Newport Time Play-Off Surge To Perfection, But Michael Flynn Warns: We Don’t Want To Get Jilted

Newport County boss Michael Flynn is refusing to get carried away after his side’s 2-0 home win over Oldham pushed them into the play-off places with one game to go.

Goals in the 48th and 79th minutes from skipper Mark O’Brien – the latter credited to him post-match by referee Craig Hicks after spotting a deflection off his knee after Robbie Willmott’s shot – mean the Exiles need only to beat Morecambe on Saturday to reach the play-offs.

It’s the first time the club have been in the play-off spots since the turn of the year.

“Reaching 70 points is a huge achievement, but I’m not getting carried away. I’ve been in the game too long to know that if you get complacent and think you’ve cracked it you will get a slap in the face,” said Flynn.

“I’ve told the players not to think anything is done. We are down to one game and we have to be at our best on Saturday because Morecambe are a team in form and I don’t want to be the bride jilted at the altar.

“They’ve got and excellent manager and assistant manager in Jim Bentley and Ken McKenna.

“The job they do, year in and year out, I think is fantastic. And I know what kind of men they are – they’ll want to finish on a high as well.

“I thought  tonight we could have gone in 1-0 down, but we should have won it by three or four in the end.”

The last time O’Brien had scored was his 90th-minute winner against Notts County that kept Newport in the Football League in the final game of the 2016-17 season and Flynn quipped: “I think that’s the first time he has hit the target since the Great Escape game.”

Oldham manager Pete Wild was upset with referee Craig Hicks for not stopping the game ahead of O’Brien’s opening goal when defender George Edmundson was lying on the floor in front of his goal with a calf injury.

Oldham had earlier seen skipper Peter Clarke carried off on a stretcher after colliding with his own goalkeeper.

“It was always going to be tough coming here. Getting an injury to our skipper made it tougher and then we picked up an injury to George at the start of the second half,” said Wild.

“The ball was 30 yards away and the referee should have blown and sorted out George. But for some unknown reason he let play carry on and they scored from it.

“I told the referee that I was disappointed he didn’t stop the game because it is not good enough. The ball had gone 30-35 yards out of the box and the referee looked at George on the floor and let play continue.

“They were two of our most influential players across the season. Peter Clarke went off in a neck brace and the doctors were concerned about him. But he was back on the bench at the end of the game and he seemed to be OK.”

Regarding the match as a whole, Wild added: “When you come here you have to play the conditions, the pitch and them. In the second half we got too tippy-tappy instead of keeping on playing down the sides.

“We were professional in the way we went about our business, but we just weren’t cute enough in the way we played. We’ve now got to pick them up and drive them forward and look to get a positive result at Cambridge to finish off the season.”

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