Having already suffered two defeats against Chepstow Town in both domestic cup competitions, Newport City experienced further disappointment against the same opponents for the third time this season following a 4-2 league game loss at Larkfield Park.
The hosts started very strongly and were ahead in the 8th minute when Matt Board collected a pass from Josh Parsons, leading to the former cutting inside the area and unleashing a well taken curling effort into the top right hand corner of the net. Despite struggling to grow into the game, City almost equalised in the 20th minute when a 30 yard free kick strike from Matthew Hibbs was saved low down at the near post by Chepstow keeper Jack Jones.
The missed opportunity proved costly just a minute later when Ben Thompson powered in a close range looping header into the top right corner, doubling the hosts’ lead. Chepstow continued to dominate and came close to extending their lead through Callum Dark and Parsons who sent threatening opportunities narrowly wide, while Lewis Johnson and Ryan Srivens forced City keeper Tom Pass into smart saves. City responded well towards the end of the first half and came close to scoring through Hibbs, who saw a low close range strike blocked by the feet of Jones; while a low curling effort from the edge of the area by Dean Clifford hit the side netting.
The visitors were however left reeling on the stroke of half time when they failed to clear a Parsons defence splitting pass into the area, allowing Dark to run clean through on goal and fire an unstoppable low shot into the back of the net; leaving City with a mountain to climb.
The Steelmen restarted the game more confidently and briefly threatened through Solomon St. Clair and Joseph Ward who both saw decent strikes deflected narrowly wide of goal. City however fell further behind on the hour mark after failing to clear a cross into the area by Dark, leading to Thompson smashing a close range finish into the bottom left hand corner and effectively seal the game for the hosts.
Despite the setback City pulled a goal back four minutes later through Hibbs who collected a loose ball on the edge of the area, leading to a superb volley past Jones into the top left hand corner. Buoyed by the goal, City rallied and almost scored again through the impressive Hibbs who curled two dangerous efforts narrowly wide over the bar.
The Steelmen did eventually half the deficit in the 82nd minute when a through ball into the area by substitute Aden Howard was blasted into the back of the net, handing a brief lifeline to the visitors. City continued to pressurise and almost pulled another goal back through Escott who saw a close range goal bound effort blocked by Dark, while Clifford dragged a low shot into the side netting. Their revival eventually came too late as time ran out, leaving City to rue a second successive league defeat.
Overall it was a disappointing day for City, having effectively been outfought in the first half. After a bright start to the league season, the Steelmen will be left slightly concerned with their winless away form which has seem them slip to fifth in the table. It will be another tough game for City away at league leaders Pontyclun next weekend. We go again.