GOALS from Padraig Amond and Josh Sheehan saw Newport County AFC race in to a 2-0 lead in their behind-closed-doors friendly at Bristol City today but they eventually had to settle for a draw.

County boss Michael Flynn started with a back four with centre-backs Mickey Demetriou and new signing Fraser Franks flanked by fellow new boy Tyler Forbes at right-back and Dan Butler on the left.

Wales international Andrew Crofts lined up in midfield alongside Matty Dolan and Sheehan, with Robbie Willmott and former Forest Green Rovers man Keanu Marsh-Brown supporting striker Amond.

And it was Irishman Amond who gave the Exiles the lead in the seventh minute with a neat finish from a tight angle after being released by Sheehan.

Former Swansea City midfielder Sheehan doubled County’s advantage in the 10th minute when his low strike from the edge of the area found the bottom corner.

But a Bristol side featuring Croatia under-19 international Tin Plavotic, former Nottingham Forest winger Jamie Paterson, Wales international Marley Watkins and £2m Austrian striker Andreas Weimann fought back to level before the break.

Joe Day saved well from Weimann before seeing a Paterson effort hit the bar.

At the other end, the Robins’ trialist goalkeeper produced a double save to deny Dan Butler and Amond from close range.

But the hosts pulled one back on 37 minutes when Weimann’s shot was deflected past Day and they levelled five minutes later.

Day was unable to hold Aden Baldwin’s downward header from Liam Walsh’s corner, and the onrushing Watkins poked home from a yard.

There was still time for Day to push a Paterson shot onto the bar before the interval.

Flynn made 11 changes for the second half with Jay Foulston, Mark O’Brien, Scot Bennett, Charlie Cooper, David Pipe, Momodou Touray and Jamille Matt playing alongside four unnamed trialists.

Matt and O’Brien both went close in the opening stages of the second period before Bristol made eight changes of their own on the hour.

Bennet tested the trialist keeper and home sub Tyreeq Bakinson almost produced a winner late on but it ended all square.

County starting XI: Day, Forbes, Franks, Demetriou, Butler, Crofts, Dolan, Sheehan, Willmott, Marsh-Brown, Amond

County second-half XI: Trialist 1, Foulston, O’Brien, Bennett, Trialist 2, Trialist 3, Cooper, Pipe, Touray, Matt, Trialist 4