Anton Forrester scored his second goal in as many games as Vale stretched their unbeaten run to three in all competitions on Friday night, earning a point away to a strong Newport County team.
It was an evenly contested opening ten minutes as both sides attempted to work the ball into dangerous positions, but the defences came out on top to deny any clear goal scoring opportunities. Dan Butler did deliver a cross from the left for the hosts in the 9th minute but it was just beyond David Pipe’s reach at the far post.
Frank Nouble then carried the ball into the Vale box with 17 minutes played, only to see his low strike blocked by Tom Anderson. A brief scramble then arose, and the Exiles almost profited on a loose ball, but Matty Dolan’s attempt struck teammate Shawn McCousky who was in an offside position.
The home side almost got in behind the Vale back-line with half an hour on the clock, but Anderson was on hand to put in a vital interception to steal the ball from McCoulsky.
Four minutes later, the Valiants created their first opening as Tom Pope saw an initial shot blocked, Danny Pugh then firing the rebound just over the bar from 20 yards.
With 38 minutes played Newport went inches away from opening the scoring as McCoulsky caused problems again, diverting a corner towards the near post. Tyler Denton then came to Vale’s rescue to clear the effort off the line and keep the scores level at the break.
Following the restart, it was the Valiants who saw more of the ball, but County took the lead through Dolan on 54 minutes. Robbie Willmott found space in a central area before slipping a pass through to the midfielder and he planted a powerful finish into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Neil Aspin’s men looked to respond after conceding and Marcus Harness headed an effort the wrong side of the post with 61 minutes played. Up the other end just two minutes later, Ben Tozer tried his luck from range, but his optimistic volley sailed high and wide of Ryan Boot’s goal.
As Vale pressed for an equaliser, Cristian Montano got on the end of a Harness delivery in the 74th minute and his first touch of the game was heading towards goal, only to be blocked by the outstretched leg of a defender.
That missed opportunity was soon forgotten, however, as Anton Forrester levelled proceedings with ten minutes to play. The striker came on as a second-half substitute and he marked his appearance by carrying the ball into the area before flashing a finish beyond Joe Day and into the bottom corner.
Newport County: Day, White, O’Brien ©, Demetriou, Pipe, Butler, Willmott, Tozer, Dolan, Nouble, McCoulsky (Amond 79).
Unused Substitutes: Bittner, Reynolds, Jackson, Bennett, Owen-Evans, Rigg.
Port Vale: Boot, Gunning, Smith, Anderson, Gibbons, Kay, Pugh © (Montano 73), Denton (Forrester 45), Worrall (Regis 73), Harness, Pope.
Unused Substitutes: Hornby, Yates, Tonge, Turner.
Attendance: 2,876 (271 Vale supporters)