No “Bottle Job” Says Newport Boss Mike Flynn . . . Just Ignoring Team Orders

Newport County manager Michael Flynn . Pic: Getty Images.

No “Bottle Job” Says Newport Boss Mike Flynn . . . Just Ignoring Team Orders

By Paul Jones

Mike Flynn has insisted Josh Sheehan had not “bottled it” during Newport County’s shock 4-2 home defeat to Oldham – but he had gone against team instructions.

Sheehan – widely acknowledged as the best player in league Two this season – was the nominated penalty taker, according to manager Flynn.

But when County were awarded a penalty with the sides locked at 2-2, Sheehan gave the kick to Padraig Amond who promptly missed the opportunity to put his side ahead.

Flynn said: “It was one of those days where everything went wrong and it’s an opportunity missed. I’m more annoyed with Josh for allowing Padraig to take the penalty.

“Josh was the nominated penalty taker. He’s not bottled taking it and he’s done it for the right reasons, but that’s not what they were told to do. I thought it was an awful penalty, terrible.”

The Exiles will still be top of League Two this Christmas, but a fourth domestic defeat of the season was not what Flynn had in mind.


Flynn raged: “We gave Oldham all three points. Every single one of their goals was awful and could have been prevented.

“So it’s a bad day, I’m not going to try and dress over it – it was a bad, bad defensive display.”

A stunning 25-yard strike from Scott Twine – his seventh goal of the season – and a Scot Bennett effort had given Newport a 2-1 half-time lead.

But Oldham pair Davis Keillor-Dunn and Conor McAleny cancelled out their efforts in an entertaining game. Newport had that chance to win it from the spot in the second half.

Jamie Devitt was fouled by Keillor-Dunn but Amond – rather than Sheehan – stepped up.

His penalty was saved by Ian Lawlor and Oldham sealed all three points late on thanks to substitutes Alfie McCalmont and Zachary Dearnley.


Harry Kewell’s Latics were dangerous on the break all day. “It’s a bad day,” Flynn said, whose team are still at the summit.

“But you had given me this position at Christmas at the start of the season I’d have bitten your hand off. We will go again, but we have given away three points. Hopefully it will never happen again.”

County will look to get back to winning ways at Crawley on Boxing Day before home games against Exeter and Southend ahead of their huge FA Cup tie against Brighton.

“For the first goal we missed a header, missed a clearance, and didn’t slide to put it out for a corner,” said Flynn.

“For the second they had way too much space in midfield, we were wide open. “The third and fourth were two uncharacteristic errors. We will go in before Christmas and keep on top of it. It’s a busy period and there are a lot of games coming up.

“We’ve got to make sure we are on it because teams are breathing down our necks.”


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