Newport City failed to build on their season opening win against Tredegar Town after suffering a 3-1 defeat against newly promoted Penydarren BGC in what was an entertaining game at the Bont Playing Fields, Merthyr Tydfil.
There was a real sense of déjà vu as the Steelmen once again got off to a fast start when another assist by Nathan Doe sent Rhys Wood clear on goal with the latter slotting to the ball into the bottom right hand
corner, firing the visitors ahead after just 29 seconds. Buoyed by the goal, City almost doubled their lead three minutes later when Doe once again sent Wood through on goal; but the Midfielder saw his close range strike deflect past the right hand post on this occasion.
Penydarren responded strongly and levelled the game in the tenth minute when a smart attacking move saw Scott Reynolds play Chris Calvin clear through inside the area, a moment that saw the striker thump the ball past City keeper, Tom Pass, sending the home crowd into raptures. City didn’t allow the setback to affect them and came close to restoring the lead in the tenth minute when Solomon Taylor St Clair saw a low curling effort from the edge of the area turned away by Penydarren keeper Stephen Price, while Matthew Escott also saw a 25 yard effort tipped over the bar by Price a minute later.
Penydarren grew stronger throughout the reminder of the first half and came very close to going ahead in the 21st minute when Josh Brayden robbed the ball from Matthew Flynn on the edge of the area,
delivering the ball into the area to Alex Lory who saw his close range strike blocked on the line by Sam Graves before firing the rebound over the bar. The hosts came close again four minutes later after Josh Brayden flicked a header into the path of Calvin who raced clear into the area but sent his low strike wide past the left hand post. Pendydarren continued to apply the pressure and eventually went ahead a minute before the interval when Sam Gamble cut inside the area and supplied a low pass into the path of Lory who tapped the ball into the back of the net at the far post.
City restarted the game brightly and came close to equalising through Doe who saw his low effort inside the area saved by Price, while the latter also superbly tipped a close range effort from Escott on to the bar. The hosts responded in kind as Pass was forced into producing a series of fine saves in quick succession from Calvin, Alex Lloyd and Lory.
The Steelmen grew in confidence as the game wore on and should have levelled the score on the hour mark when James Hill was played through clear into the area, but the attacker saw his low strike well blocked by Price. City continued to dominate and came close again through Paddy Pope who hit the side netting, while Wood sent a free kick effort from the edge of the area narrowly wide over the bar.
City continued to knock on the door and were left frustrated again after Price produced another moment of magic by tipping a header from Doe round the left hand post following a cross by St Clair. The on form keeper continued to thwart the visitors as he palmed away a low curling effort from Hill before superbly blocking the rebound from substitute Mark Dunford.
While City threw caution to the wind, Penydarren broke away on the counter attack as Adam Lewis delivered a cross into the area where Lory was on hand to fire a low effort into the back of the net. This was his second goal of the game, securing the victory for the hosts in the 88th minute.
Overall City will feel frustrated to leave empty handed after an encouraging performance and were denied by top class goalkeeping display from Stephen Price. Despite the result, there were plenty of positives for City to take away from the game as they quickly look to bounce back.
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