After a tough few weeks which included a 3-0 drubbing against Pontyclun last week, Newport City bounced back with a five-star performance following an impressive 5-1 win against local rivals Panteg AFC.
City started brightly and took charge in the 15th minute when a neat pass by King Mwedzo found Dean Clifford free inside the area. A fantastic one-handed save by Panteg keeper Mark Randell initially denied Clifford, but the striker recovered to tuck in the rebound from two yards out to fire the hosts ahead. The Steelmen came close to doubling their lead when Mwedzo saw a close range effort saved by Randell, before a low rebounded strike from Spencer Wood was turned round the post by Randell.
City came close again when Mwedzo forced Randell into another fine save, before the Zimbabwean fired the rebound well over the bar. The Steelmen continued to dominate and almost scored again through Martyn Mickiewicz and Matthew Escott who both powered headers narrowly over the bar, while Daniel Dima saw his strike gathered by Randell.
Panteg did however finish the opening half very strongly and were unlucky not to draw level shortly before the interval. City keeper Elisangelo Queni initially parried a Alex Berrow free kick strike, while the Portuguese recovered well to block the rebound effort from Macauley James. Queni was on hand once again to keep City ahead after tipping an Elliot Jones effort over the bar. From the following corner, Queni continued to produce heroics during a goalmouth scramble before Panteg’s Paul Brown saw his effort cleared off the goal line by Dima.
The Steelmen restarted the game disastrously when a shot by Berrow was parried by Queni into the path of Luke Dyke who tapped in the rebound from 3 yards out, levelling the score for Panteg in the 57th minute. Despite the setback, City responded superbly and were back in front two minutes later. A corner delivery by Solomon St Clair found Joseph Cashman free at the back post, allowing the defender to plant a header into the bottom left hand corner.
Boyed by the goal, City went on to dominate the proceedings and run riot. It was no surprise when they extended their lead in the 68th minute when Mwedzo bagged his first goal for the Steelmen. Mwedzo collected a pass from Matthew Flynn before rifling in unstoppable a strike from the edge of the area. The night got even better for Mwedzo as he registered his second goal of the night in the 84th minute. The Zimbabwean connected to an assist from Dean Clifford, before driving into the inside the area and slot the ball into the bottom left hand corner.
The Steelmen continued to threaten and came close again through Clifford and Kofi Rowe who both saw good efforts well saved by Randell. There was still time for City to register a fifth goal in stoppage time after a counter attack saw Flynn cross the ball into the area, where Jordan Francombe was free to power a header into the back of the net.
Overall it was a stunning performance for City as they steadily climb their way back up the league table. Given the much needed boost, the Steelemen should feel confident enough to continue their winning run in their next game at home against Treharris.