NEWPORT County AFC lost for the first time under caretaker boss Michael Flynn on Saturday, going down to a 3-1 defeat by Blackpool at Rodney Parade.
Here are some things we learnt from a League Two game that saw emotions run high after the visitors sealed the three points late on.
1. A defeat for County but no harm done
With Leyton Orient, Cheltenham, and Hartlepool losing on Saturday, a win for the Exiles would have seen them close the gap on the teams above them in League Two.
On the flip side, they didn’t lose any ground on the sides around them at the foot of the table, even if there is now one game fewer to play this season.
County have one hell of a tough run-in with games at Plymouth, Carlisle, Portsmouth and Exeter, but they have a match in hand over Cheltenham, the side immediately above them.
2. Spot of bother, again
County fans probably can’t remember a season when they have conceded so many penalties – and had so few awarded in their favour.
The number of spot-kicks the Exiles have given away this term increased again on Saturday, with Mark Cullen beating Joe Day to make it 2-0 on 69 minutes.
Newport supporters will tell you they have been dealt a very rough hand by some referees when it comes to penalties, and the latest one was far from convincing.
Substitute Mickey Demetriou did hang out a leg but Bright Osayi-Samuel didn’t need a second invitation to go down.
The fact that referee Brett Huxtable initially put both arms behind his back to indicate there was nothing doing, before awarding a penalty, shows you there was doubt in his mind.
3. Skipper setback didn’t help matters
Joss Labadie’s injury problems have been well-documented this season with several hamstring issues seeing him miss games.
He had to leave the field again on Saturday with what the boss described as a hip flexor strain.
The manager hasn’t ruled the captain out of Tuesday’s game with Luton and County will surely be doing all they can to make sure Labadie is fit.
It was evident Labadie wasn’t himself in the first half at Rodney Parade and the injury which forced him off just before half-time explains why.
4. There’s no substitute for pace
County don’t have pace in abundance at the moment while Blackpool showed what having a couple of speedsters in your team can do for you.
Osayi-Samuel, Cullen and Nathan Delfouneso always gave Blackpool an option when playing the ball out of defence and the three worked very well together.
They managed to stretch the County midfield on more than one occasion in the first half, less so in the second, and County’s defence found it hard to cope at times.
Dan Butler won’t want to remember Blackpool’s third goal as he gave Osayi-Samuel a good 10-yard head start and still lost out.
5. County could be in more trouble with the authorities
They say there is no smoke without fire and, from what fans are saying on social media, Blackpool weren’t completely blameless in the events that resulted from their third goal.
Of course, the visitors had every right to celebrate the clinching goal deep in injury time after being under the cosh (even if they did celebrate it like they had won the league title).
However, that still does not excuse home fans pelting the opposition with what Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer said were hard-boiled sweets from the stands.
County are being tested enough as it is, they don’t need things like this to divert their focus away from trying to stay in the Football League.