Michael Flynn has admitted Newport County are pulling the rug from under themselves as they continue to stumble in League Two.
The County manager was in downcast mood as he suggested sloppiness was undermining his team’s efforts after they lost 2-0 at Carlisle on Tuesday night.
It was Newport’s sixth successive away defeat as they conceded two first-half goals and spent the whole of the second half with only 10 men after Ryan Inniss was sent-off.
With trips to Stevenage and Crawley to come in the next week things could get even worse for Flynn’s side who have conceded 15 goals in their last six games on the road and have taken a mere 17 points out of a possible 42 points in 14 games this year.
“It was a sloppy start. We gave away a goal from a set-play and all the hard work and the preparation was on the backburner after five minutes,” said Flynn.
“Then Matty Dolan felt his hamstring after a few minutes, so it wasn’t an ideal start to the game. But I didn’t think it was a penalty and I wasn’t sure it was a red card either.
“It looked worse than it was. There was no two-footed challenge and I wasn’t convinced at the time – it seemed harsh.
“And it definitely wasn’t a penalty. He said he did it for a shirt-pull, but that was outside the box. There were also a couple of chances that went across the face of the goal that nobody got on the end of, so it was frustrating.
“We looked quite solid in the second half with 10 men but we switched off in the first five minutes and you’ve always got your back against the wall then.”
Carlisle got off to a lively start and showed their attacking intent as early as the second minute when Omari Patrick put in a decent cross from the right. Josh Kayode got to it first, but couldn’t get enough power in his header to really trouble Tom King.
Patrick kept on coming, though, and two minutes later another cross from him was blocked and went out for a corner. Elliot Watt swung in the corner, Patrick got on the end of it and his header took a little deflection and flew past King for the opening goal after only five minutes.
That was just what County didn’t want and it immediately put them on the back foot. It didn’t help their cause when Matt Dolan limped out of the game after only 12 minutes to be replaced by Josh Labadie.
As well as a lack of goals this season, Newport’s injury list of late has been shocking and Dolan’s departure was another severe blow for Michael Flynn. Insult was then added to injury in the 32nd minute when Leyton Orient loan star Dale Gorman tripped Jack Bridge as he went past him and referee Graham Salisbury had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.
Up stepped Joshua Kayode and he hammered the ball home to make it 2-0. Gorman picked up a yellow card for protesting against his foul and just before the beak things got even worse when Inniss was sent-off for going straight through Kayode with an ugly, unnecessary challenge.
The half-time whistle couldn’t come quick enough for County and Flynn must have had some choice words to say to his players after another nightmare 45 minutes on the road.
Carlisle picked up where they left off in the first-half with a vicious volley from Mike Jones that just went over the bar, although County did respond with a lash from Labadie from 12 yards out then also went inches over the bar.
Goals: Patrick 5, Kayode 33 pen
Carlisle United (4-3-3): Collin; G Jones, Hayden, Hunt, Anderton; Bridge (Thomas 69), Watt, M Jones; Alessandra, Kayode (Charters 79), Patrick (Iredale 86)
Booked: Hayden 45, Anderton 57
Newport County (3-4-1-2): King; Inniss, Bennett, Demetriou; Willmott, Gorman, Dolan (Labadie 12), Haynes; Sheehan; Green (Waters 82), Amond (Matt 56)
Booked: Gorman 32
Sent-Off: Inniss 44
Referee: Graham Salisbury