NEWPORT County AFC couldn't find a way past Walsall, who battled to a 0-0 draw at Rodney Parade last night. Here are the talking points...

Five hours without a goal in League Two

Last night’s stalemate, which followed 1-0 defeats to Plymouth Argyle and Cambridge United, means County have now gone more than five hours without scoring in League Two – Joss Labadie’s winner in the 34th minute against Macclesfield Town on January 28.

It was a second goalless draw against the Saddlers this season after both sides drew a blank at the Bescot Stadium back in August and it means the Exiles have netted just 27 times in 30 league games.

Once again it was a case of Michael Flynn’s men failing to take their chances as they racked up 16 shots on goal but only three on target throughout the 90 minutes.

With 19 shots against Cambridge and 16 at Plymouth, they’ve now managed 51 efforts on goal in the last three league games without finding the net.

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Opportunity missed in play-off race 

With fifth-placed Colchester United and sixth-placed Northampton Town both losing at home last night, they left the door open to the chasing pack.

While County could only draw, wins for Cheltenham Town, Bradford City and Port Vale saw them make up ground on the U’s and the Cobblers.

There is now just one point separating Colchester in fifth and ninth-placed Vale, whose win at Forest Green Rovers means they have opened up a gap of six points from ninth to 10th.

The Exiles are now a massive 11 points off the top seven and the play-offs look a long shot, although their three games in hand over the five teams above them means they cannot be written off just yet.

Injury crisis gets worse, and worse 

County’s ambitions for the remainder of the season have hardly been boosted by an ill-timed glut of injuries.

Already without defenders Mark O’Brien, Ashley Baker, Ryan Haynes and George Nurse, and midfielders Josh Sheehan and Matty Dolan, Flynn lost second-choice goalkeeper Nick Townsend to a calf strain before the Saddlers clash.

And Dan Leadbitter was forced off in first-half stoppage time yesterday, meaning the Exiles are currently without both left-backs and now both right-backs as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to Mansfield Town.

Baker and Leadbitter could both be out for the season and Flynn is now on the hunt for a free agent to fill in at right-back.

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New boys showed real promise

The big positive last night was the performance of January loan signings Dale Gorman, Otis Khan and Billy Waters (above), all of whom made their first starts for the club.

Gorman in particular impressed on his debut with an excellent all-round midfield display, helping out in defence and also getting forward to produce key passes in attack.

Khan proved a threat with some tempting set-piece deliveries and he linked well with Mickey Demetriou down the left, especially in the first half.

Waters looked rusty at times but he often got into great positions and he did enough to suggest that he could provide a cutting edge with more game-time.

Read more: Newport County boss faces injury crisis after Walsall stalemate