Tristan Abrahams was brought off the bench to take the penalty that allowed Newport to level matters at 1-1 against Crawley and extend their unbeaten league run at Rodney Parade to 16 matches.
The home side had hoped to push for a place at the top of the table, but instead found themselves cut down to size by a 35th-minute penalty. Crawley rode out an early storm and then hit County on the counter to earn a penalty for handball as a cross from Bez Lubala hit Danny McNamara’s arm in a sea of players.
Up stepped Ashley Nathaniel-George and he easily beat Tom King in the home goal. That forced a reaction from home manager Michael Flynn after the break as he changed his team’s shape by introducing George Nurse and Corey Whitley.
Now the pressure was all one way and when Tarryn Allarakhia chopped down Josh Sheehan, Abrahams emerged off the bench to save his side with a precision penalty. He almost won the game at the death after three successive corners earned him a shot that hit a post and stayed out.