A BEAUTY from The Beast failed to earn Newport County AFC all three points against 10-man Hartlepool United.

Warren Feeney’s men looked set to earn a second win of the season when Jon Parkin’s stunner put them 2-1 up after the hosts had had a man sent off.

But poor marking at a corner and a dogged display from Hartlepool meant they could not make their numerical advantage pay.

The match started at 100mph with Nicky Featherstone firing the hosts into the lead after just 95 seconds.

The midfielder raced onto Michael Woods’ clever chip over the static Exiles defence and gave Joe Day no chance from close range.

The early setback led to teammates Joss Labadie and Marlon Jackson arguing on the pitch.

But that wasn’t the end of the drama by a long way.

County went straight up the other end and, as the ball raced through to Parkin, home defender Toto Nsiala stuck out a hand to halt the attack.

Referee Andy Haines judged it to be a clear case of denying a goal scoring opportunity and Nsiala was shown the red card.

And Sean Rigg wasted no time in slotting the free-kick into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to level things up in the fourth minute.

After a brief period of calm, County took the lead on 27 minutes thanks to a cracker of a goal from Parkin that was even applauded by the home fans.

The veteran striker controlled a ball from Rigg that was fired into his chest at speed, turned and fired goalwards in one rapid movement.

The volley was too quick for Trevor Carson in the Hartlepool goal and it cannoned in off the post to leave Victoria Park stunned.

That should have set the visitors on course for a second away win of the season.

But Pools rallied and ended the first half on top, despite their numerical disadvantage.

The excellent Billy Paynter teed up Nathan Thomas in the box and he forced Day into a superb reflex save from close range.

And the hosts were deservedly level seven minutes before the break when Padraig Amond headed in unmarked from a corner.

With the backing of a passionate and at times downright hostile crowd, Craig Hignett’s men continued to look the most likely to find a winner after the interval.

Day saved from Michael Woods and denied Thomas twice – the second an acrobatic tip over the bar from a 30-yard rocket.

Jordan Richards then sent a free-kick inches wide and fired over the bar under pressure from Paul Bignot – enjoying an incident-packed return for the Exiles five and a half years after his last appearance.

Jack Compton, who was dubbed a ‘Marmite player’ and told he needed psychological help during his time at Hartlepool, was booed and taunted relentlessly after he returned from injury to replace Jennison Myrie-Williams from the bench.

He nearly had the last laugh with a free-kick that was pushed round the post by Carson.

Rigg also wasted a chance two minutes from time as he miscued a shot on the turn two minutes from time.

And an entertaining contest ended with both sides taking a point.

Feeney, who watched from the stands due to his touchline ban, will feel it should have been three.

County: Day, Butler, Jones, Bennett, Bignot, Myrie-Williams (Compton, 53), Labadie (Tozer, 64), Randall, Jackson (Barnum-Bobb, 75), Parkin, Rigg

Subs not used: Bittner, Owen-Evans, Sheehan, Green

Booked: Randall, Jones

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 3,261 (55 County)

Argus star man: Parkin