Report Carlisle United

Newport County AFC battled to a hard-earned point with a 0-0 draw against Carlisle United at Rodney Parade.

The Cumbrians carved out the better of the clear-cut chances, with Rod McDonald's header in the first half the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.

County held firm and they could have nicked the victory in the dying stages but Ryan Taylor's effort flew over the crossbar as the spoils were shared in south Wales.

The result sees the Exiles move up one place to sixth in the standings, extending their unbeaten run to three games.

Manager Michael Flynn made two changes from Friday’s 1-1 draw away at Mansfield Town, with Lewis Collins and Nicky Maynard replacing Joe Ledley and Dom Telford in the starting XI.

In a first-half of few opportunities, the visitors went close to taking the lead when Callum Guy’s half volley went just wide of the post.

Just after the half-hour mark, McDonald, free inside the area, was picked out from a free-kick but couldn’t direct his header goalwards.

Carlisle captain Aaron Hayden met a cross from the right side, but saw his header on goal parried away by the alert Nick Townsend.

The Cumbrians had the ball in the net five minutes before the break, but the goal was ruled out for a foul on Townsend by Offrande Zanzola.

The Exiles had a good opportunity to take the lead in first-half stoppage time, when Lewis Collins showed quick feet to beat a couple of challenges before sliding the ball through to Maynard, whose shot was blocked by goalkeeper Paul Farman.

Liam Shephard showed excellent recovery skills to block Omari Patrick’s shot from inside the area, after the winger had looked to carve out a one-on-one opportunity.

Flynn’s men nearly went ahead when full-back Aaron Lewis’ first-time volley from distance skimmed the roof of the net.

With just under 15 minutes left to play, the ball fell to Lewis Collins inside the Carlisle penalty area, however the midfielder couldn’t get the desired connection on his shot.

Substitute Padraig Amond did well to fashion an opportunity for himself from outside the area, as he saw his half-volley on the turn pushed away by Farman.

The Exiles pushed hard for a goal late on, and the final chance of the game fell to Taylor, but the forward was unable to keep his shot under the crossbar.