MATCH REPORT: The Tigers 0-2 County
Newport County traveled to Cinderford on Saturday afternoon to face Tim Harris' Gloucester City. Two second half goals from substitute Rene Howe was enough to see County through to their fourth win of pre-season.
On a dull and damp day in Cinderford, the game started slowly with few chances for either side in the first half. Christian Jolley had the first chance of the game just four minutes in but Gloucester keeper Mike Green watched the ball go narrowly wide of the mark. Gloucester started brightly and had the better of the chances in the first half, Lewis Hogg saw his goal bound shot blocked, whilst Matt Groves cross found Scott Wilson whose effort just missed the target. Gloucester kept coming and Wilson watched his effort cleared off the line following Adam Mann's cross with 20 minutes on the clock.
As we passed half hour Adam Chapman's corner was just over the head of Ryan Jackson who found himself unmarked at the far post. Gloucester's Adam Connolly was next to try from distance but his shot was well blocked by the County defense. Lee Minshull set up Joe Parker on the 40th minute mark but his effort went just wide. The last chance of the half went to Scott Wilson whose effort from range bounced just in front of Pidgeley who done well to hold onto the ball on a wet surface.
Just three minutes into the second half Christian Jolley managed to pounce on a mistake by Mike Green as he rounded the keeper only to see his effort cleared off the line. Half time substitute Mark Byrne delivered a free kick into the area which found the head of Lee Minshull whose effort was well saved by the goalkeeper. Just a couple minutes later Byrne delivered a corner to find Minshull again, this time his header was cleared off the line. As we approached the hour mark Joe Parker had an effort from the edge of the box which looked to be creeping in before Green got down well to save.
Following a total of nine changes, Rene Howe controlled well in the box only to see his effort go just over on 67 minutes. With twenty minutes left County started piling the pressure on the Gloucester City defence as trialist Chris Jones cut in from the right hand side only to see his effort deflected wide for a corner. Robbie Willmott linked well with Chris Jones whose cross found Yan Klukowski who put his effort just wide. Then came the first goal of the game as Rene Howe finished off a County break away with a good finish at the far post to make it 1-0 to County with just over 15 minutes left.
Shaun Jeffers had two good chances within a minute only to see the Gloucester keeper save both, Chris Jones cross from the right hand side found Jeffers again in the area whose flick went just wide of the far post. With just five minutes remaining County doubled their lead as Rene Howe found himself one on one with the keeper to calmly finish into the corner of the goal.
As the referee blew the full time whistle County have now won four from four during pre-season, with Justin Edinburgh commenting "another successful workout in terms of fitness I think we have no problems there. I think the first 45/50 minutes we weren't at our best in terms of possession of the ball which was disappointing. The ones that come on used the ball a lot better and created chances, but again I don't think we've had a shot to save so defensively we look very solid."