The Exiles started their pre-season exploits with a battling 1-1 draw at Undy AFC.
County took to the pitch in their newly launched Kit. and fielded a team mainly composed of trialists whilst there was a welcome return for Jamie Turley who returned to the fold in the first-half - his first action since suffering a knee injury at Doncaster Rovers in mid-September.
The first-half came and went with few chances, Undy’s Gareth Cullimore unlucky to see his headed effort rebound off the crossbar five minutes before the break.
Then just two minutes into the second-half County got their first goal of their pre-season campaign, and what a goal to start it off.
Trialist Jamie Bird curled in a delightful 30-yard freekick which gave James Smallcombe no chance in the Undy goal.
But just nine minutes later, the home side levelled. After some slight confusion in the County defence, Cullimore was brought down in the area and a penalty was awarded. Nathan Wood stepped up and sent the trialist goalkeeper the wrong way.
Neither side could muster a meaningful opportunity afterwards as both sides seemed to ease off.
But just as the game looked destined to finish all-square, County almost stole a dramatic late winner. Another trialist and familiar name to County fans Ben Swallow unleashed a curling effort that looked destined for the top corner, only for Smallcombe to get a glove to it and send it wide.
Shortly after the referee brought proceedings to a close for the start of the Exiles warm-ups, a game in which manager Mike Flynn saw some positive signs.
He said: “I got to have a look at some trialists, Jamie Turley had 45 minutes which was really encouraging. It was really good to see Jamie back because he’s worked really hard to get back and I hope he enjoyed putting the shirt back on. He won’t be involved tomorrow but next week for sure.
On facing Swindon Supermarine tomorrow he added: “You’ll see the majority of the squad tomorrow bar one or two who have slight knocks and I don’t want to risk them.”
Academy star Modou Touray came on during the second-half and relished his first spell in the first team.
“I think it was good,” he said.
“I expected a high intensity and we have been preparing for that in pre-season. It was a good challenge but difficult at the same time.
But he always said he was focused on the U18 Academy games: “I will be preparing for the Swansea game with the academy tomorrow then Aston Villa on Tuesday but of course I want to be involved with the first-team again in the future. Ideally, I can train with them every day and get more experiences like today because I really enjoyed it.”
Undy AFC manager Lawrence Owen commented: “I thought there were a few good boys from County out there tonight. Our boys came in at half-time and said they had never run so much in their lives. One or two stood out for me but I thought all of them were great to watch and I’m sure Flynny will be having a word with one or two of them.”