NEWPORT County AFC slipped closer to the League Two relegation zone with a 2-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers.

Warren Feeney’s men created chances at the home of one of the promotion favourites but failed to take them and were comfortably beaten in the end.

Goals from James Coppinger and Andy Williams in either half condemned County to a third defeat of the season after three successive draws in the league.

Feeney made two changes to his starting XI with Darren Jones replacing Paul Bignot and Ben Tozer coming in for Jack Compton to make his first start for the club.

Jones’ return meant Jamie Turley switched to right-back and Tozer’s inclusion saw the Exiles line up in a loose 4-5-1 formation.

And the visitors started brightly with Reece Grego-Cox signaling his intentions on the right flank by skipping past two men early on.

And Mark Randall almost broke the deadlock after 11 minutes but his header from Tozer’s cross was just over the top of Marko Marosi’s bar.

But once again they found themselves a goal down while most fans were still digesting their pre-match pie and pint.

There were 17 minutes on the clock when Joss Labadie was adjudged to have fouled James Coppinger on the edge of the area and the Rovers midfielder slammed the free-kick past Joe Day.

An injury to Labadie meant an early reshuffle for County with Compton on in his place but Doncaster continued to look menacing.

Day dived to his right to deny John Marquis and he also saved from Harry Middleton, while Tommy Rowe fired into the side netting and Matty Blair shot wide.

It certainly wasn’t one-way traffic, however, with Jon Parkin causing problems for the hosts at the back.

The Beast played in Sean Rigg with an intelligent ball on the left of the area but the latter’s shot was fizzed across the face of goal.

And a minutes later Parkin could and probably should have levelled the match.

Marosi rushed out and failed to clear the danger and Randall squared for Parkin but he fluffed his first time shot with only defender Joe Wright to beat on the line.

But after a sluggish start to the second half Rovers took charge of the contest just before the hour.

Rowe showed good initiative to block a clearance and then square for Andy Williams to curl in a second goal for the hosts.

Feeney threw on Rhys Healey and Marlon Jackson in place of Parkin and Rigg and Healey had a great chance to halve the deficit almost straight away.

The Cardiff City striker found himself in plenty of space inside the area but his side foot effort was well saved by Marosi.

Healey also had a header cleared off the line in stoppage time but there was no way back into the game for Feeney’s men.

And the result makes next week’s home clash with basement boys Cambridge United look like a big match for the Exiles, even at this early stage of the season.

County: Day; Turley, Jones, Bennett, Butler; Grego-Cox, Tozer, Randall, Labadie (Compton, 24), Rigg (Healey, 65); Parkin (Jackson, 65)

Subs not used: Bittner, Bignot, Green, Cameron

Booked: Parkin, Turley, Bennett, Butler

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 5,254 (266 County)

Argus star man: Tozer