YORK City boss Jackie McNamara was left cursing his team’s sluggish start during a 1-0 home defeat to Newport.
The Minstermen remain rooted to the bottom of the Football League and fell seven points behind their 20th-placed visitors after Aaron Collins’ eighth-minute strike proved enough to wrap up victory.
Dave Winfield went on to see a first-half header cleared off the line and Vadaine Oliver was also denied by a brilliant save by on-loan Chelsea debutant Mitchell Beeney after the break with McNamara surmising: “I thought we were the best side, but that first ten or 15 minutes cost us.
“We started very slowly and poorly and lost a goal in the first ten minutes and that put us on the back foot. When we got into the game, moved the ball around and took care with our passing, it caused them problems.
“We could have had a penalty and had a couple of good chances but, when you get them, you have to take them and it’s disappointing because it’s another game, like Yeovil, that we shouldn’t be losing and that’s six points that I feel have gone to waste now.”
McNamara also admitted that a second-half switch from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 might actually have worked against his team in their quest for a route back into the game.
“We changed system but maybe it suited them because they kept a defensive line and we found it hard to get behind them,” he confessed. “Sometimes, our decision-making in the last third could have been quicker though.
“They had three shots on goal and won, which tells you everything about the game.”
McNamara was happy with the full debuts of on-loan defenders Luke Hendrie and Kyle Cameron, though, adding: “Luke Hendrie did very well at right back.
“He had a fantastic debut and Kyle was steady too. He won a lot of headers and his concentration was good.”
Ntumba Massanka, meanwhile, was given his professional debut as a 56th-minute substitute but McNamara believed it was unfair to assess the Burnley striker’s potential on one showing.
He said: “It was hard to judge him. He had no clear attempts at goal and we didn’t create any opportunities for him.
“He’s also only been with us a short while, but we’ll get him up and running and he will learn. I’m sure if we can give him chances, he will score them.”
Michael Coulson also came off the bench for his first outing since November following a groin operation with McNamara welcoming his return.
“I’m happy he’s back and we just need to get him fitter and sharper,” the City boss pointed out. “I felt with our bench, we had substitutes who could change things for us and, although it didn’t quite come off in this game, we do have better options now.”
McNamara went on to reason that his team looked a bigger threat from set-pieces with Winfield getting in four great goalscoring positions from James Berrett corners.
“We changed to out-swingers and Dave had three headers,” the ex-Dundee United manager explained. “One was cleared off the line and the others just missed the target, so he was unlucky not to score a couple of goals.”