Carlisle United dropped to ninth in the League Two table as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Newport County.

The Exiles went ahead in the first half through Ade Azeez's strike in the 14th minute.

After the restart, Padraig Amond's 21st goal of the season gave Newport a two-goal cushion.

Steven Pressley's side had the chance to pull one goal back in the 87th minute, but home keeper Joe Day pushed away Carlisle captain Danny Grainger's penalty after Tom Parkes had been dragged down in the box.

Despite the loss on Saturday, United remain just a single point outside the play-off places.

Here's what our Blues views thought of the Cumbrians' loss at Rodney Parade.

Ste Anderson

It's fair to say Newport is a pretty unique League Two fixture and always a tough game - a long way, a terrible pitch and, unfortunately, the game went exactly as they would’ve wanted.

In the first half, we were undoubtedly playing the better football and missed a couple of good chances. But you know what is coming with Newport, long balls into the box and dangerous set-pieces.

In the second half, we were poor. We aren’t the biggest side and it was always going to be a struggle.

Some big decisions for Pressley now. Jamie Devitt will, obviously, be back in thankfully and a huge game to come at home to Swindon on Saturday.

Graham Watt

This was not a performance that we needed. It just wasn’t good enough at the wrong time in the season.

We are still only a point off the play-offs but they seem a long way off at moment with no wins in five. The loan players we brought in have not seemed to hit the ground running, which is what we needed and we don’t really have any more time for everyone to settle in.

So, this Saturday is huge. Everyone has to gel and we have to win. We have some really tough games coming up but we can win them if we play like we know we can.

All the teams we have coming up are ones round us, so it really is make or break time.

Craig Mattinson

Let's face facts, we got out of this game exactly what we deserved.

It’s not time to panic just yet. We do, however, have to address the fact that we’re getting over run in games simply because of the lack of physical presence in our side. Newport beat us with their strength, presence and direct style.

The players that Pressley has brought in all have quality, but we need to find a balance in the starting 11. We are simply too lightweight.

It has to be time for Mike Jones to give Kelvin Etuhu a hand in the centre of the park with the returning Devitt playing in behind the forwards, not as a false nine or stuck out on the wing.

David MacLachlan

It's more than 30 years since we last won at Newport. At no point in the game, on this glue-pot of a pitch, did we look like we would triumph this time.

Obviously, we miss Devitt but the new players still haven’t gelled. Callum O’Hare will be a good player eventually for another team, but he’s getting bullied in League Two. 

I keep waiting for Nathan Thomas to catch fire but, at the moment, he’s terrible. Mr Pressley heaps praise on Regan Slater but he doesn’t dominate the midfield.

Incredibly, we are still just a point off the play-offs in this dreadful division. We’ve got two home games to put ourselves back in the mix.

Bruce Vander

Another forgettable journey to Newport just about sums up Saturday’s disappointing performance.

It seems that, whatever form United are in, a visit to Newport brings out the worst in our players. We couldn’t even blame the pitch this time, which looked greener and in a better condition than we had seen in any previous visit.

Sadly, it was just that we looked second best for the majority of the game. Pressley tried to put a gloss on it in his post-match interview and, if Mark Cullen had taken one of the three early opportunities, things may have been different.

Instead, Newport grew stronger as Carlisle withered.

Michelle Hall

The hardest part about doing this piece each week is the opening line. If Carlisle get a win, it makes it easier. But, when we lose, especially after a lacklustre game like the one against Newport, it’s hard to find a positive to grasp and write about.

We were second best all game, Newport were strong and well-organised and took their chances.

People have already started calling for Mr Pressley’s head but I believe not all is lost. As I have mentioned before, the league is tight.

If Carlisle could scrape a win this weekend and other results go our way, we could be right back in the League Two promotion hunt.