Newport City 0 – 3 Abertillery Bluebirds

Newport City suffered another dismal result following a heavy defeat against high flying Abertillery Blues, as the Steelmen’s unbeaten home record under the Nexgen ownership came to a disappointing end. The game was once again played in front of a near packed house, with a carnival atmosphere on display.

The opening quarter was initially a fairly even affair, with clear cut chances at a premium. The visitors had the first real opportunity when Christian Mbongompasi cut into the area and laid on a pass to James Young – who saw his low threatening effort blocked by Charlie Corten. The ball was instantly re-claimed by Mbongompasi who cut inside the area again; and saw his goal bound strike deflect out for a corner by Joe Cashman.

Abertillery eventually took control of the game; and it came as no surprise when they went in front in the 18th minute. The goal came when a corner delivery caused chaos inside area, with City unable to clear, leading to Kyle Williams backheeling a smart finish from close range. The visitors soon almost doubled their lead when Ryan Meredith broke into the area, but saw his shot drift across the face of goal, with the ball whistling inches wide of the left post. Abertillery continued to dominate; and came close again when a diving header from inside the area by Meredith was powered narrowly over the bar.

The Steelmen eventually weathered the storm; and started to grow back into the game inside the closing moments of first half. They almost equalised when Cashman and Ethan Wynne both nodded individual headers from set pieces inches wide. Spencer Wood also came close when his thumping effort from edge of area produced a top save from Abertilllery keeper Shaun Gardiner.

As City reached the interval, they were forced to count the cost of the visitors’ physical approach, with both Taylor Rees-Zammit and Corten being forced off with injury early on.

HT 0-1

The opening 15 minutes of the restart was a fairly even affair, as City chased an equaliser.  The Steelmen almost levelled through Clifford who latched on to a cross inside the six yard box, but the striker frustratingly saw his shot deflect out for corner.

City were made to rue the missed opportunity, as Abertillery doubled their advantage on the hour mark. The goal came when Travis Wood initially saved a powerful effort from Meredith, before the latter smashed home the rebound from close range. Things instantly got worse for the Steelmen just two minutes later when Mbongompasi bulldozed his way into the area; and unleashed a low strike into the bottom right corner to treble the visitors’ lead.

Shell shocked by the two quickfire goals, City attempted to claw their way back into the game. Wynne almost pulled a goal back when his low effort was tipped round the post by Gardiner, while Cashman powered a header from the resulting corner wide over the bar. The Steelmen continued to probe for a consolation goal; and came close again when Gareth Hole saw a low effort deflect narrowly past the right post.

The closing stages died down as the visitors looked to preserve their unassailable lead, while a flurry of substitutions by both sides killed any momentum. The visitors eventually managed the reminder of the game with relative ease; and almost added a fourth goal in added time when Jamie Russell struck the ball into side netting.

City will immediately need to dust off the disappointment of a second successive crushing defeat as they look to arrest their recent sudden slump in form; and attempt to steer their season back on track in their fight against relegation.

FT 0-3

Newport City Line-Up:

T Wood, Rees-Zammit (Sub: Tegg), Corten (Sub: Brunsden), Cashman, Francombe, S Wood, Wynne, Hudson (Sub: Kaplan), Westhead, Clifford (Sub: Hole), Hill (Sub: Leigh)



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