Newport City bounced back from their recent 4-3 defeat at Caerau as they produced an outstanding performance to secure a convincing 4-1 victory against Panteg at the Cwmbran Stadium.
City got off to a dream start as they went ahead within the first minute following a good run into the box by Martyn Mickiewicz who chipped the ball over Panteg ‘keeper James Aurelius and provided Mark Dunford a simple tap in at the right hand near post. Despite controlling the opening ten minutes, City were brought back down to earth in the 14th minute after failing to clear a corner. This eventually led to Dwain Hunt crossing into the penalty area from the left hand touchline which allowed Callum Hodges to power a header into the back of the net to level the score against the run of play. Despite the setback, the Steelmen reacted superbly and went back in front in the 26th minute following a counter attack which led to Berardin Fetahi wrestle his way into the penalty area and firing an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner.
The hosts had the ball in the back of net just two minutes later after Luke Dyke had rounded past City ‘keeeper Tsvetan Pateev for a tap-in, but the striker saw the goal ruled out for offside. Panteg ramped up the pressure in search for an equaliser as Hunt hit the side netting, whilst Ben Walker and Alex Robert both saw great opportunities blocked by the City defence.
The missed chances proved crucial on the stroke of half time when Mickiewicz grabbed his second assist of the day by delivering a defence-splitting through ball into the penalty area where Fetahi was on hand to drive a low finish into the back of the net, ensuring that the Steelmen entered the interval with a commanding lead.
City returned to the field on the front foot in search for a fourth goal and dominated proceedings for the start of the second half. Kareem Leigh saw his strike inside the area tipped round the right hand post, whilst Fetahi almost sealed a hat-trick after smacking a 45 yard effort against the post. City’s relentless attack finally paid off just after the hour mark when Fetahi delivered a cross into the six yard box where Leigh was on hand to tap-in a fourth goal.
City continued to control the game and almost added a fifth goal in the 75th minute when a good run down the right flank by Leigh saw him break into the area before sending a strike into the side netting. The hosts did eventually apply some pressure and came close to bagging a consolation goal when Brad Baker saw his shot cleared off the goal line by Sam Graves, whilst Pateev was forced into saving a low shot from Dyke.
City responded in kind and almost extended their lead in the closing stages when Fetahi witnessed his chipped effort from the edge of the area cleared off the goal-line, whilst Leigh thundered a stunning 40 yard effort against the crossbar. In the end the Steelmen saw out the game comfortably to seal a spectacular victory.
Overall it was an sensational performance and a convincing victory for Newport City as they recorded what was arguably their best display of the season. The result sets the side up in great shape ahead of the season finale as they aim to finish with a flourish.
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