Newport City continued their unbeaten start to the season with a battling 1-1 away draw against a Trethomas Bluebirds side managed by former Steelman Mark Dunford.
In what proved to be a scrappy opening affair, City started the strongest and came close to scoring early on through Josh Corlett and Matthew Hibbs who both sent good opportunities narrowly wide past the left hand post. Meanwhile Dean Clifford saw a low threatening strike grasped by Bluebirds keeper Gareth Williams.
The hosts eventually took control from the half hour mark as another former Steelman, Gareth Hole, saw his shot inside the area saved by City keeper Tom Pass; whilst Hole also sent a close range volley over the bar. The hosts were rewarded for their pressure in the 39th minute when Hole fired the ball low into the bottom right hand corner of the net after being fed the ball inside the area, putting the Bluebirds ahead.
The hosts had the chance to double their lead shortly after from a free kick 15 yards out, but Jordan Needs struck the effort high over the bar. City themselves almost equalised from a free kick near the edge of the area during first half stoppage time, but Aden Howard sent the resulting set-piece narrowly wide past the right hand post.
City almost drew level in the 50th minute when a header by Martyn Mickiewicz appeared to be heading into the goal following a fumble by Williams, but they were denied through a last-ditch goal line clearance by Bobby Briers. The Steelmen did eventually receive some luck six minutes later when Bluebirds player Jordan Harding was handed his marching orders following a second bookable offence.
City did almost make the most of their numerical advantage soon after when Hibbs laid on the ball inside the area to substitute Jordan Chubb, but the latter blasted the ball well over the bar. Despite being reduced to ten men, Trethomas continued to threaten as Hole and Needs both sent decent opportunities narrowly wide; while Pass was forced into a crucial save following an acrobatic close range effort by Adam Johns.
The Steelmen did eventually regain control during the closing stages and almost equalised when Hibbs found himself through on goal inside the area, but the striker saw his shot deflect wide. From the resulting corner Mickiewicz agonisingly glanced a header narrowly past the left post; while Corlett frustratingly failed to cleanly control the ball inside the area with the goal at his mercy. Just when it seemed like City had ran out luck, they were finally rewarded in the 93rd minute when an effort from Chubb was deflected into the path of Joshua Beddis. At that crucial moment Bedds rifled a close range finish into the bottom left hand corner of the net, rescuing a deserved point for Sam Houldsworth’s side.
Overall it was a positive result for Newport City as they showed true grit and desire to fight their way to a well-earned point against a strong Trethomas side, whilst also continuing their unbeaten league start to the season.
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