Newport City’s dismal form continued as they succumbed to a fourth successive defeat following a 3-0 reverse at Chepstow Town who avenged their 4-1 defeat against the Steelmen in October.
The Steelmen started strongly and were almost ahead in the second minute following a dangerous cross from the edge of the area by Kareem Leigh; but the winger saw the ball roll across the crossbar before it drifted agonisingly wide. City struggled to stamp their authority for the reminder of the first half, although they did come close to scoring when Louis Cocks saw a close range strike tipped round the right hand post by Chepstow keeper Ian Vaughan.
Chepstow took control of the opening half and were almost in front in the 20th minute following a spectacular 30 yard drive from Dan Whitehouse, but the striker saw his effort superbly tipped over the bar by City keeper Tom Pass. The hosts increased the pressure as Billy Evans, Sam Thomas and Matteo Goddard all sent threatening efforts narrowly wide of goal. Chepstow came even closer to taking the lead five minutes before the break when Pass produced a stunning point blank save from Ben Worrell’s close range header, leaving City thankful to enter the interval on level terms.
The Steelmen fell behind early after restart when a through ball sent Evans clear inside the area, allowing the attacker to slot the ball low into the bottom left hand corner of net in the 47th minute. Despite this setback, City were unexpectedly handed a lifeline on the hour mark when Chepstow were reduced to ten men following an alleged dangerous challenge by Dan Williams on Matthew Flynn.
Boosted by the one man advantage, the visitors grew in confidence and created several goal scoring chances as they chased an equaliser. Mark Dunford, Jordan Chubb, Solomon Taylor St. Clair and Leigh all sent gilt-edged opportunities wide as they continued to apply the pressure. A good run into the area by Leigh saw the winger set up a glorious close range opportunity to Dunford, but the veteran striker frustratingly saw his sliding shot saved by Vaughan.
Despite their second half dominance, the missed opportunities proved to be costly for City as the hosts doubled their lead in the 82nd minute. A cross into the six yard box by Evans found substitute Ed McCarthy who saw his strike saved by Pass, however the attacker slammed the rebound high into the roof of the net to effectively the seal the win for Chepstow. City tried to claw their way back into the game, but chances once again went begging as Patrick Pope and Flynn both fired efforts wide. The hosts sealed the victory in stoppage time after a confusion in defence lead to an attempted clearance by Pass bounce off Evans who had the simple task of slotting the loose ball low into the back of the net, condemning the Steelmen to a humiliating defeat.
In what proved to be another demoralising defeat, City will be anxiously looking over their shoulders following an alarming slide down the table. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for City to immediately pick up victories as they enter a critical period of key games against a selection of fellow struggling sides at the bottom of the table, starting against local rivals Albion Rovers in their next fixture.
To read more about the fortunes of Newport City, visit y-ddraig.co.uk or follow @yddraigHQ on Twitter.