Newport City endured a disappointing day as they were beaten 2-0 by Bridgend Street in a match that was played in difficult conditions at the Willows, Cardiff. The heavy rain earlier in the day did no favours to either side as the game was played on a wet and slippery pitch with several cut-up areas. In what proved to be a scrappy opening affair, City got off to a disastrous start. In the 9th minute, Tsvetan Pateev spilled the ball following a corner delivery which allowed Mike McDonagh to thump in a close range finish and put the hosts ahead.
City came close to equalising in the 16th minute following a darting run down the left by Jordan Chubb who delivered a cross into the path of Kareem Leigh, but the latter mis-controlled the ball as it bobbled agonisingly away from goal. City also had another chance to equalise five minutes later following a free kick delivery into the area, but Martyn Mickiewicz directed a header wide over the bar.
The hosts then took control of the game as Pateev was forced into important saves from Callum Smith and Nathan Gulley as City found themselves under relentless pressure. Having already conceded from a corner, the Steelmen were noticeably struggling to deal with the hosts’ aerial threat. They were punished again when they failed to clear a throw in inside the area as Lewis Grant tucked a loose ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net to double Bridgend Street’s lead in the 24th minute.
City continued to struggle with the hosts’ corner deliveries as McDonagh almost added his second goal of the game but saw his header skim the top of the bar, while Jeff White saw also his header saved by Pateev. Smith almost trebled the lead for the hosts five minutes before the interval when Pateev failed to grasp the ball, but the forward saw his close range strike cleared off the line by Mickiewicz. City then came very close to pulling a goal back a minute later when Chubb saw his strike from the left hand byline crash off the crossbar, while Aaron Carew sent the resulting rebound agonisingly wide from five yards out as the visitors entered the interval with a mountain to climb.
City came very close to falling further behind two minutes after the interval when White somehow managed to skew his shot wide from four yards out as he tried to connect on to a fizzed cross across the face of goal. The hosts continued to dominate, and the lively Smith and Jordan Franklin forced Pateev into key saves as City’s hopes of making a comeback hung by a thread. The Steelmen did eventually almost find a way back into the game on the hour mark when Chubb cut inside the area from the left hand side and sent a strike on goal which Bridgend Street ‘keeper Damien Lack did well to turn behind. From the resulting corner, Leigh almost pulled one back for City but sent an
overhead kick wide.
The reminder of the game turned out to be a highly niggly affair as physical challenges continued to dominate proceedings which led to the game being disturbed by a series of knocks to the players, while both sides also struggled to cope with the poor condition of the pitch. The hosts ultimately managed to close the game out comfortably as City were forced to reflect on a poor result.
Overall it was a difficult day for the Steelmen as they failed to match their opponents in difficult conditions. The side will need to learn from their mistakes and bounce back quickly as they host league leaders Trefelin BGC this weekend.
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