After a surprising 1-0 friendly defeat against Lliswerry, Newport City got their pre-season preparations back on track following an encouraging 2-2 draw at home against Welsh League Division One side Caldicot Town AFC. Both sides used the game to dust off the cobwebs and build up their fitness ahead of the new campaign; while there was the opportunity for selected triallists to display their skills on the field as they aimed to impress their prospective clubs.
Caldicot started the game brightly and thought they were ahead in the 7th minute after calmly rounding the ball past City keeper Tsvetan Pateev, before producing a low finish into the back of the net. Their joy however was short lived as the goal was ruled out for offside. The visitors continued to threaten and almost scored shortly after, but contrived to hit the side netting after being sent clean through on goal.
City eventually grew into the game and almost scored after Jordan Chubb saw his shot drag narrowly wide across the face of goal, while Matthew Flynn sent an audacious 20 yard effort well over the bar. The Steelmen were made to rue the missed opportunities when a Caldicot free kick delivery into the area deflected off new City signing Craig Latham who cruelly diverted into the back of his own net, handing the visitors the lead.
Buoyed by the goal, the visitors almost doubled their lead soon after, but they were thwarted by Pateev who produced a couple of smart saves. City did however almost equalise shortly before the interval, but Owain Morgan saw his acrobatic effort from the edge of the area whistle narrowly wide past the right-hand post.
City restarted the game strongly as Joseph Ward and Dean Palmer sent good efforts wide over the bar, while a Triallist saw his close-range strike cleared off the goal-line. The Steelmen were eventually rewarded for their efforts on the hour mark when they awarded a penalty following a foul on Solomon St Clair inside the area. The resulting spot kick was duly converted by Ward who levelled the score.
City grew in confidence and almost went in front when the Triallist forced the Caldicot keeper into a fine save following a thumping effort. The hosts were handed a golden opportunity to go ahead when they were awarded a second penalty in the 80th minute after Joshua Beddis was upended inside the area. Beddis managed to pick himself up and fire the spot kick into the bottom left hand corner to fire the Steelmen in front.
Caldicot responded strongly and almost levelled the score a minute later, but Pateev denied them again with another fine block as they raced through on goal. The visitors did however equalise in the 83rd minute when Ben Smith smartly ghosted past the City defence, leading to a close-range finish into the bottom left hand corner of the net. That turned out to be the final main talking point of the game, leaving both sides content with a hard-earned draw.