Newtown 1 Carmarthen Town 1

NEWTOWN were left to rue missed chances and two controversial refereeing decisions as Carmarthen Town held out for a point at Latham Park.

Despite injury, suspension and the exit of defender Ben Bailey reducing the Robins to a threadbare squad the home side welcomed the Old Gold as favourites with Latham Park a fortress this season.

Newtown took the initiative from the start with Alex Fletcher dictating from midfield with his 11th minute cross narrowly steered over by Luke Boundford.

The home side remained on the front foot with Carmarthen stretched by the free running Steve Leslie who twice went close during the opening exchanges.

However the visitors led against the run of play with Callum Roberts adjudged to have impeded Liam Thomas in the area with referee Tom Owen pointing to the spot with Thomas slotting home from the spot.

The galvanised Old Gold threatened to double the lead with the hosts indebted to goalkeeper Dave Jones who produced a stunning double save to deny Luke Bowen on 35 minutes.

Newtown made the most of their let off and just before the break Nick Rushton headed home Roberts' left wing cross to level.

Rushton almost added a second on the stroke of half-time only to scuff wide.

The second-half was an onslaught and the most one sided half of the season with the Robins utterly dominant.

Rushton teed up Leslie whose powerful 18 yard drive was tipped away by goalkeeper Lee Idzi on 51 minutes.

Three minutes later Rushton chipped Idzi only to be denied by the woodwork as Carmarthen survived.

The relentless pressure continued with Neil Mitchell's low right wing cross narrowly failing to be turned home by Sam Phillips on the far post before Boundford once again tested Idzi on the hour mark.

However referee Owen harshly cautioned Roberts for diving despite clear contact and 15 minutes from the end Kieran Mills-Evans was clattered in the visitors goalmouth only for the official to reject appeals.

Newtown frustrations were almost compounded when Lee Surman blasted over the bar from close range with seven minutes remaining.

Ethan Jones was introduced for the hosts late on and embarked on several buccaneering runs at the heart of the Old Gold defence but could not find the goal Newtown's second-half dominance deserved.

NEWTOWN D Jones, Roberts, Mills-Evans, Denny, Mitchell, Rushton, Boundford, Leslie, Kenton, Phillips (E Jones 81), Fletcher. Subs: Cook, Cadwallader, Perry