Mike Flynn frustrated after summer target Harry Smith nets brace
Newport manager Mike Flynn revealed he had spent all summer trying to sign Harry Smith after the Leyton Orient striker scored two goals in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Rodney Parade.
The giant Smith rejected the chance to move to Wales and rubbed salt in Flynn’s wounds with headers in either half.
But it was not enough to claim three points as Dom Telford’s late strike sealed Newport a share of the spoils.
“I tried to sign Harry all summer because I know how effective he is, but we couldn’t get him,” Flynn said. “I’m satisfied but disappointed with the goals we gave away.
“We let Harry have two free headers but we had to stop the crosses, double up on him, and make it tough for him. It’s a good point after a tough week.
“We should have had a penalty at the end, but we haven’t lost against a very, very good team who I expect to be up there at the end of the season.
“We came from behind and the boys put in an honest shift. A lot of the players looked empty at the end and with all the away trips we’ve had, I had to make changes.
“I thought the referee had a good game but he got one decision wrong with the penalty which has cost us two points.”
Newport were without seven players after Covid-19 had hit their team in the build-up to the game.
Smith nodded home a corner to give Orient the lead after Newport goalkeeper Joe Day had produced a miracle double stop.
In the minute added to an entertaining first half, Timmy Abraham was felled in the box and Newport skipper Matty Dolan slotted home the penalty.
The fans inside Rodney Parade held a minute of applause in the 49th minute and many stood to remember the late Justin Edinburgh who managed both Newport and Orient.
Smith looked like he had won it when he converted captain Darren Pratley’s cross, but Telford broke Orient hearts after Mickey Demetriou flicked on Cameron Norman’s long throw.
Newport’s appeals for a late penalty after Ed Upson went down were waved away.
“We are disappointed not to have won the game,” said Orient assistant manager Joe Gallen.
“We felt we did enough in the second half and created enough chances so the overriding factor is one of disappointment.
“The penalty was one of those I will have to look at again, but I felt we gave the referee a decision to make and I wasn’t surprised he gave it.
“It’s the third penalty against us this season. We scored a good second goal and felt we would go on to maybe get a third and win the game.
“But it didn’t work out like that and we got undone by a set-piece.”