NEWPORT County AFC saw two more points go begging at Rodney Parade as they dominated proceedings against Walsall but again failed to find the net.

After 1-0 defeats to Plymouth Argyle and Cambridge United, County have now gone more than five hours without scoring in League Two.

This was a second stalemate against the Saddlers after the at the 0-0 draw at the Bescot Stadium back in August and it means the Exiles have netted just 27 times in 30 league games.

It wasn’t for the want of trying as they once again created plenty of chances, but there was no end product to warm the hearts of the home fans on a chilly night in Newport.

There were three changes following Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Cambridge as Josh Sheehan missed out through injury and Kyle Howkins and Robbie Willmott dropped to the bench.

Manager Michael Flynn handed first starts to January loan signings Dale Gorman, Otis Khan and Billy Waters and, while the latter in particular looked a little rusty early on, all three made a positive impact.

Gorman lined up alongside Joss Labadie in central midfield and he protected the back four well, while also demonstrating his ability to pick a pass.

Khan started on the left, while Waters played in a central role just off front man Jamille Matt.

And both linked up well with Mickey Demetriou, excelling again at left-back in the continued absence through injury of Ryan Haynes and George Nurse.

County made most of the running in a largely uneventful first 45 minutes with Ryan Inniss heading wide early on and then hooking a shot goalwards midway through the half.

Waters saw one effort blocked and then failed to get a shot away after being released by Demetriou.

Jordan Green also got crowded out after cutting in from the right flank, while Gorman blasted high over the bar from 25 yards.

The Saddlers rarely threatened in the first half, apart from one dangerous cross that was cut out by Dan Leadbitter.

The right-back then added to the Exiles’ injury woes as he was forced off and replaced by Willmott in stoppage-time.

With Ashley Baker also ruled out, Leadbitter’s withdrawal completed the set of all four full-backs in the treatment room.

Campaign Series:

With a makeshift back four, County evidently decided that attack was the best form of defence and they started the second half on the offensive.

Green cut in from the right but his left-foot effort lacked the power or the precision to trouble visiting goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

Waters then controlled a long ball forward and beat his man before dragging a shot wide.

And Gorman released Green, whose cross-shot was beaten away by Roberts.

Waters made way for top scorer Padraig Amond midway through the second half to add to the Exiles’ firepower.

And, straightaway, a tempting Khan free-kick almost found the head of Matt in the middle only for Roberts to claw it away to safety at the last moment.

Matt had another chance when Green controlled a high ball forward from Willmott and picked out the striker in the middle, but his glancing header failed to hit the target.

Flynn’s last throw of the dice was to introduce Tristan Abrahams in place of the tiring Green 13 minutes from time.

But, try as they might, they couldn’t find a way through the massed ranks of visiting defenders in the closing stages and it was another frustrating evening for Flynn’s men.

County: King; Leadbitter (Willmott, 45+1), Inniss, Bennett, Demetriou; Labadie, Gorman; Green (Abrahams, 77), Waters (Amond, 66), Khan; Matt

Subs not used: Howkins, Woodiwiss, Collins

Booked: Willmott

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 3,049 (188 Walsall)

Argus star man: Demetriou