Newport County AFC continued their pre-season preparations with a thrilling 0-0 draw away against Welsh League Division One side Penybont FC.
Despite the scoreline, several chances were created throughout and both sides hit the woodwork on at-least one occasion in an end-to-end affair at the Kymco Stadium.
Having played against a strong Swansea side earlier in the day, Mike Flynn decided to name a mixed team of trialists, first-team players and youth players in Bridgend.
Callum Beckett featured from the first whistle having impressed in the draw with Undy AFC last week, taking his place at right-back of a defensive system composed otherwise of trialists.
Tom Hillman and Owen Taylor both started as part of the midfield system and Momodou Touray was up-front, those players joined by a further five trialists in a 3-2-1-2-2 system.
In a first-half full of chances, it was in-fact Penybont FC who fashioned the first opportunity of note when Marcus Griffiths hit the outside of the post with only four minutes on the clock.
Griffiths was again denied shortly after by the County trialist goalkeeper who had a superb night throughout, also making a smart save to deny Luke Borelli inside quarter-of-an-hour.
Following those chances, the Exiles managed to fashion a period of possession themselves and Trialist 6 was unlucky not to find his name on the scoresheet when his arrowed attempt from 30 yards narrowly went over the crossbar.
Momodou Touray showed some deft skill and poise to create an opportunity for himself to shoot, only to be denied by Rhys Wilson in the home goal with a strong palm, while Tom Hillman also came close before the half-hour mark.
The chances just kept on coming for both sides in a very much entertaining contest at the Kymco Stadium, but it was in-fact Penybont FC who ended the half on the strongest footing.
Griffiths was again denied by the County trialist goalkeeper in yet another super stop, but the shot stopper saved his best efforts until stoppage time when somehow keeping out an effort from Borrelli after the midfielder looked to have the goal at his mercy.
Just the one change to start the second-half from a County perspective, Lewis Collins – who played for 15 minutes earlier in the day against Swansea City – came on in place of Tom Hillman.
Liam Bishop, Dom Jeffries and Lucas Murray also came on later in the half for some much-needed minutes in a senior game, but it was Collins who hit the ground running and almost gave County the lead on the hour.
A stunning looping pass in-behind from the County trialist left-back looked inch perfect for Collins to volley home from eight yards, only for Wilson to throw himself the other way and keep it out with an unbelievable save.
For both sides, it just seemed like the ball wouldn’t go into the back of the net, and County certainly couldn’t have come much closer than when Trialist 5 hit the inside of the post after 72 minutes.
To make matters even more frustrating for County, Trialist 6 then rattled the crossbar with a thumping effort from the edge-of-the-area as the side pushed for their first victory of pre-season.
And in stoppage time, a drilled cross across the face of goal just wouldn’t sit up right for the oncoming two County players as they had to settle for a draw.
A useful runout for the players involved in what was a joyous game created by two attacking teams at the Kymco Stadium.
Newport County AFC (4-4-2): Trialist 1, Trialist 2, Trialist 3, Trialist 4, Trialist 5, Callum Beckett (Lucas Murray 70’), Tom Hillman (Lewis Collins 45’), Owen Taylor (Dom Jeffries 80’), Trialist 6, Trialist 7 (Ollie Mayhew 85’), Momodou Touray
Penybont FC (4-4-2): Rhys Wilson, Liam Walsh (Ben Symons 45’), Kane Owen, Kieran Howard, Rhys Griffiths (Mackenzie Kay 80’), Cullen Kinsella, Adam Carpenter, Marcus Griffiths, Luke Borrelli, Liam Williams (Joe Hopkins 60’), Oli Dalton