Blaenavon Blues 0-2 Newport City

Newport City kicked off the new Ardal South East league season superbly, as they secured an impressive victory at the Memorial Ground. The Steelmen managed to successfully battle their way through difficult weather & physical conditions, as they maintained their 100% start to the 23/24 campaign.

City started the game positively, as they confidentially took the game to Blaenavon. Josh Bell almost created a carbon copy of his winner against Goytre, but the midfielder unleashed his half volley over the bar on this occasion. The Steelmen continued to swarm over the hosts during the opening stages; and frequently peppered the latter’s penalty area with a series of dangerous crosses and set pieces.

City did find the back of the net following a close range finish by Joseph Ogugua, but the goal was  disallowed for offside. The Steelmen continued to dominate; and came close again when Ishi-David Okonmah narrowly powered a header over the bar.

With the hosts struggling to control the game, the Blues resorted to a series of strong physical challenges. James Hill fell victim to this approach as he was forced off injured following an excessive shoulder challenge. He was replaced by Robert Atkinson.

Blaenavon almost scored against the run of play following a counter attacking move, as Lloyd Jeffries saw his effort whistle just past the left post. Shortly afterwards, Harrison Lloyd dragged a low shot inches wide of the right post as the hosts continued to threaten.

As the interval approached, the Steelmen managed to grab hold of the game again. They almost went ahead when debutant skipper, Matt Green, saw a strong strike well grasped by Blaenavon keeper Brandon Powell.

HT 0-0

City restarted the game strongly; and their pressure finally paid off as they went ahead in the 50th minute. A through ball by Ogugua found Rhyse Hudson, who drove into the area and fired an unstoppable strike into the back of the net. Buoyed by the goal, the Steelmen almost doubled their lead when Powell desperately grabbed the ball following a glancing header from Hudson. Green also came close to extending their advantage minutes later, but the experienced striker powered his header just over the bar.

Blaenavon tried to fight back; and almost levelled the game when Lloyd saw his flicked effort drift inches wide of the right post. Okonmah was then forced into clearing the ball off the goal line from a corner delivery, as the hosts started to turn the screw.

The clearance proved pivotal as the Steelmen managed to double their lead seconds later. A counter attacking move by City saw Atkinson send Hudson through on goal, allowing the latter to register his second goal of the game after nutmegging a low finish past Powell.

With the wind in their sails, the Steelmen threatened to run riot as they continued to lay siege to the hosts’ penalty area. Hudson, Green and Adam Kaplan all forced Powell into a series of impressive saves as City ran rings round the Blues during the closing stages.

The game was effectively over as a contest in the 76th minute, when the hosts’ lack of discipline eventually caught up with them. A second bookable offence for Michael Baugh saw the Blues reduced to ten men, leaving City to comfortably navigate their way to a much deserved win.

FT 2-0

Newport City Line-Up:

Harris, Stevens, Hole, Okonmah, Noyes, Behaldeen, Hill (Sub: Atkinson), Bell, Hudson, Ogugua (Sub: Kaplan), Green © (Sub: Leigh)

Subs Not Used: Joyce, Ward




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