Newport City’s winning run came to an end as they suffered a 2-0 away defeat against Penrhiwceiber Rangers. In what turned out to be an emotional affair, City found it difficult to match a strong Penrhiwceiber side who were coming to terms with the recent death of their manager, Steve Haggett.
The first half turned out to be a forgetful affair as the emotion of the occasion seemed to take over, while both sides struggled to impose their game on a poor surface. The Steelmen thought they’d taken an early lead when Solomon St. Clair’s free kick delivery ended into the back of the net; but the goal was disallowed following an alleged foul by Josh Corlett on Rangers keeper Callum Quinton. Rangers responded strongly and came close to scoring when Jack Thomas saw a close range strike saved by City keeper Elisangelo Queni, while the latter also tipped a rebounding header from Ricky Carter wide round the post.
The hosts gradually grew into the game and came closer to scoring through Shay Friel who saw his header from a corner cleared off the goal line by Spencer Wood following a corner. City grew stronger towards the end of the first half and almost scored on the half mark through St Clair, who saw his 20 yard strike tipped over the bar by Quniton. The Steelmen came closer shortly after when Matthew Escott fired a 15 yard effort narrowly wide over the bar, leaving the score goalless at half time.
The second half turned out to be a completely different affair as the hosts turned up the pressure and bossed the reminder of the game. Rangers twice came close to scoring soon after the restart through Carter who struck an effort into the side netting, while the attacker also forced a point blank save from Queni. The hosts were eventually rewarded in the 66th minute when Brandon Davies was sent clean through on goal before slotting a low strike past Queni, handing Rangers the lead.
Rangers continued to dominate and almost doubled their lead through skipper Warren Jones and Brandon Hill who both saw strong efforts spectacularly tipped over the bar by Queni. Jordan Francombe cleared a Brandon Davies effort off the goal line following a Rangers corner, while the rebound strike from Davies was saved by Queni. The hosts did eventually double their lead in stoppage time when Thomas was fed clear through inside the area, and sent a low finish into the back of the net to seal the victory for his side.
Overall it was a disappointing day for City. After a recent bright patch of form, the Steelmen will feel frustrated to have left empty handed. It will be another tricky game for City away at Ynyshir Albions next weekend. We go again.