A SECOND-HALF penalty from James Vaughan earned Bradford City a 1-0 home win over Newport County AFC yesterday. Here are the talking points...

Manager’s worst run of defeats

Despite progressing in the FA Cup and Leasing.com Trophy, Michael Flynn has now lost four successive league games for the first time in his managerial career.

He has twice before lost three in a row: in January and February 2018, when the Exiles went seven games without a win in the league; and in December 2018 and January 2019, when they lost five out of six.

But they are a long way off the nightmare run of eight defeats on the bounce under Graham Westley between November 2016 and January 2017.

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Lack of creativity is a real worry

Flynn’s men have the joint best defensive record in League Two but they have been goal-shy all season with just 17 from 18 games in League Two so far. Only Walsall and Stevenage have scored fewer.

The Exiles boss has been critical of his strikers for failing to take the chances that come their way and he’s said that he is looking for goalscorers in the January transfer window.

County have managed a combined total of just six shots on target in the last four league matches, but Flynn knows that the service to the front men has been poor in recent weeks and a creative midfielder or two should also be on his shopping list.

Exiles need to beat the bottom two

Fynn’s teams have always managed to arrest any slumps pretty quickly and the next two fixtures would appear to be ideal for a side looking to get back to winning ways.

County host 23rd-placed Stevenage at Rodney Parade next Saturday before travelling to basement boys Morecambe on December 21.

The home defeat to lowly Oldham Athletic served as a warning that nothing should be taken for granted but, with key men Mickey Demetriou and Joss Labadie likely to be fit to return, the Exiles should be able to put an end to their current poor run.

Townsend is the number one

The one positive to come out of Saturday’s long trek to Bradford was another excellent display from goalkeeper Nick Townsend, who now seems to be firmly established as Flynn’s first choice stopper.

Tom King rightly earned all the plaudits for a superb start to the season, which saw him called up into Ryan Giggs’ Wales squad, and most fans would have expected him to have reclaimed his starting spot straight away.

But Townsend has taken his chance to shine and man-of-the-match performances at Maldon & Tiptree and now at Bradford have made him undroppable at present. King will have to bide his time.

Read more: Bradford City 1 Newport County 0 - match report from Valley Parade