Exeter City fell to a 2-1 defeat away at Newport County despite a spirited second half performance where they created enough chances to have earned something from the match.
After a first-half performance where they had created little and fell behind to a Padraig Amond header, City got back on level terms through a Jayden Stockley header and could have taken the lead with a couple more efforts at goal.
However, a goal from Robbie Willmott against the run of play put the hosts back in front. City pushed forward in search of an equaliser and had another effort blocked on the line and were denied by a great save from Day in the final minute of stoppage time.
Match report sponsored by Speedy Freight
City manager Paul Tisdale made five changes to the starting line-up with Pierce Sweeney, Troy Archibald-Henville, Craig Woodman, Ryan Harley and Lloyd James coming back into the side.
In a first-half of very little chances at either end, it was Newport County who went close to opening the scoring on three minutes as Joss Labadie flicked a low cross onto the outside of the post after three minutes.
Four minutes later and the hosts were in front when Robbie Willmott got down the left and delivered an inch-perfect cross for Padraig Amond to loop a header over Christy Pym.
There were very few chances after that though, with Lloyd James free-kick, which was saved at the near post, the closest City coming to getting an equaliser before the break.
At the other end, Amond had a shot well blocked after the ball ricocheted to him kindly off Dan Seaborne in the 26th minute.
City started the second half much better though with Jake Taylor and Dean Moxey taking positions further up the pitch to offer more support to Stockley.
The tactical switch had the desired effect as James had an effort cleared off the line by Ben White on 46 minutes before Stockley headed City level from a superb Taylor cross from the right.
City were indebted to some excellent keeping from Pym though as he was off his line quickly to stop Willmott from profiting on a Dan Seaborne slip.
A couple of minutes later and City should have been in front but James could only direct Harley’s cross over the top of Joe Day’s crossbar from eight yards out.
Then on 65 minutes the home side took the lead once more as they got a break down the left hand side which created space for Willmott in the middle and he unleashed a shot past Pym from 25 yards out.
Willmott then almost made it 3-1 as he cut in from the left and hit a shot that Pym had to turn around his post.
Tis then looked to his bench, bringing on Lee Holmes for James with 20 minutes left, and Reuben Reid for Seaborne with nine minutes to go.
Holmes went close as he hit a speculative effort from 25 yards that Day turned behind for a corner and then, moments later, he crossed for Sweeney to head just over.
Then in the seventh minute of time added on Sweeney was denied by a point-blank save from Day after the ball had fell to him at the back post.
Newport County AFC: Day, Pipe, Butler, Labadie, White, Willmott, Dolan (Owen-Evans, 81), Amond, Nouble, Bennett, Demetriou. Subs not used: Bittner, Reynolds, Tozer, McCoulsky, Foulston, Touray.
Booked: Pipe, Dolan
Exeter City: Pym; Sweeney, Archibald-Henville, Seaborne (Reid, 81), Woodman; Taylor, James (Holmes, 71), Tillson, Harley, Moxey; Stockley (McAlinden, 90). Subs not used: Hamon, Edwards, Boateng.
Booked: James, Tillson
Attendance: 3,380 (499, away)