NEWPORT County AFC and Tranmere Rovers were both left frustrated by a 0-0 stalemate at Rodney Parade. Here are the talking points...

Referee the centre of attention

Alan Young was a late replacement for Eddie Ilderton and he probably wishes he’d kept his kept his original appointment as fourth official at Brentford, given the amount of stick he got from the Rodney Parade crowd.

The Cambridgeshire referee, who is in his first season in the Football League, did not endear himself to the County fans by booking Joss Labadie and Dan Butler early on and appearing to offer Tranmere much more leniency.

And in general his overly fussy officiating made for a frustratingly stop-start contest, but the officials’ decision to rule out Labadie’s late strike for offside looked to be the right call.

Goals everywhere, apart from Rodney Parade

Unbelievably, County and Tranmere played out the only goalless draw in the top four divisions in England as defences ruled in Newport.

Rovers went closest to scoring as they hit the bar in the first half with a header from Mark Ellis and substitute Chris Dagnall struck the post from close range after the break.

The Exiles were the ones who needed the three point more and they were the team pushing for a winner as the clock ticked down, but a lack of quality in the final third proved costly and the afternoon ended in frustration.

South Wales Argus:

Amond has to start

County’s relative struggles in attack made it all the more puzzling to see top scorer Padraig Amond forced to wait until the 82nd minute before he came on to make his 100th appearance for the club.

The striker missed last week’s win at Yeovil Town with an elbow injury – the first league game he’s sat out since his move from Hartlepool United in August 2017.

But Amond and manager Michael Flynn both insist that he was fit to start and it would be a major surprise if the 30-year-old is not back in the starting XI for Tuesday’s home clash with Swindon Town.

Swindon now a must-win game

The stalemate was not a disaster for Flynn’s men, who remain six point behind seventh-placed Exeter City with a game in hand after the Grecians drew at Cheltenham Town.

But a Christian Doidge double, the second coming in the 88th minute, gave Forest Green Rovers a vital victory at Crawley Town and may well have put them out of the Exiles’ reach in sixth place.

Unless Mark Cooper’s men suffer a late collapse, there could be just one play-off place up for grabs and the games are running out so County really need to beat 10th-placed Swindon on Tuesday night.

Read more: Match report from Rodney Parade

Read more: Michael Flynn staying positive after stalemate