Newport went into last Saturday’s game away to Pontyclun on the back of 3 straight defeats, twice against Division 3 favourites Penydarren and a narrow loss to Trefelin. In all 3 games City had plenty of chances to score goals but our forward players just don’t seem to be firing on all cylinders so far this season, and mistakes at the back are costing us valuable points.
Still, City defeated Pontyclun twice last season and had every reason for another good result this time out. It was disappointing then to see a defensive mistake allow Pontyclun to take the lead in the 1st minute. A poor backpass, which was not helped along by the long grass at Ivor Park, was pounced on by Pontyclun’s Tom Tweedy on the left, who then cut inside and fired low across goal into the bottom right corner.
City rallied and were level after 9 minutes when full-back Matthew Escott picked up the ball on the left touchline 30 yards from goal. His cross was met at the far post by Kareem Leigh who headed back across goal into the top left corner.
The game was end to end with chances coming for both teams. On 15 minutes striker James Hill picked up the ball in the City half and burst forward into the box, only to see his pass across the 6 yard elude everyone and go out for a goal kick.
Pontyclun were back in front after 37 minutes when confusion in the City defence saw Joel Woddington shoot from 10 yards into the bottom left corner.
Marc Dunford had the ball in the net later in the half for City but his effort was ruled out for offside.
HT 2 – 1
The second half saw City come flying out of the blocks and after 3 minutes they were awarded a penalty as James Hill cut in from the left along the goal line and was brought down. Up stepped Gianluca Palladino only to see his shot saved by Chris Coles in the Pontyclun goal.
Both teams continued to push on and both had chances to score, Mark Dunford again had the ball in the net only to see his effort again ruled out for offside.
FT 1 – 2
City are playing well, but defensive mistakes are costing points; provided the forwards can turn some more chances into goals, we should see this run of results turn around soon.