NEWPORT County AFC earned a fifth consecutive clean sheet as they frustrated League Two leaders Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

If County didn’t exactly graduate with honours from Oxford they certainly came through a big test of their promotion credentials.

Unlike Saturday’s stalemate at Cheltenham Town, this wasn’t a game that the Exiles ever looked like winning but the point proved they will be no pushovers in the battle at the top of the table.

And, even if there was little entertainment on offer, this battling display certainly erased the painful memories of big away defeats at Rochdale and Fleetwood earlier in the campaign.

Edinburgh made one tactical change from the weekend, opting for the height of Lee Minshull in midfield with Tom Naylor dropping to the bench.

Alongside Minshull, Adam Chapman was playing against his former club but it was a former Exiles hero who caught the eye.

Danny Rose looks back to the form that made him a star of the 2010 Conference South title-winning side under Dean Holdsworth.

The first half was largely uneventful but Rose was at the heart of the action whenever the hosts threatened.

After five minutes his free-kick caused chaos in the County backline and Dave Kitson stabbed just wide of Lenny Pidgeley’s right-hand post.

Moments later Rose’s through ball was half cleared by Worley and deflected into the path of James Constable but the ball got caught under his feet and Pidgeley saved his weak effort with ease.

Just before the break Michael Raynes headed over from a Rose corner as Oxford continued to dominate without looking all that impressive.

County threatened sporadically with Chapman seeing one effort blocked by Kitson and one sail into the car park behind Ryan Clarke’s goal.

In between Conor Washington was inches away from converting Ryan Jackson’s tempting cross but it was just tantalisingly out of reach.

Edinburgh’s men seemed content to let the hosts make the running while attempting to hit them on the break.

But as the game wore on they grew in confidence and Oxford began to show signs of frustration.

Rose was booked for a cynical block on the rampaging Jackson and Minshull headed just wide from Deji Oshilaja’s free-kick.

The U’s home form has been patchy this season with three wins, three draws and three defeats in League Two at the Kassam prior to this game.

And as the home fans started to voice their displeasure with their side and the whistle-happy referee on the hour, County sensed an opportunity to improve their patchy away record.

Ismail Yakubu forced a smart save out of Clarke as he headed a Robbie Willmott corner powerfully towards the top corner.

But at the other end a wild tackle from Worley allowed Dave Hunt a crack at goal and his free-kick on the edge of the area was a yard wide of Pidgeley’s goal.

Christian Jolley went closest to breaking the deadlock for County when his fierce drive clipped the top of the bar with five minutes remaining.

If that had gone in it would have been harsh on the hosts but the draw was just reward for the tenacity and application shown by Edinburgh’s men.

And with their superb home form, second-placed Chesterfield will certainly not be relishing their trip to Rodney Parade on Sunday.

Oxford: Clarke, Newey, Raynes, Kitson, Constable, Hunt, Hall, Williams, Rose, Mullins, Ruffels (O’Dowda, 67)

Subs not used: Davies, Marsh, Crocombe, Long, Lynn, Bevans

Booked: Williams, Rose, O’Dowda

County: Pidgeley, Jackson, Yakubu, Oshilaja, Worley, Willmott, Minshull (Naylor, 73), Chapman, Crow (Barker, 67), Jolley, Washington

Subs not used: Pipe, Hughes, Sandell, Jones, Flynn

Booked: Oshilaja, Crow, Worley, Chapman, Yakubu

Referee: Darren Sheldrake

Attendance: 5,042 (437 County)

Argus star man: Adam Chapman