Newport County 2 Carlisle United 0: Danny Grainger had a late penalty saved as Carlisle suffered a deserved defeat at Newport to make it five games without a win.

The United captain's 87th-minute spot-kick was pushed away by home keeper Joe Day.

That denied the Blues what would have been a slim lifeline as they were comfortably second best in south Wales.

Ade Azeez struck in the 14th minute and Padraig Amond added another on 66 minutes for the hosts.

That was enough to send Steven Pressley's side down to ninth in League Two, though they remain a point outside the play-off places.

Azeez struck the first blow as the hosts made a forceful start.

The striker, recalled to the home line-up by boss Mike Flynn, was free at the far post to turn home after Newport had won a free header after a corner.

Carlisle could easily have led themselves before that, Hallam Hope going clear through the middle onto Callum O'Hare's pass but denied by Day, Mark Cullen's follow-up diverted wide by a defender.

United, though, could also have conceded before they did, Amond driving a low shot against the inside of the post.

The Cumbrians then often found themselves up against it after going behind.

The hosts made the much more effective running with their three-man attack often fed by deliveries from deep and wide positions, as they applied pressure on United's rearguard.

Carlisle tried to respond with some more inventive play, often involving O'Hare and Stefan Scougall, but by contrast their own openings were scarce.

Visiting keeper Adam Collin denied Azeez when the Exiles turned United on the break, before, at the other end, Day parried a Scougall attempt, Tom Parkes' shot from the resulting corner deflecting wide.

The hosts lost Matt Dolan to injury on 31 minutes, Josh Sheehan taking his place, but they continued worrying United with striker Jamille Matt increasingly influential leading the line.

He almost made it two on 40 minutes when nobody in blue reacted to Kelvin Etuhu's interception, but Collin again parried Matt's drilled shot.

On the stroke of half-time Sheehan went down in the box under O'Hare's challenge but the Newport sub was booked for diving.

Unchanged United then failed to create anything of note in a shot-shy second half, which saw Matt fire over and Azeez fail to connect fully with another dangerous delivery for the hosts.

Sheehan saw a shot blocked before the Blues went further behind - a short corner worked to Sheehan, his cross won in the box, and Grainger unable to see the ball to safety when facing his own goal as Amond nipped in to score his 21st of the season.

Carlisle boss Pressley brought on Nathan Thomas for Etuhu and the sub supplied a chance which Hope volleyed into the side-netting.

Other opportunities, though, were sorely lacking, Scot Bennett and Robbie Willmott having further attempts for the hosts before Carlisle got late hope when Parkes was dragged down in the box as he competed for a free-kick.

Ref Ross Joyce pointed to the spot but Day guessed correctly to deny Grainger, and it is now two points from the last 15 for the Cumbrians.

There were 233 United fans at Rodney Parade in a 3,432 crowd.

Newport: Day, Butler, Demetriou, O’Brien, Poole, Bennett, Dolan (Sheehan 31), Willmott, Azeez (McKirdy 84), Amond, Matt (Labadie 74). Not used: Townsend, Pipe, Bakinson, Marsh-Brown.

United: Collin, Liddle, Grainger, Parkes, Gerrard, Etuhu (Thomas 67), Slater, O'Hare, Scougall, Hope (McCarron 86), Cullen. Not used: Gray, Miller, Kennedy, Jones, Grant.