Ton-Up Newport County manager Michael Flynn reflected on their goalless draw against Crawley Town and said: “We kept a clean sheet and there are quite a few positives to build on.”
The clash with Crawley was Flynn’s 100th match in charge of his home city club he heads into 2019 feeling reasonably about their season.
They are four points outside the League Two play-off spots, travel to play Stevenage on New Year’s Day and will then turn to the Emirates FA Cup third round tie against Leicester City.
Flynn or his assistant, former Cardiff City manager Lennie Lawrence, will surely be ringing Cardiff City’s Neil Warnock for a run-down on their cup task against the Foxes.
The Bluebirds won 1-0 at Leicester and Warnock will be able to give County’s management a valuable insight into the task they face next Saturday.
Newport entertained a Crawley team who had suffered five successive defeats and Flynn said during his post-match media conference: “We were the only team to try and win it really.
“Crawley came for the counter-attack, wanted to stop their rot and that’s what they managed to do.
“But we missed too many chances in the second half.”
Padraig Amond went closest to scoring for County, dinking the ball over Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris and his effort was just too high.
Irishman Amond also had two good headed chances, but each time his effort was too close to Morris.
Crawley appealed for a late penalty when Dominic Poleon went down, but referee Antony Coggins waved play on.
The point lifted Exiles up one place in the League Two table to 10th, four points off the play-off positions and 14 behind leaders Lincoln City.
Flynn made three changes to the starting side following their home defeat against Forest Green, but kept to the usual 3-4-1-2 formation.
One was enforced with midfield player Joss Labadie ruled out by a knee injury and his place was taken by returning captain Andrew Crofts.
Tyler Forbes and Robbie Willmott also returned, while David Pipe and Tyreeq Bakinson were among the substitutes.
Crawley manager Gabriele Cioffi matched Flynn by also making three changes to his side that suffered an agonising late defeat at Cambridge United on Boxing Day.
Former Newport player Reece Grego-Cox was in Crawley’s team and he tested goalkeeper Joe Day with a powerful header from a looping corner kick after 14 minutes.
Both teams are lacking confidence and there were few chances at either end.
County had the edge during the second half, but Crawley stood firm to earn an away point.
Newport County AFC (3-4-1-2): Day, Forbes (Harris 78), Franks, Bennett, Demetriou, Butler, Crofts, capt (O’Brien 51), Dolan (Bakinson 57), Willmott, Amond, Matt. Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, Marsh-Brown, Sheehan
Crawley Town (3-5-2): Morris, Doherty, McNerney, Connolly, Francomb, Sesay, Payne, Bulman (capt), Camara, Grego-Cox (Gambin 77), Poleon. Subs not used: Mersin, Maguire, N’Gala, Allarakhia, Nathaniel-George
Referee: Antony Coggins
Attendance: 3,166 (80 away)
League Two table