Chepstow Town 1-3 Newport City

Newport City continued the new year in fine form, as they maintained their promotion challenge following a battling victory at Chepstow Town.

The opening 20 minutes proved to be a niggly affair, played on a poor surface, as the Steelmen were forced to withstand a number of strong challenges from the hosts. The first meaningful chance came following a Cole Jarvis header from a corner, which was grasped by Chepstow keeper Matthew Swann. There was a danger for City minutes later, as Chepstow’s Leo Ross was sent clean on goal. Luckily for the Steelmen, Ross blazed his strike over the bar.

City eventually upped the tempo; and came close to going in front on a number of occasions. Following a goalmouth scramble, Calum Bateman saw his close range low shot blocked by Swann. Matt Green then forced an excellent save from Swann, before the rebound was tucked in from close range by Adam Kaplan. However, the goal was frustratingly disallowed for offside. The Steelmen continued to dominate, as James Bloom’s header was grabbed by Swann.

City’s pressure finally paid off five minutes before the interval, as they took a deserved lead. A smart pass by Bateman was connected on the edge of the area by Rhyse Hudson, who converted a nice placed finish into the bottom left corner.

HT 1-0

The Steelmen almost got off to the perfect start in the second half, when Bateman saw his close range low strike blocked by Swann following a throw in. Kaplan also came close to doubling City’s lead, but saw his half volley gathered by Swann.

The Steelmen were almost punished for the missed chances, when a breakaway move by Chepstow saw Oliver Melling fire an effort inches over the bar. The hosts came even closer to levelling minutes later, when the unmarked Josh Gibson blazed a shot over from six yards out.

City instantly made Chepstow pay for their missed opportunities, as they doubled their lead in the 58th minute. The goal came courtesy of an unstoppable strike near the edge of the area by Bateman. Boosted by the goal, the Steelmen almost increased their lead, as Jarvis saw his low effort bobble narrowly wide past the left post.

Some slack defending from City allowed the hosts back into the game, as they halved the deficit in the 75th minute. A free kick delivery into the area found Gibson, whose low header squeezed past Cohen Riella into the back of the net. A brief spell of pressure ensued from the hosts, with Riella having to deal with several aerial threats inside the area.

The Steelmen were eventually handed a golden opportunity to restore their two goal advantage in the 85th minute, as they were awarded a penalty following a foul on Kaplan inside the area. The resulting spot kick by Green was saved by Swann, but the rebound was tucked in from close range by Louis Caramella-Gerrard.

City threatened to run riot during the dying stages, with Green coming closest when his goal bound strike deflected out for a corner. The Steelmen ultimately controlled the reminder of the game easily enough, as they secured the win to keep the pressure on the top two in the league.

FT 3-1

Newport City Line-Up:

Riella, Noyes, Mackenzie (Sub: Okonmah), Stevens, Jarvis, Caramella-Gerrard, Hudson, Bateman, Kaplan (Sub: Hole), Green, Bloom

Subs not used: Francombe, Taylor St Clair, Passmore,

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