NEWPORT County AFC again had to settle for a draw as Mickey Demetriou’s missed penalty ensured that Forest Green Rovers’ unbeaten record remains intact.

Scot Bennett’s unfortunate own goal had put the hosts ahead but Padraig Amond levelled before the break.

Rovers also hit the woodwork twice in the first half but County will feel they should have won in front of 964 travelling fans at The New Lawn.

Manager Michael Flynn was forced into one change as Charlie Cooper was ineligible against his parent club.

He was replaced by Robbie Willmott, who returned from a three-game ban after his sending off against Yeovil Town last month.

Slotting in behind the front three, Willmott played his part in an encouraging opening 10 minutes from the visitors.

Amond and Jamille Matt linked well as the Exiles started on the front foot and they felt they should have had a penalty after 10 minutes.

Dan Butler’s deep corner was headed back across goal by Amond and appeared to strike a Rovers hand in the box but referee Tim Robinson was unmoved by the appeals from the striker and his manager on the touchline.

The hosts then took the initiative and were unfortunate not to be ahead in the 12th minute when Carl Winchester beat Joe Day with a powerful curling effort from 20 yards but saw the ball cannon off the post to safety.

Reuben Reid was proving a handful for Demetriou and Fraser Franks and he put in a dangerous cross that was just cleared before Tahvon Campbell could meet it.

The warning signs were there for County and they found themselves a goal down after 18 minutes when Dayle Grubb’s cross was diverted past Day and into his own net by Scot Bennett.

Rovers haven’t conceded more than a single goal in any of their games so far this season so it was always going to be a tough task for Flynn’s men to claw their way back into the game.

But they set about the task with a real purpose and they were level 20 minutes later.

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Demetriou had headed off target from a free-kick and Antoine Semenyo wasted a decent chance when played in by Amond.

But the pressure was building and Amond got the equaliser on 38 minutes as he guided the ball into the corner with the outside of his foot after being picked out by Willmott 15 yards from goal.

Just as County had responded to going a goal down, Rovers reacted well to being pegged back and they finished the first half in the ascendency.

Reece Brown beat Demetriou too easily on the edge of the box but he then dragged his shot wide.

Reid went much closer a minute later when he turned on the edge of the box and saw a quick snap shot clip the top of the bar, possibly via Day’s fingertips.

Reid fired just over the top again before the break but the Exiles survived to set up an entertaining end-to-end second half.

In the opening minutes Bennett headed just wide and Semenyo smashed a shot straight at Sanchez and at the other end Day got down well to deny Welshman Liam Shephard.

County were looking very dangerous in attack and after a series of scrambled shots in the Rovers area they were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead on 65 minutes.

Reid was lucky to escape with a yellow card as he stuck out an arm to prevent a goal a yard in front of the line and fortune favoured the hosts again when Demetriou, who had scored from the spot in the last two games, blasted the penalty over the bar.

The chances kept coming at both ends as Grubb had Day scrambling to his left and the Exiles stopper was glad to see the ball whizz past his post.

Butler crossed for Amond late on but his header was too close to Sanchez at the far post and Rovers, the draw specialists, earned another point.

County: Day; Forbes, Franks, Demetriou, Butler; Bakinson, Bennett, Willmott (Pring, 81); Semenyo, Matt (Harris, 90), Amond

Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, Dolan, Sheehan, Marsh-Brown

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 3,081 (964 County)

Argus star man: Amond