Newport City were made to dig deep as they managed to battle their way to a hard-earned draw against Neuadd Wen. In what proved to be an even opening affair, Kareem Leigh almost scored for the hosts in the 10th minute but fired narrowly wide past the left hand post from close range. The miss turned out to be costly as the visitors went ahead six minutes later when Anthony Rees beat his markers to a corner delivery, and sent a thumping header into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
City tried to claw their way back into the game, and came agonisingly close to equalising in the 32nd minute when Aaron Carew smashed an effort from five yards out against the top right hand post. The hosts had a lucky escape five minutes later when a 35 yard strike from Wayne Antoniazzi was well saved by Tsvetan Pateev before Kristian Powell tapped in the resulting rebound from close range, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
The Steelmen had an opportunity to level the score a minute into first half stoppage time through Jordan Francombe, but the winger sent his effort well wide over the bar. However City were eventually rewarded two minutes later when Bernardin Fetahi floated the ball into the area and found Leigh who looped the ball over Neuadd Wen ‘keeper Colin Adams and into the back of the net as City entered the
interval on level terms.
The visitors started the second half strongly and restored their lead in the 59th minute when Powell managed to connect on to a long ball before wrestling his way into the penalty area and blasted the ball past the helpless Pateev at his near post. Neuadd Wen almost doubled their lead eight minutes later following an effective counter attacking move which saw Jordan Maisey narrowly drag his shot wide past the left hand post.
Things got worse for City when substitute Patrick Pope was sent off after being deemed to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity following a foul on Maisey in the 71st minute. The resulting free kick from the edge of the area was taken by Jason Brewer who struck the ball against the left hand post as City survived falling further behind.
The red card surprisingly seemed to spring the Steelmen into life as they applied the pressure during the closing stages. In the 77th minute Francombe delivered a cross into the six yard box where Nick Simcock was on hand to force Adams into a save. City came even closer to levelling two minutes later when Fetahi managed to find himself unmarked inside the six yard box, but the Italian saw his shot cleared off the goal line.
Having already made their allocated three substitutions, City found themselves reduced to nine men after Simcock was stretchered off. However just when it seemed like everything was going against them, City were handed a golden opportunity to equalise in the 89th minute when they were awarded a penalty following a push on Chubb inside the area during a corner delivery.
Robbie James made no mistake as he converted the resulting spot kick to sensationally level the score. Neuadd Wen pushed up in numbers throughout the additional seven minutes of stoppage time as they looked to make their numerical numbers count while searching for a winner. City dug deep to hang on and were
thankful to Pateev who made a crucial late save from Maisey that ensured City managed to secure an unlikely draw from the game.
Overall it was a well earned point for the Steelmen as they were made to fight hard to claim a point in difficult circumstances. The determination and fighting spirit displayed by City will give them every reason to feel confident ahead of this weekend’s league away clash against Bridgend Street.
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