ARGYLE suffered their first loss of the Sky Bet League Two season after conceding a late goal at Newport County in a combative match at Rodney Parade.
The Pilgrims controlled long periods of the game, particularly in the first half, but were unable to find a way through the home defence and Argyle manager Ryan Lowe was disappointed, but philosophical, with the outcome.
Kyle Howkins scored the only goal with a header on 81 minutes and frustrating for Ryan, as his side dealt well with the direct approach from Newport but were ultimately punished for missing small details.
“I thought there was only one team going to win the game in terms of football stature,” said Ryan. "In the first half, we were dominant but it was a lapse in concentration [for the goal].
“I’ve said from day one that we’re not the finished article, nowhere near. Newport are a different style of football and I’m just disappointed we had the ball in their half of the pitch, and then it’s in our net.
“They are small details and if you don’t get it right, you get punished, but I can’t criticise my lads and my team. We came up against a different type in Newport today, with balls into the box. We were outstanding for 80 minutes until they scored.
“I’ve said to the boys that if you can’t win the game, then don’t lose the game. It’s three points lost and we need to bounce back quickly. I’ve learnt a lot about the lads since I came in, from pre-season and the three wins.
“I’ve learnt a lot more about the true characters we have in our team and also learnt that you can’t give silly free-kicks away, silly fouls, silly offsides. You always learn from a loss and we will analyse it on the way home, and put it to bed on Monday morning.
“We created some decent chances but sometimes we failed to put the ball in the right areas. The two front lads were decent in the first half but it was more of a fight in the second half. We wanted balls down the sides of their centre-halves and we didn’t quite do that.
“Without being disrespectful to Newport, they are quite different. They go from back to front quickly, with power and pace. We withstood all of that but I’m disappointed to concede on 81 minutes.
“We could deal with several situations before they scored and a long ball has gone into the box for the big lad, fair play to them. We’re disappointed to not come away with a draw. There were one or two, maybe three or four who weren’t quite at it today, and you can’t have that.
“They were loads of positives, just needed a little bit more in the final third. We’ve had one loss, at a tough place, so we look forward to Tuesday night [at home to Salford].”