Newport County drew 1-1 with Carlisle United in a much-improved performance in front of the home faithful on Saturday afternoon.
Nathan Moriah-Welsh gave County the lead with his second goal of the season, volleying home from close range after a promising start at Rodney Parade.
With quarter of an hour remaining Carlisle captain Corey Whelan reacted fast to power it into the Newport net from a corner kick.
Omar Bogle was the first to have an attempt at goal in the first minute of the match, feeding off a Moriah-Welsh knock down, his half volley went straight into goalkeeper Tomas Holy’s grasp.
Jordan Gibson had a go for the visitors moments later, this time his curled effort from 25-yards sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
Owen Moxon spurned a golden chance to give Carlisle the lead on 12 minutes, after a Fin Back cross was cleared to the midfielder just inside the penalty area, he blazed his shot well wide on the stretch with the goal at his mercy.
Bogle had a decent chance five minutes later after getting on the end of Cameron Norman’s floated delivery, but his header did not trouble the ‘keeper and sailed onto the roof of the net.
Newport skipper Mickey Demetriou was giving his opponents defence a few headaches with his long throws, but at the other end had to be at his best to block a powerful drive from Jack Armer following a dangerous counter-attack.
James Clarke went close just before the half-hour mark, meeting Adam Lewis’ deep set-piece only to see his header flash wide on the run.
County took a deserved lead moments later through Moriah-Welsh. He poked the ball past Corey Whelan before controlling his volley past the ‘keeper to give us the lead following a brilliant run from Thierry Nevers.
Carlisle looked for an instant response and thought they had it when Back met Jack Stretton’s knock down, his half-volley, though, was strait at Nick Townsend.
Stretton set up a good chance once again for his side after fending off Clarke, pulling the ball back to top scorer Kristian Dennis, who slipped and blew the chance with County chasing back.
The sun went in and the action dried up at the start of the second half, with the hosts looking comfortable at the back to whatever was thrown at them.
Going forward Lewis went on a dangerous run only to see his cross go slightly out of the reach of Bogle, and Will Evans’ delivery tipped away at the back post with that man Bogle once again lurking.
Bogle tried a speculative effort from just inside the Carlisle half on 65 minutes, and although the ‘keeper was way off his line it didn’t matter as the frontman’s effort was high and wide.
Whelan pounced to make it 1-1 with 15 minutes to go, following an out-swinging corner from Callum Guy which deflected into the skipper’s path.
We thought we had the ball in the net 7 minutes from town, Demetriou’s long throw crossed the six-yard line and with Evans and Bogle lurking, the ball was clutched by the grateful grasp of Carlisle ‘keeper Holy.
Sonny Hilton then went on a dangerous run before loating a dangerous ball to the back post, but with the defence stretched the cross was just overcooked with Dennis ready to strike.
Hilton was proving to be a livewire down the right hand side and did well to beat Lewis and put in a teasing cross, which was desperately cleared at the back-post in injury time.
From the resulting corner, Carlisle hit the crossbar. Guy’s corner was cleared to Paul Huntington, whose volley on the spin smashed top left corner of the bar with Townsend will beaten.
Hilton tried to win it himself deep into stoppage time, but his powerful hit flew just over the crossbar just inside the area.
Newport County: Townsend (GK), Norman, Clarke, Demetriou (c), Adam Lewis, Bennet, Moriah-Welsh, Lindley (Willmott, 90'), Nevers (Waite, 69’), Evans, Bogle (Zimba, 90’).
Subs not used: Day (GK), Drysdale, Aaron Lewis, Wildig.
Carlisle United: Holy, Armer, Moxon (Harris, 65’), Whelan (c), Huntington, Gibson (Hilton, 55’), Guy, Dennis, Mellish, Back, Stretton (Bollado, 90’).
Subs not used: Charters, Feeney, Kelly, Idehen.