Hartlepool United 2 Newport County 2: Ten-man Pools earn point
Ten-man Hartlepool United put in an incredible effort to win a point against Newport County at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
Nicky Featherstone's first goal for Pools gave Craig Hignett's side a second-minute lead but within a minute, Toto Nsiala was sent off for a deliberate handball.
Scott Rigg scored from the resulting free-kick with ex-Pools loan man Jon Parkin putting County ahead with a sumptuous finish.
But Pools levelled seven minutes from the break thanks to Padraig Amond's second goal of the season.
Pools had the better of second half chances while ex-player Jack Compton threatened after coming on as a Newport sub.
To say the game had a breathtaking start would be an understatement.
Pools were in front on one minute, 38 seconds and the goal was a collector's item.
The hosts played an intricate move with Woods playing in FEATHERSTONE who finished superbly in the keeper's left corner.
But barely had the celevbrations subsided that Pools were down to 10 men.
From the kick-off, Newport attacked with Nsiala swatting the ball away on the edge of his area under pressure from Parkin.
It was a clear red-card offence and referee Haines duly produced it and Nsiala was off.
To double the punishment, RIGG'S left-footed free-kick beat Trevor Carson to his left.
Pools boss Craig Hignett put Featherstone in at centre-back though it hardly looked a fair match-up against the colossal Parkin.
And it was PARKIN who put County ahead in the 27th minute and you could only applaud the goal, with the giant striker controlling the ball on his chest before volleying brilliantly past Carson.
Pools though were still going at the Welsh side, Nathan Thomas the biggest danger, winning a number of corners and bringing a great save from Joe Day.
And Pools were level in the 38th minute when Lewis Alessandra sent over a right-ring corner which AMOND headed into the unguarded left corner.
Pools were on the front foot after the break and Woods soon drew a save from Day.
The fans in the Town End were appealing for a penalty when Thomas went down in the box, but the referee was not buying it and pointed for a goal-kick.
Pools finally made a change at the back, bringing on Scott Harrison at centre-half with Billy Paynter withdrawn.
Thomas was in inspired form, his 25-yard stunner bring an acrobatic save from Day who then saved at close range from the same player from the corner.
And the number seven was at it again when he beat three Newport players in a mesmerising run from halfway before being chopped down by Darren Jones, who was booked.
From the free-kick, Jordan Richards went just wide from 25 yards.
There was little danger at the other end though Jones headed wide from Compton's cross and Carson dived low to his right to tip around a Compton free-kick.
Rigg missed a great chance late on but Pools had earned their point.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED 2
NEWPORT COUNTY 2
Pools: Carson, Richards, Nsiala, Bates (Donnelly 75), Carroll, Alessandra, Featherstone, Woods, Thomas, Amond (Hawkins 81), Paynter (Harrison 57).
Unused Subs: Bartlett, Deverdics, Laurent, Oates.
Goals: Featherstone 2, Amond 38
Sent-off: Nsiala 3
Newport County : Day, Rigg, Myrie-Williams (Compton 53), Randall, Parkin, Jackson (Barnum-Bobb 75), Bennett, Bignot, Labadie (Tozer 64), Butler, Jones.
Unused Subs: Bittner, Owen-Evans, Sheehan, Green
Goals: Rigg 3, Parkin 27
Booked: Randall 48, Jones 62
Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 3,261(away 55)