COULD the season have been made in Dagenham for Newport County AFC?

A win for Rotherham over Cardiff City in the Championship and Crewe Alexandra’s triumph at Shrewsbury Town in League One means the Exiles are now the only side in the Football League yet to taste victory this season.

Terry Butcher’s men are not exactly motoring then, but this hard-earned point doubled their total so far and a first clean sheet was definitely something to savour.

And, after five successive defeats, this was without a doubt a step in the right direction.

County have played better and lost this season, most recently against Morecambe seven days earlier, but the manager and his players were buoyant after the final whistle at Victoria Road.

They are confident that this result is the start of something and confident that, having turned defeats to draws, they can now start turning draws into wins.

Defensively that optimism seems well placed with Matt Partridge in fine form against his former club at the heart of the visitors’ back three.

Teenager Kieran Parselle and the experienced Danny Holmes, back from suspension, were almost as impressive.

With goalkeeper Joe Day back to something like his best and Seth Nana Twumasi at right wing-back and Scott Barrow on the left, Butcher’s team had a solid look about it for the most part.

And the presence of veteran centre-back Matt Taylor on the bench was also a big boost.

If and when he’s finally fit to return his experience can only improve the back line and there may well be another defensive recruit on the way this week as well.

In midfield captain Mark Byrne continued his personal crusade to drag his side off the bottom of the League Two table, ably assisted by youngster Tom Owen-Evans alongside him.

The returning Medy Elito flitted in and out of the game, showing rare glimpses of his undoubted talent but substitute Josh Laurent enjoyed his best 20 minutes in an amber shirt, looking a real goal threat late on.

But it was up front where the Exiles will be disappointed by their efforts once again.

Dagenham’s main claim to fame is the successful equal pay dispute at the local Ford car plant, which inspired the 2010 movie Made in Dagenham, but the strikers on view on Saturday were far from effective.

Newport-born Christian Doidge struggled to make an impact for the hosts and was replaced at half-time, while his teammates Matt McClure and sub Jamie Cureton missed several decent opportunities.

County were without top scorer Scott Boden as he had made a 3am dash to be at the birth of his son in Sheffield and he was missed.

Lenell John-Lewis was again a frustrated figure leading the line and his tight hamstrings forced him off at the break.

Sub Zak Ansah made an immediate impact with a sharp turn and shot straight after the interval that forced Liam O’Brien into a superb save.

The former Arsenal youngster looked as if he wanted to prove a point but he too was withdrawn on 70 minutes after a bang to the head left him concussed.

Academy product Aaron Collins was left manning the picket line all on his own and, while he never stopped trying, this wasn’t his finest day.

In the first half the 18-year-old was always ambitious but sometimes too ambitious when a simple pass was the better option.

And he is not yet equipped to play up front on his own just yet.

Boden, John-Lewis and Ansah should all be back for next week’s trip to Carlisle United but with only five goals in eight games the lack of a cutting edge must be Butcher’s biggest concern.

County have tightened up at the back but without goals at the other end the wait goes on for that much-needed first win of the campaign.

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

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 1,654 (160 County)

Argus star man: Matt Partridge