Michael Flynn admits Newport should have killed off play-off semi-final

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn (PA Archive)
23:07pm, Tue 18 May 2021
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Newport manager Michael Flynn hailed his side’s impressive display but felt the Exiles could have put their League Two play-off tie with Forest Green to bed after a 2-0 victory.

Flynn’s team took a huge step towards what would be a second Wembley final in three years thanks to a wonder goal from Matty Dolan and Lewis Collins’ cool finish after the break.

Newport were fully deserving winners, and only two teams have ever come from 2-0 behind in the first leg to reach the League Two play-off final, but they could have scored even more.

“It was a very, very good performance, but I am little bit angry we didn’t kill the tie off. We should have certainly scored a lot more than two goals,” Flynn said.

“I am not getting carried away with this because we had a chance to put it to bed and we didn’t. Anything can happen in the second leg.

“We won’t be disrespectful to Forest Green and their players. We have to win the game and the tie in the second leg on Sunday. We know anything can happen.

“Matty’s goal was an outstanding strike. Lewis gave us that two-goal cushion, but he’s quite hard on himself and feels he could have scored more. He’s got a stiff ankle and we’ll have a look at it over the weekend.

“Forest Green are a very good team and we will have to be at our very best to go through on Sunday.”

Newport had the backing of 900 home fans returning to Rodney Parade and Dolan put the Welsh side ahead in the 31st minute with a stunning strike from long range.

Forest Green’s Odin Bailey clipped the crossbar with a free-kick just before the break.

Aaron Collins, brother of Lewis, headed a dangerous Forest Green cross from the left just wide at the start of the second half and it proved a crucial miss.

Newport then went straight up the other end and made it 2-0 just 49 seconds later. Lewis Collins was the one to grab a deserved goal and his team held on.

Forest Green interim manager Jimmy Ball said: “There is a lot of football still to be played – 2-0 is not a comfortable place to be by any means.

“There were chances out there for us against them and this is far from over. Newport could have put it to bed and we were a bit jittery, which is unlike us.

“We have to show determination now and hopefully our fans will have as big an impact as Newport’s did.

“We are not out of this. All or nothing is what we are good at. This is no different.

“I’m happy to be the underdog.”

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