On Saturday 28th January 2017, Newport County AFC youth team took on Bristol Rovers youth team. The starting XI was as followed: Rhys Davies, Stevie Kaca, Finlay Wood, Lucas Murray, Cairan Smith, Josh Williams, Evan Press, Lewis Collins, Liam Warman, Momodou Touray and Rhys Kavanagh. With used substitutes Liam Angel and Thomas Hillman. There were 3 unused substitutes; Joe Hunt, Tomas Savigar and Shay Snell.
The first half was a fearlessly contested derby, with plenty of goals, tackles and chances created by both sides. Newport took the lead at 18 minutes after a great cross from Finlay Wood found a darting run from Momodou Touray but Bristol quickly equalised. Rhys Davies only able to get a hand on a long shot which dropped at the feat of a Bristol Rover striker who tapped it in.
The last goal before the break was created by 2nd year Rhys Kavanagh driving inside the pitch onto his left foot before playing a sublime pass inside the centre half meeting the run of U16 Lewis Collins who calmly slotted the ball past the smothering goalkeeper.
As the second half opened back up, with the pitch becoming cut up and the ball holding up, Bristol managed to equalise on the 58th minute. Classic route one football saw Bristol cleverly miss out the sticky middle of the pitch with a long kick from the goalkeeper clearing not only the midfield but County’s defence as well. The ball fell to the feet of the Bristol striker who took his chance well with a unhurried finish.
With the game at stale mate, County’s academy created a lot of chances but didn’t manage to capitalise. The derby finished 2-2.
The academy’s next game is away at Cheltenham.