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23:41 3rd July 2012

IT is now ten games unbeaten and a record-breaking 12 on the road for Rob Scott and Paul Hurst's side as they dug in to earn a creditable point following this stalemate in South Wales - a result that denied the hosts a return to top spot and kept the Mariners in the chasing pack. 

There was one change for Town following Tuesday night's 3-0 win over Gateshead at Blundell Park. A fifth booking of the season for Derek Niven saw him replaced by Frankie Artus with Andi Thanoj stepping into the void on the substitutes' bench. Otherwise, it was as you were for a Grimsby side looking to end September undefeated. 

But Newport are a different proposition at their new Rodney Parade ground and they came flying out of the blocks, almost taking the lead on two minutes. Andy Sandell whipped in a terrific free kick, which James McKeown did well to turn behind with a fingertip save. 

Town withstood that early pressure and their first effort on goal came seven minutes later when Ross Hannah, looking to make it three goals in his first three Mariners' appearances, spotted big goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley off his line but his 35-yard chip was over Pidgeley and over the crossbar. 

Scott and Hurst's men had settled into their rhythm now and it was a cagey opening 45 minutes from both sides, with each aware of the other's threat going forward. Indeed the next real effort of note didn't come until eight minutes before the interval when County's top scorer, Aaron O'Connor, tested McKeown after working some space in the 18-yard box. 

And then came a glorious chance for the hosts to take the lead just before the break. O'Connor floated a dangerous ball in between defender and goalkeeper and McKeown reacted superbly to get something on the ball but it dropped for Danny Crow, who looked certain to score, but the North East Lincolnshire lad didn't bank on Nathan Pond getting back to clear the lines for the visitors. 

Neither side made a change at the interval but the impetus was now with the Mariners who came close to taking the lead themselves within five minutes of the restart. A ball from Hannah found Joe Colbeck in the box and the former Hereford man had his head in his hands as Pidgeley somehow got down to get a hand to the ball and turn it behind for a corner. 

Town had scored twice from set pieces in the midweek win over Gateshead and Colbeck peppered the County box on several occasions from corners as the game passed the hour mark. 

Journeyman Jefferson Louis received the game's first caution and this prompted home boss Justin Edinburgh into making the first change of the afternoon, bringing on Ben Swallow in place of the ex-Lincoln striker. 

And Swallow almost had the perfect introduction when he latched onto a low ball from O'Connor but he struck the outside of the post with his effort from inside the penalty area. 

Hannah was the first Mariners' player to pick up a booking on 77 minutes but within seconds he was in the thick of the action for the right reasons, getting to the byline and pulling the ball inside for Craig Disley; the Town skipper did well to make contact with a difficult chance but he couldn't keep the effort down and it sailed over Pidgeley's goal. 

Scott and Hurst made their first change of the afternoon with eleven minutes remaining as Anthony Elding replaced big Andy Cook up front before a double substitution on 85 minutes as youngster Dayle Southwell came on for Hannah and Thanoj for Scott Neilson, with Artus going to the left wing. 

Surprisingly it was the Mariners making all the late running and, not unlike fellow sub Swallow, Southwell almost made an immediate impression for the visitors but he saw two goalbound efforts blocked in the penalty area by Ismail Yakubu in quick succession. 

The final chance of the game came in the last minute and again it was from a Town set piece. Artus' original cross was cleared but the ball was worked back out to him on the right and he lofted a ball to the far post where Elding got a header in that was just off target. 

A point means Town are now 12 games unbeaten on the road, stretching back to a defeat to Fleetwood Town in early March, beating a record set in 2005 when Russell Slade's side went eleven games unbeaten in all competitions on their travels between April and November. 

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.