SUBSTITUTE Tristan Abrahams levelled from the spot to cancel out Lee Martin's early opener and earn Newport County AFC a 1-1 draw at home to Exeter City. Here are the talking points...

Officials leave both sides frustrated

Michael Flynn was critical of the referee Neil Hair and his officials for allowing Exeter to retake the corner that led to the opening goal after a foul had been committed on Joss Labadie and for missing an apparent stamp on Josh Sheehan later on.

Exeter boss Matty Taylor had no issue with the award of the penalty for a foul on Sheehan but he felt the referee allowed himself to be swayed by the home fans on too many occasions in the second half.

“I just felt he had a poor afternoon,” said Taylor. “It felt like every 50-50 or every marginal call went their way and you could sense that in his body language.

“It should be irrelevant in terms of how Newport are playing, irrelevant in terms of the way the crowd are, irrelevant in terms of what their players are saying to him – you just have to make proper decisions.”

Campaign Series:

Formation switch worked for Exiles

After sticking with a 4-4-2 diamond formation for most of the season so far, Michael Flynn reverted to the 3-4-1-2 system that worked so well at the start of last season and it worked well.

Scot Bennett was County’s star man as he shifted from central midfield to the heart of the back three and he looked right at home, always calm under pressure and happy to carry the ball out of defence.

And, while Danny McNamara was unfortunate to miss out, the change allowed Robbie Willmott to make more impact going forward down the right flank than he has in a more central role.

Abrahams made the difference

It’s not often in more than two years at the club that Padraig Amond has been taken off in a tactical switch, especially at half-time, but he did struggle with little service in the first half.

And his replacement Abrahams made a big impact in the second half, teeing up Jamille Matt for a golden chance after just two minutes and keeping his cool to level from the spot.

Abrahams arrived as the third-choice front man in the summer but he’s throwing down the gauntlet to established dup Amond and Matt and giving the manager a real selection headache.

Campaign Series:

County still not clinical enough

Flynn joked after the match that he’s told Matt that he should have had a hat-trick and that the striker replied that it could have been four, while Joss Labadie and Corey Whitely also failed to make the most of great opportunities.

At times this season, the Exiles have not created enough chances but that wasn’t the problem on Saturday as they carved out the openings to beat Exeter but failed to take them.

Scoring only nine times in the first 10 league matches tells its own story and the manager will be hoping that one big win, on a day when everything clicks, will see the goals flow more freely.

Read more: Newport County boss frustrated by missed chances and referee's decisions