Newport City 2-1 Cefn Cribwr (Ardal South Promotion Play-Off)

Newport City concluded their season in style as they successfully clinched promotion to the JD Cymru South League following a sensational triumph against Cefn Cribwr in the Ardal South play-off tie at a packed SDM Glass Stadium.

City started the game very brightly and were almost ahead in the second minute when Calum Bateman saw his header cleared off the goal line, while Kofi Rowe headed the loose ball on to the crossbar. They continued to apply the pressure; and were rewarded by going in front in the 17th minute. A nice breakaway saw Joseph Ogugua deliver a floating cross into the area, where Rowe was perfectly placed to convert a low header.

Boosted by the goal, the Steelmen found themselves in cruise control as they doubled their lead five minutes later. After good work down the left channel, a well supplied square pass into the area by Owen Cuddihy saw Cole Jarvis thump in an emphatic finish to leave the Steelmen in dreamland.

Cefn Cribwr eventually threatened to fight their way back into the game, as they upped the tempo after 30 minutes. Cohen Riella had to be alert as he raced out of the area to produce a clearance tackle from the feet of Arron Weaver. Riella was called into action again, as he desperately grasped a header from Weaver following a succession of arial bombardments inside the City area. There was a sense of deja-vu when Weaver was sent through on goal again, but Riella reacted quickly to rob the ball away from the attacker again.

Despite increased pressure from the Riders, the Steelmen managed to hold firm, and preserved their two goal advantage as they entered the interval.

HT 2-0

City restarted the game in commanding fashion; and almost added a third goal when Rowe struck a presentable effort inches over the bar. The Steelmen continued to dominate as a cross by Ogugua narrowly evaded the head of Cuddihy, who was lurking unmarked inside the six yard box.

The Riders attempted to claw their way back into the game, and momentarily broke free down the right channel, before Benjamin Symons overhit a cross over the bar.

City had a golden opportunity to effectively seal the game in the 66th minute, as they were awarded a penalty following a foul on Bateman inside the area. Bateman picked himself up to take the spot kick, but he was left frustrated as his low effort was saved by Cefn Cribwr keeper Adam Caswell. The rebound was also struck narrowly wide of the left post by Ogugua.

Despite the setback of the miss, the Steelmen refused to lie down and continued to relentlessly threaten, with both Adam Kaplan and Frederick Stevens witnessing their notable chances drift just wide. City were however made to pay for failing to take their second half chances, as the Riders pulled a goal back in the 87th minute. The goal came from a low curling finish into the bottom left corner by Ioan Clatworthy, setting up a grandstand finish.

The Steelmen were forced to experience several anxious moments in the dying stages, as Cefn Cribwr threw the kitchen sink in their quest for an equaliser. The City players, in particular, had their heart in their mouths when a spectacular 15 yard effort from Curtis Griffin landed on the roof of the net.

To their credit, the Steelmen took the sting out of the game during the final moments, and even came close to registering a third goal. A strike inside the area by Loke Tyrrell Webbe was tipped round the post by the Caswell, while Cuddihy also saw a low effort drag inches away across the face of goal.

As the final whistle blew, celebrations erupted as City phenomenally secured promotion to the JD Cymru South League. This achievement stands in stark contrast to their struggles just over a year ago, when they languished near the bottom of the table, facing the grim prospect of relegation from the Ardal League. Fast forward just over a year, and the club has just celebrated arguably its most successful season ever, highlighted by promotion and victory in the FAW Amateur Trophy. Immense credit goes to Sam Houldsworth and the entire club for their remarkable turnaround. Exciting times lie ahead as the club now aims to compete for a spot in the JD Cymru Premier.

FT 2-1

Newport City Line-Up:

Riella, Stevens, Noyes, Caramella-Gerrard, Cuddihy, Jarvis, Ogugua (Sub: Tyrrell Webbe), Ellis, Bateman, Rowe (Sub: Kaplan), Bloom (Sub: Atkinson)

Subs Not Used: Evelyn, Francombe





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