Ahead of their League One opener against Bristol Rovers next weekend, Forest Green wrapped up their pre-season schedule with a hard-fought draw against former League Two rivals Newport County.
Captain Jamille Matt opened the scoring for Rovers against his former club from the spot in the 47th minute, only for Offrande Zanzala to head home in the 59th minute and earn County a draw at The Bolt New Lawn.
In their first pre-season home game, Rovers opened in emphatic fashion with Matt and David Davis combining for the busy Armani Little to force Joe Day into a block.
However, Newport almost broke the deadlock when Sam Bowen found Cameron Norman but his header dropped wide of the post.
Day denied Rovers a certain opener when Davis saw his sumptuous strike clawed away after Corey O’Keeffe picked him out.
Rovers broke the deadlock just two minutes after the resumption – Matt was upended by Declan Drysdale, with the captain firing home from the penalty spot.
Newport netted parity in the 59th minute. Former Barrow striker Offrande Zanzala headed past Rovers ‘keeper Luke McGee.
In-form Josh March saw an effort cleared off the line in the 82nd minute as Rovers hunted a winner.
Newport thought that they’d found the winning goal just moments before full-time – Adam Lewis fired past McGee, but the substitute was offside.
Forest Green: McGee, O’Keeffe, Cargill, Stevenson, Hendry (Bunker 82’), Little (Trialist 60’), Matt (C) (March 60’), Moore-Taylor (Bernard 69’), McAllister (Jones 76’), Godwin-Malife (Casey 69’), Davis (Brown 69’).
Subs not used: Bennett, Thomas.