POLICE CAN’T CATCH BREAK
ARUEFUL Gavin McPherson reflected on what might have been after Metropolitan Police’s bid for FA Cup history came up short against Newport at Imber Court.
Police were bidding to reach the second round in the famous old trophy for the first time.
But first-half chances to pull off the giant-killing against League Two highfliers County weren’t taken and they were sunk by goals from Padraig Amond and Jamile Matt either side of the break.
“The boys gave everything as they always do whether there is 96 here or 960,” the manager said. “I just feel we needed to take one or two of those chances we created in the first half.
“Had we taken those we would have had a different story on our hands.
“For once my forwards didn’t quite function, but they have been magnificent all season.”
An early chance for leading scorer Jack Mazzone suggested the Blues weren’t overawed and prompted by the excellent Ethan Chislett they created a number of first half chances.
Max Blackmore stabbed a close-range effort wide and Chislett saw a stinging effort beaten out by Joe Day.
At the other end Amond carried the threat for Newport, hitting the post and having a header ruled offside.
The frontman wasn’t to be denied however and from the next corner his downward header squirmed beyond Tommy Williams.
Even then Met Police should have gone in level, Day somehow clawing Blackmore’s header over the bar.
The miss looked doubly costly when County struck again three minutes after the break. Tyreeq Bakinson worked hard to find a yard in the box and though his shot was parried by Tommy Williams, Matt followed in to score.
The hosts, who had midfielder Louis Birch sent off for a second bookable offence late on, never gave up, Blackmore and Mazzone forcing saves from Day, but the winning margin may have been greater, substitute Antoine Semenyo seeing an effort ruled out for offside while other chances went begging.
County appeared very professional in seeing the game out after the first half scares.
However, boss Mike Flynn was far from impressed.
“The fact we are through and the clean sheet are the only positives,” he said.