Newport City’s pre-season winless run continued as they succumbed to a 5-3 home defeat against Hellenic Football League Premier Division side Lydney Town AFC. After their surprise 3-2 defeat against Llanrumney United two days earlier, City put on an improved display against their superior opponents as they shared their part in an eight-goal thriller.
The game started poorly for the Steelmen as they fell behind in the 13th minute when Lydney’s Declan Morley-Lynette held off Jordan Francombe inside the area; and fired the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.Things got worse for City just a minute later when Louis Thompson sent a powerful effort from the edge of the area past City keeper Nicholas King, doubling the visitors’ lead. Lydney continued to pile on the misery just three minutes later when Morley-Lynette scored his second goal of the game after City failed to clear a corner, leading to thumping finish from inside the six-yard box as the visitors raced into a three-goal lead.
Despite the disastrous start, City eventually pulled one goal back in the 22nd minute when a triallist powered a close range header into the bottom right hand corner following a cross into the area by Solomon St. Clair. Buoyed by the goal, the Steelmen immediately scored another goal after the visitors failed to clear a corner, allowing City skipper Andrew Muscat to tap the ball into back of the net from inside the six-yard box. With their tails up high, City came close to levelling the score through the triallist and new signing Dean Clifford who both flashed efforts narrowly wide of goal.
Despite their revival, City suffered a setback when Lydney were awarded a penalty following an alleged foul inside the area by Craig Latham in the 36th minute. The resulting spot kick was drilled low into the middle by Ross Gabriel who extended the visitors’ lead. City to their credit refused to back down and reduced the deficit five minutes later after a through ball into the area by the triallist was latched on by Clifford who slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net. City almost equalised on the stroke of half time when Joseph Ward found himself free inside the area following a cross by the triallist; but the former managed to head the ball narrowly wide over the bar as a breath-taking first half came to an end.
The second half failed to live-up to the drama of the first half, with clear cut chances coming few and far between. The main talking point took place on the hour mark when Morley-Lynette completed his hattrick following a low curling finish into the bottom left hand corner of the net, increasing the visitors’ lead again.
City tried to claw their way back into the game as Joshua Beddis and Clifford both sent threatening opportunities narrowly wide of goal; while substitutes Rhys Wood and Jordan Chubb both saw decent strikes saved by the Lydney keeper. In the end City were forced to experience another pre-season defeat; but the Steelmen still had plenty of positives to draw from their performance as the new season draws closers.