Having already suffered an early FAW Trophy exit last weekend against Athletic Club Pontymister, Newport City experienced further cup disappointment following a gut-wrenching Welsh Cup second qualifying round away defeat against Goytre AFC.
The hosts took control of the first half following a cagey opening quarter, although clear cut chances were at a premium. Goytre frequently pressured City’s resistance as the Steelmen initially struggled to deal with the hosts’ threat, particularly down the latter’s left-hand channel. Goytre’s Owen Bancroft and Efu Kazadi both scuffed low close-range efforts narrowly wide of goal, while the latter and Lamin Conteh both sent long range strikes over the bar.
The hosts continued to dominate and came closer to scoring when Norton Ferreira rounded City keeper Shay O’Grady just inside the area, but the attacker dragged his low effort across the face of goal. Ferreira went close again a minute later, but this time saw his low close-range shot grasped by O’Grady. City did eventually manage to register their first meaningful chance on goal five minutes before the interval, leading to Rory Price firing an effort narrowly wide past the right-hand post.
The Steelmen restarted the second half far stronger; and took the game the game to the hosts. Solomon St Clair almost put City ahead, but powered a header from inside the six-yard box inches wide past the right-hand post. The Steelmen continued to threaten as Kofi Rowe saw his strike from the edge of the area blocked by the feet of Goytre Keeper Suleimane Susso. Meanwhile Susso also denied Gianluca Palladino after turning the latter’s close-range effort wide past the top left-hand corner. Carlos Indjai almost put City ahead as he saw his overhead kick inside the area drift just over the bar, while substitute Dean Powell fired an audacious 40-yard effort high and wide.
The hosts responded well and almost went in front through Chris Ham, who saw his strike from the edge of the area superbly tipped over the bar by O’Grady. The City keeper was forced into action soon again as he palmed Daniel Macdonald’s 15-yard free kick effort wide round the right-hand post. Goytre’s pressure did finally pay off in the 81st minute, when referee Darren Adie awarded a spot kick for the hosts following an alleged handball inside the area by City’s Andrew Muscat. The resulting spot kick was dispatched into the bottom right-hand corner by Macdonald, handing Goytre the lead.
Despite the setback, City refused to lie down and rallied as Rowe came close to an equaliser when he saw his half volley from the edge of the area saved low down by Susso. City were however eventually rewarded as they managed to get back on level terms with 2 minutes to spare. A cross into the area by substitute Matthew Flynn was connected by Indjai who deflected the ball into the path of Rowe, allowing the attacker to tuck in an effort from 2 yards out to level the score and force a penalty shoot-out.
Goytre won the coin toss to take penalty kicks first; and managed to hold their nerves during the shootout as Macdonald, Ham, Bancroft, Finlay Ryan-Phillips and Ferreira all scored their spot kicks for the hosts. Indjai, Dean Clifford, Flynn all converted their spot kick for City; but they however cruelly lost the shootout after Powell saw his effort tipped wide by saved by Susso – leaving City to ultimately to endure another disappointing early cup exit.