Newport County 1 Forest Green 1
On a high-octane night, league leaders Forest Green came from behind to share the spoils at a super-charged Rodney Parade.
showing their support for the stricken people of Ukraine. Solidarity was at the forefront with Newport and Forest Green coming together to display the Ukrainian flag.
On St. David’s Day, the electric atmosphere appeared to rattle Rovers from the get-go with boss Rob Edwards – a former Wales international, prowling his technical area with a daffodil pinned to his jacket.
Earlier, the leaders were tepid from the get-go as former Cheltenham Town loanee Finn Azaz caught Rovers cold on three minutes – arrowing beyond Luke McGee. Rovers responded – Dom Bernard spanking a strike into the side netting.
Newport’s tails were wagging and only McGee’s smart block denied Azaz his second. McGee was Rovers’ main man again – smothering at the feet of Dom Trelford after Jack Aitchison had his pocket picked.
Rovers rallied somewhat – Nicky Cadden fizzing a low ball into the box for Dan Sweeney to induce a gloved response from Nicky Townsend.
Rovers netted parity on 56 minutes – Cadden’s quick feet in the box saw Jack Aitchison find space in the box to finish with aplomb – his fifth goal of the season.
Cadden’s howitzer from the edge of the box tested Townsend’s reflexes after Kane Wilson teed him up.
County were reduced to 10 men when James Clarke has brandished a second yellow for another shirt tug on Jamille Matt with six minutes to go.
Townsend saved County from the resulting free-kick – gloving Cadden’s strike wide.
Rovers pressed for a winner, but County remained resolute, with Rob Edwards’ side ending a two-game losing streak and maintaining their 10-point lead at the summit. Newport move up two places to sixth.
Newport County: Townsend, Norman, Clarke, Demetriou (captain), Haynes, Bennett, Cain, Cooper (Waite 75), Azaz, Telford (Haynes 84), Street (Fisher 90).
Substitutes not used: Day, Dolan, Collins, Abraham.
Yellow: Lewis, Bennett, Cooper, Clarke.
Red: Clarke 84
Goals: Azaz 3
Forest Green: McGee, Godwin-Malife, Moore-Taylor, Bernard, Wilson, Sweeney, Adams (March, 90+1), Aitchison (Stevenson, 75), Cadden, Matt (captain), Stevens.
Substitutes not used: Thomas, Cargill, Hendry, Diallo, McAteer..
Goal: Aitchison 55
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 4,448 (346 Forest Green)
Next up: Rovers travel to Salford.