Newport City bounced back from last week’s disappointing defeat against Treharris with a hard-earned draw against high flying Tredegar Town.
Things didn’t start well for City as they found themselves behind in the 7th minute when a right sided cross was delivered towards the far post where the unmarked Lewis Parfitt was on hand to head the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net. City responded well and came close to leveling the score just a minute later when Jake Buckley sent a cross into the the penalty area and found Kareem Leigh who saw his goal bound header cleared off the line.
Tsvetan Pateev was then called into action and produced a series of fine saves from Lewis Cruickshank, Adley Curtis and Ian Pettit as Tredegar ramped up the pressure. City managed to weather the storm and come close to scoring in the 20th minute when Phil Draper, who for this match was selected as an outfield player, saw his curling effort from the edge the area saved by Tredegar ‘keeper Kris Morris. The Steelmen were eventually rewarded seven minutes later when Dean Palmer delivered a free kick into the path of Robbie James who thumped a close range header into the back of the net to level the score.
City’s joy was however short-lived when Tredegar were awarded a penalty five minutes later after Jordan Francombe was alleged to have handled the ball inside the area. The resulting spot-kick was converted by Pettit as the hosts re-gained control of the game. The hosts almost doubled their lead five minutes later when Calum Evans managed to wrestle his way through on goal inside the area, but sent his strike wide over the bar. Much to City’s disbelief, Tredegar were awarded a second penalty two minutes before the interval when Nick Simcock was this time alleged to have handled inside the area. Pettit stepped up again to take the spot kick but was this time thwarted by Pateev who dived low down to his right and produced a fine save to keep City in the game.
The second half turned out to be an even affair as both sides enjoyed their fair share of chances and possession. The hosts almost doubled their lead on the hour mark through Charles Davies who sent a long range strike from the left hand byline narrowly wide over the goal. City introduced Benardin Fetahi to the field in the 68th minute, and the substitution turned out to be an inspired change as the midfielder made an immediate impact just two minutes later. A smart pass by Leigh found Fetahi on the edge of the right hand corner of the area, and the Italian produced a moment of magic by smashing a stunning effort into the top left hand corner to level the game again.
Tredegar reacted strongly and came close to regaining the lead soon afterwards as Pateev had to be on alert to keep out efforts from Danny Hillman and Adam Hughes. The final five minutes turned out to be a frenetic finale as both sides were provided with opportunities to win the game. Jordan Chubb sent a 20 yard effort wide over the bar, while Pateev produced a magnificent finger tip save from Evans whose header appeared to be flying into the top right hand corner of the net. City thought they had won it in stoppage time when Leigh broke into the area and struck the ball low into the bottom right hand corner of the net, but the goal was agonisingly ruled out for offside as the game ended all square.
Overall it was a well earned point for the Steelmen as they bounced back from last week’s disappointing defeat against Treharris. The determination and fighting spirit displayed by City will give them every reason to feel confident ahead of this weekend’s FAW Trophy clash against Caerphilly Athletic this Saturday.
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