Padraig Amond’s fifth goal of the campaign secured Newport County AFC a more than deserved point at Macclesfield Town as both sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at The Moss Rose.
The Irishman superbly converted an early sight at goal inside 50 seconds, before ex-Exile Emmanuel Osadebe came back to haunt his former employers with a neat chip midway through the first half.
The Exiles fall to sixth position in the table have accrued 16 points from the opening nine matches.
Manager Michael Flynn elected to make one change from the side which lost their first league match in 18 outings at Northampton Town on Saturday.
Scot Bennett finally recovered from the shoulder and muscle injuries which have hampered his campaign so far, he came in for Matty Dolan who went to the bench in a 4-3-3 formation.
Macclesfield Town manager Daryl McMahon made two changes to his Silkmen side which suffered a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Swindon Town on Saturday.
He stuck with his traditional 3-5-2 formation at The Moss Rose as Virgil Gomis and stalwart Arthur Gnahoua replaced Joe Ironside and Fraser Horsfall.
It was certainly a balanced yet exciting first half of proceedings as both sides had their spells of dominance and converted it into a goal as the teams went back to the dressing rooms level.
The Exiles flew out of the traps faster than lightning and opened the scoring inside 50 seconds after beautifully recycling a positive attacking move.
Ryan Haynes’ long ball in behind forced Macclesfield to put it behind for a corner and from Robbie Willmott’s pinpoint delivery, Padraig Amond swooped in his fifth goal of the campaign with a powerful attempt.
It seemed all of County’s early openings came the way of the lively Irishman and he wasn’t too far away from a second in the 10th minute but he didn’t quite connect to a corner kick routine which worked wonders last season against Middlesbrough in the Emirates FA Cup.
A surging run from captain Joss Labadie presented another chance for the Irishman on 16 minutes, this time he connected beautifully to the delivery but found the Newport born Silkmen goalkeeper Owen Evans in inspired form.
Danny McNamara and Robbie Willmott put attempts narrowly past either post later in the half as County created a number of chances before the half time whistle.
Macclesfield only really grew into the game just before the 20-minute mark but it resulted in their equaliser as they scored with their first attack.
County completely stopped when looking for an offside flag which never came, Theo Archibald looped a ball over to ex-Exile Emmanuel Osadebe and he coolly chipped Tom King from about six yards. Replays did in fact show he was two yards offside.
Another offside flag never came on 28 minutes which meant it had to go down as a horrible miss from Silkmen captain Fiacre Kelleher. Connor Kirby delivered a free-kick in towards the centre-half, again all eyes went to the assistant referee, but he blasted it over the top from three yards anyway.
Kirby was involved in the half’s final opportunity which came in the 31st minute. The midfielder expertly cut inside from the left before forcing King to tip an attempt out for a corner via his near post.
The Silkmen started the second half on the front foot and really should have taken the lead on 55 minutes. A delivery from the right seemingly evaded everyone but the energetic Kirby managed to reach it at the back post but miscued his lines and the ball went out of the stadium.
On 66 minutes, Osadebe calmly skipped past three challenges towards the edge of the area and took aim with intent, King had to scramble across his gaol but did well to get a hand to it and also get it away from the lurking attackers.
Kelleher and Kirby again sent shots wide as the Silkmen began to control things, but they were architects of allowing County back into the game with lax passes and acting over calmly in their penalty area.
Harris sold his centre-halves short and allowed Abrahams to nip in, the attacker burst through but could only curl over the crossbar from just outside the area.
That was it for the action, however, so both sides had to settle for a point apiece and with it, the ‘SaveOurShirt Unsponsored Trophy’ was shared.
Newport County AFC (4-3-3): Tom King, Daniel McNamara, Mark O’Brien, Kyle Howkins, Ryan Haynes, Joss Labadie (C), Josh Sheehan, Scot Bennett (Matty Dolan 72’), Tristan Abrahams (Dominic Poleon 89’), Padraig Amond, Robbie Willmott
Subs not used: Townsend, Leadbitter, Whitely, Maloney, Ekpiteta
Macclesfield Town (3-4-1-2): Owen Evans, Miles Welch-Hayes, Fiacre Kelleher (C), Theo Vassell, Theo Archibald, Connor Kirby, Jay Harris, Corey O’Keeffe, Emmanuel Osadebe, Virgil Gomis (Ben Stephens 85’), Arthur Gnahoua
Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Ironside, Horsfall, Ntambwe, Cameron
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 1,435 (91 AWAY)
Next up for County: Exeter City (21st September 2019) HOME