Having already suffered an early Welsh League Cup exit last weekend against Chepstow Town, Newport City experienced further cup disappointment following a Welsh Cup first qualifying round home defeat against the same opponents. The visitors started strongly and came close to scoring through Callum Dark and Joshua Parson who both spurned decent curling efforts wide, while Ryan Scrivens saw his close range strike grasped by City keeper Tom Pass. The visitors’ early momentum was however initially halted following what appeared to be a serious in injury to Chepstow skipper Ashley Palmer, leading to a lengthy stoppage in play.
The delay allowed City to re-group and they came close to scoring through Jack Whiting who directed a header just wide over the bar; while Joshua Beddis also flicked a close range effort narrowly wide past the left post. The Steelmen were eventually rewarded for their pressure in the 42nd minute when a cross into the area by Beddis was connected by Whiting who powered a towering header into the back of the net, putting the hosts in front. Buyoed by the goal, City almost extended their lead through Spencer Wood who saw an audacious long range strike fly over the bar, while Dean Clifford saw his close range shot blocked by Chepstow keeper Jack Jones. The visitors responded strongly when Parson smacked the crossbar from the edge of the area, while Dark also saw a threatening strike drift narrowly wide past the right post. Chepstow did eventually equalise in the closing moments of the first half after a corner delivery by Dark inexplicitly flew straight into the back of the net, leaving the score all square at half time.
City restated the game on fire and were almost in front again a minute into the second half through Joe Ward, who saw his smart volley palmed round the right post by Jones. The Steelmen did eventually restore their lead in the 53rd minute through Beddis, who tapped the ball into the back of the net following a cross into the six yard box by Ward. The hosts almost extended their lead when captain Andrew Muscat struck the ball into the side netting following a corner, while Spencer Wood saw his goal bound strike cleared off the goal line by Lewis Johnson. City were eventually made to rue the missed opportunities when a breakaway attack from the visitors led to a thumping close range finish from Dark in the 86th minute, levelling the score and ultimately leading to the introduction of extra time.
FT (90mins) 2-2
Having being left reeling from the late equaliser, things almost got worse for City straight from the restart when Ben Thompson scored for Chepstow. However the goal was disallowed for an alleged handball. City’s luck ran out shortly after when a cross across the face of goal by Matthew Board was tapped into the back of the net by Thompson from two yards out, firing the visitors ahead in the 106th minute. Chepstow continued to threaten as Board smacked the left hand post following an effort from the edge of the box, while Thompson forced a smart save from Pass. The visitors had a golden chance to extend their lead at the end of the first half of extra time, as the referee awarded them a penalty kick following a collision inside the area. The resulting spot kick was however saved by Pass who turned Dark’s low strike round the left post to keep the game alive for City.
The Steelmen restarted the game in the worst possible fashion when Thompson powered a close range header into the top left hand corner of then net, doubling the visitors’ advantage. City did however pull a goal back shortly after when a through ball into the area by Joshua Matthews set up Patrick Pope who made no mistake by firing his effort into the back of the net, setting up a grandstand finish. The hosts almost equalised with five minutes to spare when Jordan Chubb bore down on goal but the attacker agonisingly hit the side netting. The hosts threw caution to the wind as the game drew to a close, but they were unable to force an equaliser and ultimately had to accept another disappointing cup exit.