Newport City slumped to a second successive home defeat as they suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss against Gwent rivals Panteg AFC. The game was played in difficult conditions due to the high volume of rain and strong wind.
The Steelmen almost got off to the perfect start in the opening minute when Kareem Leigh saw a powerful strike from the edge of the area tipped over the bar by Panteg keeper Mark Randell. The visitors responded strongly to the threat and came close to going ahead through Liam Whiskey and Jordan Ryan who both sent headers narrowly wide of goal from set pieces. Panteg were rewarded for their pressure and eventually took the lead on the quarter hour mark. A free kick delivery into the area was connected by Ryan who struck a sweetly taken volley from the edge of the six-yard box which wrestled into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
City had a golden chance to level the game on the half hour mark when a corner delivery landed to the feet of Rhys Wood inside the six yard box, but the midfielder rattled the crossbar with a shot from five yards out before smashing the rebound wide over the bar. The hosts were almost made to pay dearly for that miss on the stroke of half time when Panteg’s Ashley Johnson cut into the area and dragged a low shot narrowly wide past the left hand post. Despite controlling most of the opening half, the visitors were made to settle for a one goal lead at the interval.
Panteg restarted the game very strongly and came within a whisker of doubling their lead in the 52nd minute when Whiskey rounded City keeper Tom Pass inside the area before chipping the ball over him; but the attacker was denied after Owain Morgan managed to clear his goal bound effort off the line. The visitors came close again two minutes later when Dean Palmer was forced into another goal line clearance following a dangerous cross into the area by Ben Walker. City’s luck eventually ran out in the 65th minute when a through ball into the area by Walker was collected by Ryan who made no mistake by firing a clinical low strike into the bottom left hand corner of the net to double the hosts’ lead.
Deflated by the setback of falling further behind, the Steelmen briefly threatened through Jordan Chubb who fired a 20 yard effort narrowly over the bar; while Nathan Blackie smacked the crossbar with a volley from ten yards out. Despite the late rally, City came close to falling further behind when a cross into the area by Baker was chested down by substitute Alex Berrow before firing a strike which was saved by Pass. The last meaningful piece of action came from City substitute Louis Cocks who sent a scuffed 20 yard low effort wide past the left post.
After the humiliating 5-0 defeat in their previous game against Penrhiwceiber Rangers, City will feel disappointed not to have been able to bounce back with a moral boosting result. The side must now recharge their batteries during the Christmas break as they aim to get back to winning ways in their next league encounter at home to Ynysygerwn and kickstart their season.
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