Cefn Cribwr 1-2 Newport City

Newport City bounced back from their poor league form as they edged their way to a morale boosting victory against Ardal South West League outfit, Cefn Cribwr, in the Welsh Cup first round.

The game started in frenetic fashion, as Cefn Cribwr dominated the opening stages of the game. City keeper Marcel Nzarora was forced into action early on as he grasped a powering header from Danny Woolfenden, while the latter and Matthew Symons also struck threatening efforts just over the bar. Andrew Wigley was additionally forced to head a clearance off the line following a goal bound strike by Daniel Jenkins.

City eventually weathered the storm and were ahead in the 24th minute. A driving run from Gareth Hole won City a free kick, allowing Luke Boyle to deliver a perfect delivery for debutant Gareth Phillips who found himself free at the back post to head home. Buoyed by the goal, City almost doubled their lead when Boyle saw an effort cleared off the goal line by Jamie Isidoro-Marlowe; while Dean Clifford also saw his free kick strike saved by Cefn Cribwr keeper Liam Hopkins.

The hosts however responded strongly; and they were level in the 31st minute. The goal came when a corner delivery into the area failed to be collected by Nzarora, leaving Woolfenden to poke the ball into the net from inside the six yard box. Despite the setback, Nzarora atoned for his error as he produced two fine saves to deny the lively Woolfenden. The Steelmen did almost restore their lead on the stroke of half time, however Hole saw his close range strike tipped inches wide past the left post by Hopkins.

HT 1-1

Cefn Cribwr re-applied the pressure following the break; and came close to going ahead on several occasions. Jay Ellis, Jonathan Tiffin, Symons and Woolfenden all fired threatening opportunities narrowly wide as the hosts started to turn the screw.

City managed to withstand the bombardment; and they responded in kind as Hole and Clifford both sent efforts inches wide. The Steelmen were eventually rewarded for their pressure; and they restored their lead in the 76th minute. A neat movement from Ethan Wynne in the middle of the park saw City regain possession; leading to the ball being released to Hole, who ghosted past two players and squared the ball to Clifford. The latter made no mistake as he converted a clinical finish into the bottom corner from inside the area.

Despite their setback, the hosts refused to lie down and almost equalised through Symons and Woolfenden, who both forced Nzarora into two big key saves. Isidoro-Marlowe also came close to levelling the score, as the Spaniard glanced a close range free header from a free kick just over the bar.

The Steelmen repelled the hosts’ pressure; and almost sealed the game late on through substitute Frederick Wilkinson. The midfielder however saw his low strike inside the area blocked by Hopkins. Sam Westhead also fired an optimistic long range effort over the bar, as City continued to try and finish the game off. The Steelmen were ultimately able to successfully secure the win; and booked their place into the Welsh Cup Second Round.

FT 2-1

Newport City Line-Up:

Nzarora, Wheeler (Sub: Joyce), Wigley, Francombe (C), Boyle, Westhead, Phillips (Sub: Fortt), Wynne, Hole (Sub: Wilkinson), Clifford (Sub: Taylor), Powell (Sub: Sani)

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