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All square between Cambridge United and Newport County at the Abbey Stadium in Sky Bet League Two

Greg Taylor marshalled the U's defence against Newport County.
Greg Taylor marshalled the U's defence against Newport County.

Cambridge United and Newport County battled out a goalless draw in Sky Bet League Two.

There was little to choose between the two sides at the Abbey Stadium as two well-organised and disciplined sides ended up cancelling each other out in windy conditions.

It was a stubborn performance from United in the first half, with the gusting wind going against them.

Newport have been talked of highly during the off-season, but they got off to a drawn start, throwing away a two-goal lead to be held 2-2 by 10-man Mansfield at home.

They did make the brighter beginning to this game, with Padraig Amond firing a shot from an angle into the side-netting.

A theme of the half was corners for the visitors but, despite seven set-pieces for the visitors, they never seemed to pose a hint of a threat to the U's. This was a sign of their impressive organisation, as they looked extremely hard to break down.

Jamile Matt has a header that was held with ease by Dimi Mitov, while Joss Labadie tried to make the most of a slight glimpse of goal, but pulled his shot wide.

United had taken a little while to get into the match as an attacking threat, but Jabo Ibehre fired a half-chance wide from just outside the six-yard box and Luke Hannant had a shot from the edge of the area charged down and deflected wide by Danny McNamara.

There was a blow, though, for the U's just before half time as Kyle Knoyle went down injured, with what was believed to be a dislocated shoulder.

With the sides deadlocked at the break, given the organised nature of both teams, it felt like it was going to require a moment of brilliance - or a mistake - for the first goal.

The most likely outlet to create the opening seemed to be the U's left, where Dan Jones and Hannant were combing well - with Hannant prepared to hold as his left-back surged ahead to deliver some tantalising crosses that were just a bit too close to the keeper.

That moment of magic almost came from Hannant in the 58th minute, with a curling first time effort from 25 yards that had to be punched clear by Newport keeper Tom King.

In the 66th minute, there was a heart-in-the-mouth moment for United as a ball was allowed to travel across the six-yard box and was crying out for a Newport touch before Greg Taylor got a toe to it to clear.

The Welsh side were getting a bit more of a hold in the game and, from the edge of the area, Ryan Haynes' side-footed effort was easily held by Mitov and then Amond's last action of the game saw him blaze over from the penalty spot.

A sign of what may be to come as the season develops for the U's came in the 84th minute as a lovely passing move down the right flank got them in behind the Newport defence, it was just that the final ball was unable to pick out a home player.

Newport seized on an error in the 88th minute to break away and when a cross fell to Robbie Willmott 25-yards out, Mitov pulled off a good save to deny the former U, and then some good defending smuggled the ball out for a corner.

It ended up all-square and, on the day, a draw was a fair result, and the U's will be happy to have ended a six-game losing run against the Welsh side.

Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle, Taft, Taylor, Jones, Lambe, Lewis, Maris, Hannant, Smith, Ibehre.

Substitutes: Davies (Knoyle, 44), Dallas (Jones, 70), Richards (Ibehre, 70).. Subs not used: Burton, Dunk, Darling, Knowles.

Newport County: King, Demetriou, Howkins, McNamara, Haynes, Willmott, Dolan, Labadie, Sheehan, Matt, Amond.

Substitutes: Abrahams (Dolan, 61), Bennett (Amond, 76). Subs not used: Townsend, Leadbetter, Nurse, Whitely, Maloney.
Referee: Marc Edwards.

Bookings: Cambridge United - Lewis (foul, 66); Newport - McNamara (foul, 15).

Attendance: 3,949 (224 away).

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