NEWPORT County AFC manager James Rowberry defended his changes after a late Walsall onslaught earned an injury-time equaliser in crazy League Two game.

The Exiles led 3-2 as the clock passed 90 minutes at Bescot Stadium thanks to a Dom Telford double and a Conor Wilkinson own goal.

But Wilkinson, who had a loan spell at Rodney Parade in 2016, had the final say when he slammed in a superb leveller in the fourth of six added minutes, sparking a pitch invasion from some delighted Saddlers supporters.

The striker made it 1-1 and then an own goal by Matty Dolan made it 2-2 before the late, late third equaliser.

It was no more that Walsall deserved after a series of late scrambles in the box, with the hosts pinning County inside their own box.

Rowberry brought on Ryan Haynes for fellow wing-back Cameron Norman because of cramp, replaced Courtney Baker-Richardson with targetman Alex Fisher and then brought on physical defender Priestley Farquharson for Telford.

The Saddlers then bossed the closing stages before sharing the spoils in a remarkable encounter.

South Wales Argus: FRUSTRATED: County boss James RowberryFRUSTRATED: County boss James Rowberry

“I can beat myself up about different things and my changes but we felt that we needed to put height on the pitch when it was at 3-2,” said Rowberry.

“The goal that was scored was a ‘worldie’ from the edge of the box so I have to accept that.

“I don’t think that we invited pressure, we tried to put players in the team that could deal with their set play threat, which was their biggest threat.

“I can’t really recall them opening us up in open play, it was set plays, and we had to deal with that.”

County are seventh in the table after having to settle for a point and were this time the victims after hitting Walsall with a late winner at Rodney Parade in September.

“It was the craziest game that I have been involved in as a manager so far,” said Rowberry, who took the job in mid-October.

“If you take the positives, we scored three goals away from home but I was disappointed that we conceded three goals from set plays, two directly and the third from second phase.

“It was a terrific finish for them and it probably felt like a win for them and maybe a loss for us.

South Wales Argus: BEDLAM: Walsall fans celebrate their levellerBEDLAM: Walsall fans celebrate their leveller

“You could see what it meant for them when they got the equaliser – it looked like they had won the league with the reaction of the fans and the staff and players.

“That’s credit to us for where we are at as a team and a club because that is what it means to get a result against us.

“But it’s a point away from home at Walsall and we have to move forward.”

County entertain Salford City behind closed doors next Saturday.