Cwmamman United 2-0 Newport City
Newport City suffered a disappointing early exit from this season’s Welsh League Cup following a second round defeat against Division One side Cwmamman United at Grenig Park.
In what proved to be a scrappy affair, both sides struggled to adjust themselves in difficult conditions on what turned out to be a rainy afternoon. The hosts started strongly and almost opened the scoring in the fourth minute when City keeper Tsvetan Pateev diverted a close-range effort from Ashley Curtis wide of goal; while the Bulgarian was immediately called into action again after being forced into saving Christian Allen’s low strike from the resulting corner.
City responded well and threatened through Rhys Wood who sent a couple of long range efforts wide, while Martyn Mickiewicz saw his low shot from the edge of the area hit the side netting. Cwmamman responded in kind as Ashley Curtis sent a low strike narrowly wide past the right hand post, while Pateev was forced into fine saves from Ryan Hurlow and Ryan Thomas. Despite intense pressure from the hosts, City almost went in front on the stroke of half time when Nathan Doe came inches away from tapping a cross from Kareem Leigh into the back of the net, but the striker agonisingly saw the ball narrowly evade him as the Steelmen entered the interval on level terms.
City restarted the game brightly and almost opened the scoring a minute into the second half as Alex Zanotti saw a close range strike saved by Cwmamman keeper Christopher Curtis following a corner delivery. The missed opportunity proved decisive five minutes later after a cross into the six yard box by Hurlow was connected by Christian Allen who smashed the ball past Pateev to fire the hosts ahead.
The Steelmen responded positively and threatened again through Wood and Mickiewicz who both sent long range efforts wide of goal, while substitute Owain Morgan saw his 20 yard effort grasped by Christopher Curtis. City continued to battle strongly throughout the second half and again came close to equalising with ten minutes left through another substitute Nathan Blackie, who saw his close range effort blocked by Christopher Curtis following a pass into the area by Leigh.
Despite City’s pressure, they faced an uphill task in the closing stages when Patrick Pope was given his marching orders after receiving a second booking following a mistimed challenge in the 86th minute. Things got worse for City just a minute later when a cross into the area by Gareth Howarth was met by Ashley Curtis who sent a powerful close range header into the back of the net to effectively seal the victory for the hosts.
Despite the setback, City rallied well and threw caution to the wind during the dying moments as they were presented with a series of good opportunities for a consolation goal through Doe who managed to send three decent efforts wide of goal, summing up a frustrating day for the Steelman.
Overall City will feel frustrated to experience an early exit from the League Cup against a strong Cwmamman United side. They will however take heart from their effort and commitment against the First Division outfit and will now need to bounce back quickly as they aim to get their season back on track in the league.
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