Goytre AFC 0-1 Newport City

Newport City kicked off the new season with a hard earned victory, following a Welsh Cup first qualifying round triumph against Ardal South East league rivals Goytre AFC. The win enabled the Steelmen to avenge their Welsh Cup defeat against the same opposition two years ago, as they successfully booked their spot into the next round.

The opening 30 minutes proved to be a cagey affair, with clear cut opportunities coming at a premium. The most notable chances came from the hosts, as Jordan Needs saw his shot from the edge of area fly over the bar. They came even closer when a long ball upfield sent Mike Murphy clean through on goal, but the forward mis-controlled the pass which allowed City keeper Suleimane Susso to gather the ball.

Susso almost found himself in trouble after being adjudged to have handled the ball outside the area, but the City debutant managed to escape with only a booking. The resulting free kick from the edge of the area was struck by Josh Graham, who saw his low effort drift inches wide past the right post.

Goytre ended the opening half strongly; and again came close to scoring. Murphy showed some silky skills to trick his way into the area; and unleashed a low strike which Susso did well to turn round the right post. From the resulting corner, Jordan Francombe was forced into heading the ball off the goal line as the hosts turned the screw. The hosts continued to pressurise and came close again, when Chris Ham dragged a threatening 15 yard shot narrowly wide of the left post.

HT 0-0

The Steelmen restarted the second half far better; and took the game to the hosts. City managed to register their first meaningful chance on goal when a snapped 20 yard strike from Richard Noyes flew just wide past the left post. They came even closer minutes later when Robert Atkinson found James Hill inside the six-yard box, but the latter agonisingly saw his back heeled effort drift inches wide of the right post.

City were eventually rewarded for their second half pressure, as they took the lead on the hour mark. After latching on to a loose ball, Josh Bell unleashed a stunning half volley into the top right hand corner from long range. Buoyed by the goal, the Steelmen almost doubled their lead when a swerving effort by Joseph Ogugua was well grasped by Goytre keeper Luca Bullock.

The hosts tried to fight their way back into the game; and almost levelled when a close range free kick strike from Chris Ham flew narrowly past the right post. Goytre however found it difficult to break down the Steelmen’s resilience, as City dealt with the hosts’ pressure superbly and restricted the hosts to a mere handful of half chances.

The Steelmen managed to successfully hold firm; and secured an impressive win against their originally much fancied opponents. The victory provides the perfect start to the season, as City look to significantly progress from a difficult 2022/23 campaign. Having experienced a busy pre-season with many incomings & outgoings to the squad, the Steelmen will continue to work on adapting ahead of the new league season.

FT 1-0

Newport City Line-Up:

Susso, Francombe ©, Ward (Sub: Hole), Okonmah, Noyes, Behaldeen, Hill (Sub: Clifford), Bell, Pearson (Sub: Hudson), Atkinson (Sub: Stevens), Ogugua (Sub: Kaplan)


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