MAKE no mistake about it, this should have been County's first win of the season. Small wonder that County boss Peter Nicholas declared: "That was two points lost."

Now County are still without a win after eight games in the Dr Martens League, Premier Division and, if they don't finish above Moor Green, yet to win at home, at the end of the season, then they will be in deep trouble.

County created enough chances to have strolled the game. It was a combination of poor finishing and tough luck which cost them three points.

At times, Moor Green, who have won at Stafford, weren't even in the same street, but the fact remains that County couldn't finish them off.

County fell behind two minutes from the break but it was of their own making. Jae Martin knocked a simple through ball and Dennis Bailey got in the clear to lob the advancing and recalled Pat Mountain after two appearances by Gareth Wesson.

The hard-working Garry Shephard was a shining example to everyone with his workrate and was desperately unfortunate not to score and in a bright start by County he had a shot deflected for an unproductive corner and then shot over the bar.

It seemed only a matter of time before he scored. On the stroke of half-time, he seemed to have deceived goalkeeper Adam Rachel who recovered well to deny the striker a goal.

Even when County went behind there was no cause for alarm because they looked quite comfortable and well capable of not only getting back into the game, but winning it.

Four minutes into the second-half Gary Lloyd - there's always a buzz among the County fans when he takes a free-kick in sight of goal - thumped an effort against the base of an upright and in the 51st minute an Eckhardt header produced an instinctive save from Rachel, the industrious and inventive Chris Rogers carving the opening.

Eckhardt deserved to get County's equaliser after 62 minutes. Lloyd's corner was flicked on by Shephard and the central defender, always a threat at set pieces, finished it off.

With 15 minutes remaining Mark Dickeson, again Rogers the provider, lifted County hopes with a shot which hit the bar and the alert Rachel foiled Shephard's attempt to forced home the loose ball.

But in the closing stages County came close to throwing away all their good work. On three occasions they gave the ball away too close to the penalty area for comfort but Moor Green's finishing was woeful, substitute Peter Faulds firing high over the bar.

Moor Green (4-4-2): Rachel; Robinson, Collins, Sanders, Frain; Doyle (Faulds, 77 minutes), Stanley, B Petty, Martin; Elmes, Martin. Substitutes (not used): J Petty, Turner, Gillard, Harris. Goal: Bailey (43 minutes). Bookings: (Martin, 81 minutes, foul).

Newport County (4-4-2): Mountain; Evans, Eckhardt, Mumford, Lloyd; G Phillips, Stevenson, Rose, Rogers; Shephard (Plant, 86 minutes), Dickeson. Substitutes (not used): Williams, Palmer, J Phillips, Wesson. Goal: Eckhardt (62 minutes). Bookings: None. Referee: Steve Cooke (Mansfield) Attendance: 296