Newport City 5 – 4 Undy Athletic

Newport City bounced back from their poor league form by winning a nine goal thriller against Undy Athletic in the Welsh Cup second qualifying round. The victory enabled the Steelmen to avenge their 2-0 league defeat against the same opposition a week ago; and secured their progression into the next round of the Welsh Cup.

City started the game superbly and were almost ahead early on through Ryan Harris; but the striker saw his thumping strike smack the underside of the bar before the ball bounced off the goal-line. City were however eventually rewarded for their early pressure as they went in front in the 14th minute. Following a corner delivery, Harries collected the loose ball and smashed an unstoppable effort into the back of the net. Things soon got better for the Steelmen as they were awarded a penalty following a foul on Gareth Hole inside the area in the 19th minute. The resulting spot kick was converted into the bottom right corner by Spencer Wood; and doubled City’s lead.

Undy did however pull a goal back in the 24th minute when a free kick delivery into the area failed to be cleared by the Steelemen, allowing Finnley Chard to tap a low finish from inside the 6 yard box. The goal led to a shaky period for City; with Undy applying constant pressure. It therefore came as no surprise when the visitors levelled the score in the 39th minute. A cross by James Gidney was met by Gareth Cullimore; allowing the latter to advance into the area before dinking a successful effort over City Keeper Marcel Nzarora.

HT 2-2

Undy restarted the game strongly; and they were ahead in the 48th minute when an upfield cross into the area was headed into the top left corner by Cullimore. However City refused to give up and were handed a golden opportunity to equalise on the hour mark, thanks to another penalty after Ben Taylor was tugged down inside the area by Joshua Fitton. Wood made no mistake from the resulting spot kick and levelled the score.

Things soon got even better for the Steelmen when they restored their lead in the 68th minute. A nice run down the right channel allowed Hole to cross into area, where Luke Boyle was on hand to tuck a low finish into the bottom left corner. Buoyed by the goal, City grew in confidence and almost increased their lead through Harris and Taylor who were both denied by Undy keeper James Smallcombe.

The visitors pushed forward and frequently threatened the City goal as they searched for an equalizer with Sam Broadribb, Tom Wright and Oliver Smith all sending dangerous efforts narrowly wide. Undy were however rewarded for their pressure in the 86th minute when they levelled the score again. A cross into the area by Gidney found Cullimore, allowing the latter to power a low diving header by into the bottom right corner and seal his hattrick.

Despite the setback, the Steelmen refused to bow down and were remarkably awarded a third penalty in the 93rd minute after Taylor was taken down inside the area by Gidney. Wood duly recorded his own hattrick as he fired the resulting spot kick into the bottom left corner, despite Smallcombe partially getting a hand to the ball.

There was still time for Undy’s Fitton to collect a red card for two bookable offences as the visitors attempted to claw their way back in the game again. City, however, successfully managed to secure the victory in what turned out to be a highly entertaining and memorable occasion.

FT 5-4

Newport City Line-Up:

Nzarora, Tyner, Joyce, Francombe, Mickiewicz, Boyle, Wood (C), Price, Hole (Sub: Head), Taylor, Harris (Sub: Sani)

Unused subs – Wigley, Price, Rodrigues

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