NEWPORT County AFC stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a battling performance at Prenton Park that will have left manager Justin Edinburgh a happy man.

It was the special night that they’d waited so long for on Merseyside as Tranmere hosted a team from Newport for the first time since November 1987.

And, just like Liverpool’s return to Europe’s premier competition a short ferry trip across the Mersey, it didn’t exactly go as planned for the hosts with the home crowd frustrated by the plucky visitors.

Brendan Rodgers’ men eventually scraped a victory at Anfield but this League Two clash was less Champions League and more Match of the Day – Joe Day.

Edinburgh and his men had an inspired goalkeeping performance to thank for keeping their recent upturn in fortunes going.

The 24-year-old on loan from Peterborough United made four excellent saves in a first 45 minutes dominated by the hosts in terms of clear-cut chances created.

County were never outclassed and certainly gave Tranmere’s Welsh international stopper Owain Fon Williams a few worrying moments.

But the real action was at the other end right from the start.

The tricky Abdulai Baggie could have scored twice in the opening three minutes, hitting the side netting with his first effort and seeing his second blocked by the studs of the onrushing Day.

At the other end Chris Zebroski saw a header cleared off the line by Michael Ihiekwe and he also forced Fon Williams to palm over after blocking a clearance midway through the half.

That was after he irked the home fans and narrowly escaped a booking by going down too easily in the box and claiming a penalty.

But the home side were the more incisive and in captain Max Power they possessed a player capable of picking out the rapid runs of Baggie and Eliot Richards.

It was Richards who had the next chance after half an hour following a lightning quick break but he dragged his shot wide of the far post.

Cole Stockton then put Richards through but Day got down well to save superbly.

And the ‘keeper was once again called upon to dive full length to his left to deny Richards just before the interval as the Exiles lived dangerously.

After the interval Edinburgh shuffled his pack with Aaron O’Connor, who had dropped to the bench as Joe Pigott earned a first start, replacing defender Kevin Feely.

That meant County switched from 5-3-2 to 4-3-3 but Tranmere remained on top and Day did well to clear a cross from Janoi Donacien that threatened to creep inside the far post.

Exiles captain Darren Jones was also having a good night and he had to with Robbie Willmott reverting to right-back for the second half in the absence of the injured Ryan Jackson.

The withdrawal of Feely meant Willmott and Sandell had to curb their natural attacking instincts and in truth the visitors were fighting a rearguard action for much of the night.

Midfielder Yan Klukowski replaced Pigott, who worked hard but failed to make much of an impact, as Edinburgh switched formation again to 4-4-2 midway through the second half.

And the latter stages saw County get a much better grip of the game and settle for taking a hard-earned point back home to Newport.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Power (Koumas, 71), Ihiekwe, Richards, Baggie, Laird, Stockton (Donnelly, 74), Donacien, Gill, Hill (Holness, 11)

Subs not used: Odejayi, Rowe, Fanimo, Brezovan

County: Day, Willmott, Feely (O'Connor, 46), Jones, Hughes, Sandell, Minshull, Byrne, Chapman, Zebroski (Jolley, 88), Pigott (Klukowski, 64)

Subs not used: Pidgeley, Flynn, Parker, Poole

Booked: Feely, Byrne Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 3,948 (87 County)

Argus star man: Joe Day