The Exiles draw at Hartlepool in a dramatic encounter...
Warren Feeney made two changes for the long trip to Hartlepool, with the Manager opting to start with Jon Parkin and Paul Bignot in place of the injured Jamie Turley and Jordan Green, who dropped to the bench.
The hosts made just the one change, with Jordan Richards starting the match at right-back.
The encounter was just ninety-five seconds old when the hosts broke the deadlock. A chipped ball over the top allowed Nicky Featherstone to proceed into the area and the midfielder was able to wait for the ball to drop before firing a low volley into the far corner of the net.
Moments after the restart, defender Toto Nsiala was shown a straight red after deliberately handling the ball on the edge of the Hartlepool area and from the resulting free-kick forward Sean Rigg was able to direct a driven effort under the wall to level the score.
The Exiles took the lead in the 27th minute after Jon Parkin was able to take a touch off his chest and fire a superb volley that brushed the post on its way past Trever Carson, a goal which is sure to be an early contender for goal of the season.
Ten minutes before the break winger Nathan Thomas forced Joe Day in making a diving save to his left and the County 'keeper was able to push the ball away from danger.
In the thirty-eighth minute, the hosts were back level. A corner from the right, which was delayed while the referee lectured the County players for holding inside the box, was headed home by Padraig Amond once the delivery was eventually played into the area.
HALF TIME: HARTLEPOOL UNITED 2 -2 NEWPORT COUNTY AFC
Six minutes into the second half a deep cross into the County area was met by Nathan Thomas at the far post. The winger managed to rise and direct a header goalwards, that was claimed off the crossbar by Joe Day.
The Exiles had to be patient against the ten men of Hartlepool, as chances were hard to come by. Substitute Jack Compton came close to scoring when his free-kick from a threatening position had to be pushed around the post by Trevor Carson.
The second half lacked the goalmouth action that the first half had in abundance and as the minutes ticked away County had final chance to score a winner when a corner from the left dropped kindly for Sean Rigg inside the six-yard area, but on the turn the striker fired his effort over the crossbar.
FINAL SCORE: HARTLEPOOL UNITED 2 - 2 NEWPORT COUNTY AFC
STARTING XI: Day, Bignot, D.Jones, Bennett, Butler, Myrie-Williams (53' Compton), Randall, Labadie (64' Tozer), Rigg, Jackson (75' Barnum-Bobb), Parkin
SUBS: Bittner, Sheehan, Owen-Evans, Barnum-Bobb, Compton, Green, Tozer
BOOKINGS: Mark Randall, Darren Jones
REFEREE: Andy Haines
ATTENDANCE: 3,261 (55 Newport County fans)
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