NEWPORT County AFC halted a run of five successive defeats and kept a first clean sheet of the campaign to earn a battling point at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Terry Butcher’s side are still bottom of the League Two table – and are now four points from safety – but he will have been pleased with his side’s determination, despite suffering further injury problems.

Strikers Lenell John-Lewis and Zak Ansah were both forced off and the Exiles finished the match with only Aaron Collins up front.

But both front men, and top scorer Scott Boden, should be available for next week's trip to Carlisle United.

Butcher made two changes to the team that lost to a last-gasp penalty at home to Morecambe seven days earlier.

Aaron Hayden, the 18-year-old defender who conceded that spot-kick, returned to his parent club Wolves in midweek and was replaced by Danny Holmes at the back.

And County were also without Boden as he was at his partner’s bedside after she gave birth in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In came Medy Elito against his former club and, after surviving and early scare when former West Ham winger Zavon Hines poked a shot narrowly wide, the Exiles were marginally the better side in the first half.

Teenagers Kieran Parselle, Tom Owen-Evans and Aaron Collins impressed in defence, midfield and up front respectively, while the home fans grew increasingly frustrated with their side.

Striker Lenell John-Lewis was replaced by Zak Ansah after the break and the former Arsenal youngster immediately produced County’s brightest moment with a neat turn and shot that was brilliantly tipped over by Daggers goalkeeper Liam O’Brien.

It was veteran striker Jamie Cureton, a half-time substitute for Newport-born Christian Doidge, who had the best opportunity for the hosts just before the hour mark.

Winger Ashley Hemmings whipped in a superb cross from the left and Cureton looked certain to score with only Joe Day to beat from a few yards out but he could only slice his shot over the bar.

His strike partner Matt McClure was also guilty of missing another good chance shortly afterwards as the home side cranked up the pressure.

Cureton hooked another effort wide of the far post and McClure curled one over the top after Ansah had been forced off for the visitors with concussion.

With no more strikers on the bench that forced Butcher into a tactical shake-up with Collins ploughing a lone furrow up front in a 5-4-1 formation.

Captain Mark Byrne saw his free-kick drop a yard over O’Brien’s bar and sub Josh Laurent sent a shot across goal when played in by Elito but neither side could break the deadlock.

Dagenham: O’Brien, Passley, Nosworthy, Obileye, Widdowson, Hemmings, Ferdinand, Boucaud, Hines, (Jones, 70), McClure, Doidge, (Cureton, 46)

Subs not used: Cousins, Connors, Dikamona, Chambers, Hamalainen

County: Day, Twumasi, Holmes, Partridge, Parselle, Barrow, Elito (Bamford, 90), Byrne, Owen-Evans, Collins, John-Lewis (Ansah, 46, Laurent, 70)

Subs not used: R.Taylor, M.Taylor, Shephard

Argus star man: Matt Partridge