PADRAIG Amond's early goal was cancelled out by former Newport County AFC loanee Emmanuel Osadebe's strike to earn Macclesfield Town a point against the Exiles. Here are the talking points...

Exiles failed to make the most of Flynn boost

With the pre-match news that manager Michael Flynn was staying with his hometown club following talks with Lincoln City and a goal inside the first minute, it looked like County would put Saturday’s defeat at Northampton Town behind them and get back on track right away.

But they failed to build on the perfect start and allowed Macclesfield to take control of the contest after the opening 15 minutes.

County were convinced that the hosts’ goal was offside but TV replays show that it was a lot closer than many thought at the time and Kyle Howkins or Mark O’Brien may just have been playing Osadebe onside.

Either way, the goalkeeper and the defence have to play to the whistle. And it would be very hard to argue that the Silkmen didn’t deserve at least a point.

County are harder to beat than last season

While there was disappointment that Flynn’s men couldn’t take all three points back to Rodney Parade, they did at least stop the rot after Saturday and begin what they hope will be another long unbeaten run.

Sixfields aside, the Exiles do look a lot more resolute on the road this season with a win at Forest Green Rovers and draws at Cambridge United, Walsall and now Macclesfield in League Two.

Just like the Walsall match, Flynn noted after this game that it was one that they might have lost last season and it must be a positive sign that this team can grind out a result away from home even when not at their best.

Midfield mix not quite right

Flynn made one change from the weekend with Scot Bennett returning in place of Matty Dolan as he looked to add some more steel in the middle of the pitch and give Josh Sheehan a helping hand with the defensive duties.

But Bennett is still working his way back to full fitness and he clearly wasn’t firing on all cylinders at Moss Rose.

He wasn’t able to complete the 90 minutes and made way for Matty Dolan, who has also had injury worries and is yet to consistently hit his stride so far this season.

Josh Sheehan and Joss Labadie are performing well but Robbie Willmott’s attacking instincts have been curbed by the need to help out in defence too often and Taylor Maloney hasn’t taken his few chances to shine. It all means that midfield is currently County’s biggest issue.

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Flynn’s first trophy will have to wait

Aside from playing for three points, there was also the unusual incentive of a trophy to lift for the winners of last night’s match.

The latest wheeze from bookmakers Paddy Power, who are conspicuously not sponsoring both County and Macclesfield this season, was to brand this run-of-the-mill League Two contest as the ‘Unsponsored Derby’ with the Save Our Shirt Cup on offer to the victors.

The draw scuppered those plans somewhat and County captain Joss Labadie and Macclesfield’s Fiacre Kelleher looked faintly embarrassed as they were both presented with the trophy after the match.

Both sides will have to wait until the reverse fixture at Rodney Parade in January to win the prestigious prize outright. The Exiles at least will hope that there are bigger honours to play for later on in the season.

Read more: I've got a job to do here, says Newport County boss Michael Flynn