Newport City’s stuttering form continued as they fell to their third consecutive defeat at home against Bridgend Street in a match that was played in near arctic conditions.
City started the game brightly and were almost ahead in the third minute when an upfield pass from Mark Dunford sent Kareem Leigh through on goal, but the attacker sent his strike wide over the bar from just inside the penalty area. Leigh came close again twelve minutes later after sending a direct free kick effort just over the bar, while Martyn Mickiewicz also blazed a shot from the right hand edge of the area wide as City continued to ramp up the pressure.
Bridgend Street eventually upped the tempo and threatened through Ross Dingle and Owen Bancroft who both sent efforts narrowly wide, while Callum Smith and Nicky Davidson both forced City ‘keeper Nicholas King into making a couple of saves. The Steelmen responded well to the pressure and almost went ahead on the half-hour mark when Leigh broke free into the area but saw his low strike blocked by Street ‘keeper Damien Lack
City were made to rue the missed opportunity five minutes before half time when Paul Fowler tried his luck with a 30 yard strike which was spilled by King and led to Jeffrey White tucking the rebound from close range into the back of net, handing the visitors the lead. City almost levelled the score two minutes later through Benardin Fetahi who sent a low shot from the left hand side of the area narrowly wide of the right hand post. Bridgend Street almost doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Bancroft flashed an effort from just outside the area wide past the right hand post as the visitors entered the interval with a one goal lead.
City returned to the field on the front foot in search for an equaliser and dominated proceedings for the start of second half. Despite the initial pressure, City were lucky not to fall further behind on the hour mark when Bridgend Street’s Anthony Burnett was presented with an opportunity from the edge of the six yard box but managed to blaze his effort over the bar. City responded well and almost levelled five minutes later when the visitors failed to clear a corner which almost led to Leigh bundling the ball into the back of the net, but the attacker saw his close range goal bound effort agonisingly blocked and cleared away. The miss proved costly just two minutes later when a cross into the six yard box by Smith found the unmarked Davidson who had the simple task of tapping the ball into the back of the net and doubled the visitors’ lead against the run of play.
City Manager Sam Houldsworth rang the changes as he introduced James Alloway, Dean Palmer and Andrew Coleman on to the field in the hope of finding a way back into the game for the hosts. The changes almost paid off when Palmer came close to pulling a goal back, but the Midfielder sent his dinked effort from the right hand edge of the area over the bar. Bridgend Street eventually took control as the game entered the final stages and almost trebled their lead in the 84th minute when substitute David Brooks saw his low close range strike drag across the face of goal and narrowly wide past the left hand post. The Steelmen were ultimately made to suffer another disappointing result with a 2-0 loss against Bridgend Street for the second time this season.
In the end it was another frustrating day for Newport City as they were forced to accept another defeat. Despite an overall decent performance, City were made to rue their lack of clinical finishing and individual defensive errors. Ultimately the Steelmen will certainly need to focus on improving on their home form, having already lost ten games at the Newport Stadium this season.
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