Steven Pressley said Carlisle United must take encouragement from their efforts at Newport – despite the heartbreak of their 96th-minute defeat.

Pressley said his team’s display at Rodney Parade was their best away performance of his tenure.

Whilst it ended dramatically in Newport’s favour thanks to George Nurse’s last-gasp goal, manager Pressley said it is important his team focus on the “positives” of their showing.

He said: “One lapse of concentration in the last seconds cost us the game, cost us our best performance away from home. That’s the margin.

“But in terms of how we performed – on that [basis] only one team deserved to win, so we have to be encouraged.”

Carlisle limited Mike Flynn’s high-flying Newport to few opportunities and had good chances of their own through Jack Bridge and Jack Iredale.

United’s 3-5-2 system also saw them on top for good spells in south Wales.

Pressley questioned whether the game should still have been continuing when Nurse scored, the fourth official having previously indicated a minimum of five added minutes.

He said: “[I asked the referee] why did he play beyond the five minutes of time added on.

“When the goalkeeper put the ball down for the goal kick, Michael Flynn said, ‘That’s time’, and it was. And he played on. I thought when the ball went into the air he was gonna blow.

“That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t deal with the moment, I was just disappointed he played beyond that.”

The 1-0 defeat thwarted United’s latest bid for back-to-back wins and sent them back down to 18th in League Two.

Pressley, though, said there is plenty to build on.

He said: “The truth is, since I came here, that was our most complete away performance. We were terrific in all aspects.

“Not only the defensive work we’d carried out, but also the breaks, the opportunities we created, we always looked the team likely to score.

“To lose a goal not in the last minute of the five added on but beyond that, 95 minutes and 50 seconds, is devastating.

“I said before the game that small details, things we’d worked on, would help us but the winning of the game would still be down to the players.

“They did everything that was asked of them bar finishing a couple of good opportunities, and the last moment [Newport’s goal] was the only moment in the entirety of it that we went back on the first ball.

“It’s a lesson for us. Sometimes in these moments you go back, thinking you’re protecting it. Everything [we had done] all game had been on the front foot.

“I was really disappointed because to a man they were exceptional.

“Their manager just said to me, ‘We were robbed’ and he’s right. But ultimately for all our efforts we went away with no points.”

He added: “It’s given me great encouragement, because we’ve come to one of the hardest grounds in the league and played exceptionally well.”