Newport City endured a disappointing day as they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat against a struggling Neuadd Wen side in a match that was played in difficult conditions at Bargoed. The heavy rain earlier in the day did no favours to either side as the game was played on a muddy surface with several cut-up areas.
City started the game brightly and were almost ahead in the eighth minute when Nick Simcock managed to wrestle his way into the penalty area, but blazed his shot over the bar. The hosts eventually grew into the game and threatened through Anthony Rees and Shane Brewer who both forced City ‘keeper Nicholas King into saves. City responded through setting up a smart counter attacking move in the 24th minute as the ball was fed to the in-form Kareem Leigh who sent an acrobatic effort wide over the bar.
The host reclaimed the initiative and almost scored a minute later when Shane Brewer saw his strike from the left hand edge of the area fizzle dangerously across the face of goal before drifting narrowly wide. Neuadd Wen continued to threaten and were handed a good opportunity to score in the 32nd minute after being awarded a direct free kick five yards outside the box. The resulting free kick strike by Dafydd Brewer was parried by King, but the rebound was bundled into the bottom corner of the net from close range by Rees who handed the hosts a one goal lead which they carried into the interval.
City returned to the field on the front foot and almost levelled a minute after the restart when Simcock saw his low strike from the edge of the six yard box turned round the right hand near post by Neuadd Wen ‘keeper Colin Adams. A scramble from the resulting corner almost led to Leigh bundling the ball into the back of the net, but the attacker saw his effort gathered by Adams. City’s pressure finally paid off a couple of minutes later when a left sided cross into the six yard box by Bernardin Fetahi was bundled into the back of net by James Alloway who recorded his first goal of the season and levelled the score.
Buoyed by their goal, the Steelmen built up momentum and came close to going ahead in the 50th minute when a cross into the area by Patrick Pope was met by Leigh who rifled a shot narrowly wide past the top right hand corner of the post. Andrew Muscat then almost put the visitors in front six minutes later, but the defender saw his goal bound header cleared off the line. City continued to pressurise and came close again shortly after the hour mark through Jordan Francombe who whipped a dangerous delivery across the face of goal but narrowly failed to reach any of his team mates.
Neuadd Wen eventually upped the tempo and almost restored their lead midway through the second half through Dafydd Brewer who sent a header from a corner narrowly wide past the left hand post, while Rees also saw a strike saved by King. City responded well and almost scored in the 70th minute when Francombe’s cross into the area was met by the head of Leigh who saw his effort saved by Adams.
As the game entered the final twenty minutes, the game became increasingly stretched with it being difficult to call a winner. However City were stung in the 73rd minute when Neuadd Wen substitute Wayne Antoniazzi delivered an assist inside the area to Rees who powered the ball into the back of the net to restore the hosts’ lead. City then became exposed as they pushed upfield in their chase for a second equaliser and almost got caught out when King raced twenty yards out of his goal while trying to clear the ball, but the ‘keeper was robbed by Antoniazzi who sent a strike towards the unguarded net but saw his effort hit the right hand post. However things did eventually get worse for City in stoppage time when a free kick delivery into the area by Neuadd Wen’s Dafydd Brewer was met by Shane Brewer who rifled a close range strike into the roof of the net to seal the victory for the hosts.
Overall it was another frustrating day for Newport City as they were forced to stew over another defeat. Prior to the game, expectations were high for a victory against a struggling Neuadd Wen side who had previously failed to record a single league victory this season. However the frailties displayed in the defeat against Trethomas Bluebirds was evident again, although City can at least take heart from a spirited performance throughout most of the second half. Ultimately the Steelmen will immediately need to put this defeat behind as they aim to bounce back against Bridgend Street next Saturday.
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