Newport City 3 – 2 Lliswerry AFC

Newport City started 2023 with their first home league win of the season, following a battling display against local rivals Lliswerry. The game was played in front of a carnival atmosphere, with over 300 spectators in attendance, as City began life under the Nexgen ownership on a bright note.

Following a cagey opening affair, City eventually turned the screw and took the lead in the 14th minute. Following a darting run into the area, new signing James Hill cleverly fed Rhyse Husdon who slotted a well taken finish into back of the net.

Buoyed by the goal, the Steelmen almost doubled their lead three times soon after. Another strike by Husdon was palmed away by Lliswerry keeper Luca Bullock, before the rebound was tapped inches wide of the left post by Dean Clifford. Lliswerry’s Tom Hooper almost deflected a clearance into his own net after cross by Hudson, but the former managed to divert the ball narrowly past right post. From the following corner, Taylor Rees-Zammit thumped a drilling effort inches over the bar.

City were however rewarded for their pressure when they doubled their lead in the 32nd minute. The goal came following a nice lay-off by Hill who found Clifford on the edge of the area, allowing the latter to smash a powerful effort into bottom left hand corner. Clifford then almost trebled the Steelmen’s lead as he saw his close range strike blocked by Bullock, before Hudson bobbled an effort narrowly over the bar.

The visitors eventually grew into the game; and applied a sustained amount of pressure prior to the interval. Lyes Mihoubi saw a 15 yard piledriver smack the underside of the bar, before witnessing the ball bounce off the line and roll away from goal. City were however punished in the 38th minute when Lliswerry halved the deficit. The goal came when a low corner delivery fell straight to the feet of the unmarked Daniel Oldfield, who tucked in low finish from inside the 6 yard box.

HT 2-1

The visitors re-applied the pressure following the break; and almost equalled the score straight away after Lewis Grant dragged a low shot narrowly past the left post. This was shortly followed by Marcus Power firing a dangerous strike from edge of area, which flew inches wide of the right post.

City however managed to weather the storm; and restored their two goal cushion in the 57th minute. The goal came following a nice aerial cross by Hill into the area, where Ethan Wynne was on hand to plant a firm header into the back of the net.

Despite their setback, Lliswerry responded strongly and produced another period of sustained pressure. They almost clawed a goal back when City keeper Marcel Nzarora superbly tipped a strike from Lewis Grant over the bar. The visitors did however close the deficit in the 76th minute. A long ball into area found Oldfield, who nodded over the exposed Nzarora to convert his second goal of the game.

Buoyed by the goal, the visitors continued to relentlessly push forward in search of an equaliser. A thundering shot by Blake Tovey bounced off the crossbar, while Power dragged an effort inches wide of the left post. Nzarora was also forced into a huge save, as he magnificently tipped a goal bound strike from Grant round the left post.

City almost added a fourth goal late on through Kareem Leigh, who curled a strike from narrowly over the bar. The Steelmen did eventually manage to successfully hold on to the lead; and secured a huge victory.

FT 3-2

Newport City Line-Up:

Nzarora, Cashman, Mickiewicz, Corten, Rees-Zammit (Sub: Francombe), Westhead (Sub: Clemson), Hudson (Sub: Leigh), Wynne, Hole, Clifford (Sub: Hunt), Hill

Unused subs – Tyner

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