Newport City 1 -1 Risca United

Newport City’s promotion challenge remains firmly on course, as they secured a hard earned draw against high flying rivals Risca United. Despite the blustery conditions, the game was once again played in front of a carnival atmosphere, with a high number of spectators present to watch an action packed game.

The Steelmen got off to the perfect start, as they went in front in the 10th minute. A well supplied pass by Matt Green inside the area was connected by Kofi Rowe, who tucked a nice low finish into the back of the net. Despite falling behind, the Cuckoos responded strongly and almost levelled a couple of minutes later. A 20 yard free kick effort from Jak Lewis smacked off the crossbar, before Leon Thomas struck the rebound wide.

City responded well; and almost doubled their lead on a number of occasions. Adam Kaplans’s strong curling effort was well grasped by Risca keeper Joseph Massaro, while Robert Atkinson fired a spectacular 35 strike inches over the bar. Rowe nearly added his second goal of the game, but the forward saw his shot whistle narrowly past the left post on this occasion.

The missed chances came back to haunt the Steelmen, as Risca levelled the game two minutes before the interval. After City failed to clear a corner delivery, the ball fell to Thomas who smashed a half volley into the bottom left hand corner.

HT 1-1  

The Steelmen restarted the game in disastrous fashion, as they were reduced to ten men three minutes after the break. This sending off occurred following a second bookable offence by Rowe, after an alleged foul on Shane Parry.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, City came close to restoring their lead several times. Cole Jarvis saw a goal bound strike deflect inches wide, while a close range shot by Atkinson was blocked at the near post by Massaro. They came even closer to scoring when Atkinson smacked a strike against the crossbar, while Richard Noyes saw an effort drift narrowly over the bar.

The Cuckoos managed to weather the storm; and eventually sustained a significant amount of pressure. They created a number of dangerous opportunities as they looked to make their one man advantage count. Lewis Ellis was sent clean through into area, but the attacker saw his low shot blocked by feet of Riella. Jake Morris, Owen Cuddihy and Thomas all came within a whisker of scoring, as they sent individual efforts just wide. Riella was called into action again, when he was forced into producing key saves from Thomas and Harvey Selway.

The Steelmen eventually held firm; and threatened to score a second during the closing stages of the game. A corner delivery from Noyes bounced off the crossbar, while Jarvis powered a header inches wide from 6 yards out. Dean Clifford also saw his thumping strike from the edge of area well grasped by Massaro.

There was still time for more drama as the game entered stoppage time. City had their hearts in their mouths, as they witnessed Risca’s Oliver Berry and Daniel Battle both fire huge opportunities over the bar. The Steelmen were then reduced to nine men following a second bookable offence by Green, after an alleged foul on Callum Hodges. City however managed to withstand the pressure from the Cuckoos; and battled their way to a crucial point.

FT 1-1

Newport City Line-Up:

Riella, Noyes, Mickiewicz, Okonmah, Jarvis, Kaplan (Sub: Clifford), Taylor St Clair (Sub: Francombe), Green, Rowe, Atkinson (Sub: Harris), Bloom

Subs not used: Hallett, Hole

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