving in the first half.

It soaked the pitch and caused the start of the second period to be delayed, before County eventually lost 2-1.

Newport had travelled to Cambridge on Saturday morning for what is a 384-mile round journey.

The club, like all lower league teams, have been hit hard by Covid-19 and the financial difficulties meant Flynn was keen to avoid what would have been another long trip and additional costs if the game would have been abandoned and replayed.

“The conditions were terrible, especially in the second half. If it wasn’t for the fact it was such a long journey, then I would have been all over them (the officials) badgering,” Flynn said.

“It was the same for both sides, don’t get me wrong, and I’m not making excuses. But it stopped us. We’ve been playing and moving the ball quickly and we couldn’t do that. It wasn’t ideal.

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“We had to try and weigh everything up and the cost of the travel. You shouldn’t have to think like that, but it’s the times we’re in. I was still confident we could get something from the game as I didn’t think we could be as bad for 90 minutes as we were for the first 50.

“We were a lot better in the second half and if you take out the second goal, which was shambolic, then we come away with a draw. We knew we’d keep going. It’s frustrating.

“I hate losing, but we’ve just got to write it off and go again. There were more mistakes from our players in that game than combined in the rest of the season so far. It was mistake after mistake after mistake and they were easy ones like poor clearances or not letting the ball bounce.”

Cambridge striker Paul Mullin scored twice in either half to consign Newport to defeat. Even a superb 35-yard strike from Scott Twine couldn’t help County to scramble to a draw.

Flynn hinted at his fury at referee Carl Brook. In the first half Cambridge’s Luke Hannant collided with Joss Labadie and was lucky to escape any sort of card for kicking out at the Newport captain.

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Pressed on that incident, Flynn said: “I’m not going to say anything else – it will get me in trouble. “Don’t ask me about referees because there is no point. I’m not saying anything as I’ll only end up with a fine. I can’t change it and I’ve had warnings in the past.

“Whoever is choosing the officials needs to have a look at the criteria. I can’t guess what was going through the referee’s head today so I’m not even going to begin to start.

“The goals we gave away were very cheap and you can’t do that when you’ve had a long journey down. It’s not what we’re about, but I’m not getting too down.

“It’s one we’ve got to draw a line under. We’ve had three away games out of five and there has been a lot of travelling with Scunthorpe, Bolton and now Cambridge.

“We’ve started well and we’ve got to bounce back against Tranmere. It’s another tough game next weekend and we have to go again.”

To make matters worse for Newport, Flynn revealed striker Ryan Taylor is set for a long spell on the sidelines.

“Ryan is injured. He’s done the tendon on his hamstring. It’s not good,” Flynn said.

“I don’t like putting times on things, but it could be between seven and 12 weeks. It’s a massive blow and we’re trying to replace him. We’re trying to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”


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