Newport City experienced a sense of déjà vu as they battled their way to a hard-earned draw 2-2 against Tredegar Town for the second time this season.
The opening ten minutes proved to be a cagey even affair with no clear chances being created. City eventually grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck and came close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute through the lively Bernardin Fetahi who saw his strike from five yards outside the penalty area deflect narrowly wide past the right hand post. Fetahi continued to threaten as he delivered a series of dangerous crosses into the area, while the Italian also smashed a 30 yard free kick over the bar. The Steelmen were eventually rewarded for their pressure when they took a deserved lead in the 25th minute through Kareem Leigh who struck a stunning 25 yard free kick into to top right hand corner of the net.
The visitors gradually grew into the game and had a good opportunity to equalise on the half hour mark when Craig Hewitt found himself free inside the area, but saw his tame effort comfortably saved by City ‘keeper Nicholas King. Tredegar did eventually score on the stroke of half time after City failed to clear a free kick, with the ball falling to the feet of Owen Thomas who fired an unstoppable strike from inside the box into the top left hand corner of the net as they entered the interval on level terms.
City returned on to the field with intent and were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area two minutes after the restart, but the ball was struck straight into the wall by Leigh. Patrick Pope came close to restoring the hosts’ lead a few minutes later after being presented with the ball inside the area, but the Midfielder’s tame strike was comfortably saved by Tredegar ‘keeper Angus Lewis.
The visitors came very close to scoring on the hour mark when a well struck 25 yard free kick from Lewys Cruickshank smacked the bottom of the right hand post. The Steelmen responded in kind six minutes later when Leigh saw his 20 yard free kick strike tipped round the right hand post by Lewis. Tredegar responded strongly and almost went ahead in the 70th minute when Danny Hillman’s strike was palmed by King into the path of Thomas who saw his close range shot deflected into the side netting. The visitors’ pressure did finally pay off in the 85th minute when City failed to clear a corner which led to James Price firing a close range strike that deflected off the unlucky Alex Williams who inadvertently directed the ball into the back of the net to give Tredegar what appeared to be the winning goal.
There was however another twist to come as City immediately replied a minute later after Fetahi saw his closer range header saved by Lewis, but the rebound fell straight to the feet of Leigh who made no mistake by smashing his effort from inside the six yard box into the back of the net to secure a deserved draw for the hosts.
Overall it was a decent performance and welcome point for Newport City as they showed strong character to dig deep and snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat late on. The club must now negotiate two consecutive tricky away games at Caerau and Chepstow Town as they aim to maintain an unbeaten run over the next few weeks.
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