Newport City opened the new campaign with a hard fought 1-0 home victory against Tredegar Town in front of a healthy crowd of 76 spectators.
The Steelmen got off to ag perfect start when an assist down the left channel by Nathan Doe found James Hill who sent a superb chipped effort into the top right hand corner of the net, firing the hosts ahead after just 32 seconds.
Tredegar responded strongly and came close to levelling the score just two minutes later through Daniel Battle who found himself free in the six yard box, but saw his strike deflect wide past the left hand post. The visitors continued to pressurise and threatened in the ninth minute when Tomos Lynch glanced a close range header narrowly wide over the bar. Meanwhile Lynch came close again a minute later after sending a low shot across the face of goal and wide past the right hand post.
City weathered the storm and came a whisker away from doubling their lead in the 14th minute when Solomon Taylor St Clair saw his low strike from the edge of the area smack the bottom of the right hand post. The Steelmen continued to pressurise and came close again on the half hour mark following a great turn and strike from inside the six yard box, but the attacker was denied his second goal after Tredegar keeper Richard Webb superbly tipped his effort over the bar. City were once again denied by Webb who saved a Martyn Mickiewicz header from the resulting corner, while Doe sent a header narrowly wide over the bar following a cross from St Clair shortly before the interval.
Both sides threatened soon after the restart as Craig Hewitt forced City keeper Tom Pass into a close range block, while City were inches away from doubling their lead on the hour mark when Matthew Flynn saw his 25 yard strike tipped over the bar by the on form Webb. Tredegar began to boss the possession as the game wore on, but the visitors struggled to cause any serious danger as City’s defence confidently stood firm.
Despite Tredegar’s possession superiority, City grew in confidence as the game entered its closing stages and came close to sealing the game on a couple occasions. Flynn replicated his earlier opportunity with another 25 yard strike effort which Webb was again equal to, while Doe powered another header narrowly wide past the left hand post after connecting to a cross from Jordan Francombe in the final ten minutes.
The hosts were almost made to pay for the missed opportunities as Lynch was played through clear on goal, but the attacker saw his close range low strike excellently saved by Pass. The visitors came close again with two minutes to spare as Hewitt found space in the area, but the forward managed to strike the ball well over the bar as City battled to hold on. Despite the late onslaught, the Steelmen did conjure a couple of opportunities in stoppage time through Flynn and substitute Mark Dunford who were both denied by Webb. As play came to an end, City managed to see out the reminder of the game without any danger as they secured a welcoming opening day victory.
Overall it was a solid performance from Newport City as they showed strong character to dig deep and secure a battling victory. The club must now negotiate two consecutive difficult away games at Penydarren and Trefelin BGC as they aim to maintain their winning start to the season.
To read more about the fortunes of Newport City, visit y-ddraig.co.uk or follow @yddraigHQ on Twitter.