Manager Justin Edinburgh made two changes from the side that dew 2-2 at AFC Wimbledon last time out with Pidgeley replacing Ian McLoughlin in goal and Robbie Willmott coming in for the injured Rene Howe, who will be gutted he couldn’t play against his former club with a knee injury.
The home side started brightly and captain Mike Flynn volleyed wide early on before they took the lead on five-minutes through left-back Sandell. The defender sidestepped his man before firing a powerful drive at goal from a full 25-yards that beat the ‘keeper.
County were well on top early on and could have doubled their lead but Zebroski fired over from a tight angle, before having another shot blocked. It took 17-minutes for Burton to muster their first chance as Jimmy Phillips’ attempted curler went over.
But County were lucky not to concede soon after when Symes volleyed over from close range following Dave Gray’s dangerous cross. They came even closer when Pidgeley missed the ball but thankfully Darcy Blake was on hand to block the goal-bound shot.
However, Albion did equalise 36-minutes in when the referee awarded them a soft penalty for a foul by Blake on Knowles. There seemed little, if any, contact but Symes sent Pidgeley the wrong way from the spot to make it 1-1.
Zebroski then had a shot cleared off the line and he came close again after half-time but dragged his effort narrowly wide of the far-post. County started the second-half like a house on fire and came close again through Lee Minshull, before Kevin Feely’s header rebounded back off the post.
The woodwork again denied the Exiles as Willmott’s saved shot bounced off the crossbar with his side well on top. Striker Aaron O’Connor received a standing ovation when he replaced Flynn 56-minutes in to make his first home appearance of the season following a serious groin injury.
County deserved to be ahead but almost found themselves behind when substitute Alex MacDonald struck the post with a long-range effort, before Pidgeley denied Marcus Harness. Sandell then had a header saved off the line in the last minute.
Newport deserved all three-points after an impressive display and would have got that if not for the terrible decision to award a penalty by the referee, yet another poor decision that has cost County this season but at least they are no mathematically safe from relegation and can look forward to the next campaign.
County Team: Pidgeley: Jackson, Feely, Blake, Sandell; Porter, Flynn (O’Connor, 56), Minshull (Jeffers, 76); Jolley (Champman, 64), Zebroski, Willmott
Unused Subs: McLoughlin, Hughes, Holloway