Morecambe boss Jim Bentley was a disappointed man after his side suffered a third straight defeat.
Ryan Bird’s 67th minute penalty saw Newport County AFC win 1-0 at the Globe Arena on Tuesday, giving their survival bid another shot in the arm.
Alex Whitmore gave away the penalty for a clumsy challenge on Alex Samuel though, tellingly, there wasn’t much in the way of protests from the Shrimps’ camp.
The closest Bentley’s players came to scoring was when Antony Evans hit the bar moments before half-time, while both sides had efforts cleared off the line.
However, Barry Roche was the busier of the two keepers with a number of stops which saw him take home the man of the match award.
“I’m absolutely gutted,” Bentley admitted after Tuesday night’s defeat.
“We had decent chances and they did; for me Barry Roche has been overworked.
“We came up against a team that’s hard to play against, who are playing with a freedom because all the blame for them being at the bottom has been laid at the ex-manager’s feet.
“They have nothing to lose and everything to gain but every game at this level is a tough game.
“They had beaten Crewe on Saturday and we knew it was going to be a tough game.
“We started well for five minutes and then they got into it and Baz was called on a couple of times; that was the same in the second half.
“They got the penalty which, I thought at the time, was the right decision but I’ll have to see it again.
“It’s one of those things that can happen and is probably a bit of inexperience on Alex’s part; he shouldn’t have let the player come back inside.”
It wasn’t the way Bentley wanted to mark his 300th game in charge of the Shrimps as they came off second best in a frenetic game.
The fans paid their tribute with a minute’s cheering and applause, even if Bentley was unaware of the milestone.
“Someone mentioned it they had read it somewhere but it had slipped my mind,” he said.
“The fans were singing my name but I thought that was because we had started the game brightly.”