NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn praised his players for a positive reaction to Saturday’s defeat to Cambridge United, even though they were forced to settle for a point against Walsall.

Flynn felt Tuesday's performance against the Saddlers was a big improvement on the weekend’s display but he was again disappointed that they didn’t make the most of their opportunities.

Ryan Inniss, Billy Waters, Jordan Green, Jamille Matt and Joss Labadie all had chances to win all three points for County but they couldn’t find the net.

The 0-0 draw at Rodney Parade leaves in 13th place in League Two on 40 points, 11 points off the top seven with 16 games left to play.

“I thought we were by far the better team on the night,” said the Exiles boss.

“It was a good performance. We’ve only had one really bad performance [against Cambridge].

“I asked them for a reaction and I got that. I thought they were all really good until they got to the final third.

“Otis [Khan] looked lively and they couldn’t live with him, Greeny didn’t get much change out of [former County loanee Cameron] Pring but he stopped him coming the other way so they cancelled each other out.

“Jamma (Matt) was very good at linking the ball and keeping hold of it in between the boxes. He could have done better in the final third.

“Billy was a pest, making difficult runs for them to track.

“I thought Dale Gorman was excellent after a shaky first five minutes. He was superb.

“Labs (Labadie) looked strong again and the back four was solid, even Robbie [Willmott] settled in well when he came on.”

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Willmott filled in at right-back after replacing the injured Dan Leadbitter in first-half stoppage time.

“I toyed with playing Robbie at left-back because I thought we missed Mickey [Demetriou] in the centre on Saturday,” explained Flynn.

“But I know Benno (Scot Bennett) is a good pro. He’s a steady Eddie who reads the game well and he’ll talk to either Ryan [Inniss] or Kyle [Howkins] so I decided to keep Mickey at left-back and I thought he was very good.

“I don’t think Kingy (goalkeeper Tom King) had a save to make.”

County have scored just 27 goals in 30 league games this season and have now gone more than five hours without a goal in League Two.

Asked to explain his team’s lack of cutting edge, Flynn said: “It’s a bit of everything – misfortune, choosing the wrong options, not anticipating things.

“They worked their socks off and at times I thought they were maybe trying too hard, as in getting a bit giddy in front of goal and being too eager to attack at corners and giving free-kicks away.

“It’s not just people snatching at chances, it’s about people giving up good opportunities.

“But I’m pleased with the players. We played more football but we just didn’t take our chances.”

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