NEWPORT County AFC drew 1-1 for the second time in a week after being hit by a late Colchester United leveller in Essex.

The Exiles looked set to make the long trip back to south Wales with three points courtesy of Dom Telford’s delightful first-half finish.

However, the U’s claimed a share of the spoils with 13 minutes to go when Freddie Sears latched onto a chipped pass and lobbed over Joe Day, who had come off his line and then stopped.

After drawing at Crawley on Tuesday thanks to Telford’s late leveller, County were the victims of a frustrating equaliser.

Here are the talking points from the Jobserve Community Stadium…

South Wales Argus: DELIGHT: Dom Telford celebrates for CountyDELIGHT: Dom Telford celebrates for County


Telford has now hit 13 goals in League Two and is on a seven-game scoring streak in the league.

His remarkable form and confidence meant it was a goal from the moment he cut onto his left foot after James Clarke’s excellent tackle and assist.

It was similar to the strike against Plymouth in the EFL Trophy that got the ball rolling and the effort against Stevenage when he whipped it into the far corner.

Had Telford got a second then it would have been three points – he hit the post with another long-range effort and was unmarked in front of goal when strike partner Courtney Baker-Richardson opted to drive at the near post rather than attempt a cross.

However, it will be a surprise if County don’t have a 20-goal striker this season and that should put them in the mix for promotion.

Boss James Rowberry was asked at the supporters meeting why Telford didn't get a crack last season after arriving from Plymouth in January.

He did and the brutal answer is that he wasn't very good. His efforts didn't demand inclusion and he failed to grasp his chances (missing a sitter at Walsall stands out).

Telford wasn't helped by the poor Parade pitch and no forwards really shone in the second half of the campaign with Michael Flynn eventually settling for the hard-working duo of Padraig Amond and Lewis Collins even if they weren’t prolific.

County would have gone up with this version of Telford but and it goes to show the value of confidence for a forward.

South Wales Argus: ERROR: Joe Day was at fault for the levellerERROR: Joe Day was at fault for the leveller


Telford’s late goal earned a point at Crawley yet it still took a fantastic even later save by Joe Day to deny the hosts a 2-1 win in Sussex.

Three nights later the goalkeeper was at fault for the Colchester leveller, giving Sears an opportunity that he grasped with an excellent lofted finish under pressure.

Day came off his line, stopped and made the experienced striker’s decision up for him.

It was a moment to make plenty ponder whether Nick Townsend, who is better with his feet, deserves a crack between the sticks.

However, he hasn’t grasped his chances so far this season, mixing wonder saves with letting poor goals in.

Day probably has enough credit in the bank but it will be interesting to see if Rowberry, with the input of goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman, makes a change against Sutton.

South Wales Argus: County boss James Rowberry at the final whisleCounty boss James Rowberry at the final whisle


County now have a breather after being knocked out of the FA Cup with their next game against Sutton at Rodney Parade on Tuesday, December 7.

It has been a good start under Rowberry, albeit the Exiles have endured a frustrating week.

The manager started with three wins but then suffered a first loss to Swindon, scrambled a draw at Crawley and endured the disappointment of the Colchester leveller.

In a way this has provided Rowberry with a proper taste of League Two – the games have come thick and fast, the margins have been tight.

County could easily have claimed nine points in a week but they could also have endured a whitewash.

Instead the new manager has picked up a pair of draws to make it 11 points from his first 18 and that is a promising start that keeps them right in the play-offs pack.

Now comes a vital period with Sutton (h), Port Vale (h), Rochdale (a), Forest Green (h), Leyton Orient (a) and Walsall (a) on New Year's Day.

County will hope a change of manager can avoid the winter wobble.