Our U18’s picked up their second draw of the season, in a thrilling 1-1 draw against Cheltenham Town; Owen Taylor’s 87th minute goal saw the Young Exiles pick up a hard-earned point at Lliswerry School.
Both sides started strongly, with Tom Hillman looking lively on the left and causing a few problems for the Cheltenham defenders early on.
Despite this, the Young Exiles would have a scare in the 7th minute – after a sudden display of intricate passing from the away side, their striker found himself one-on-one with the keeper, but he made his run too soon and was ruled offside.
Apart from conceding a free kick, County defended magnificently and didn’t allow Cheltenham many chances at all in the opening 20 minutes.
Soon though, they would rely on ‘keeper Matt Mayor, who made a spectacular save to prevent a brilliant volley from smashing into the top-left corner of the goal in the 20th minute.
Liam Bishop would then go extremely close for County two minutes later, but his powerful strike was tipped over the crossbar by Cheltenham Town goalkeeper Ross Grimshaw.
Matt Mayor would make another brilliant save in the 31st minute – making an almost impossible save from point blank range, preventing a certain goal for the Robins.
After this, intensity of the game started to lower, with the game becoming more physical from this point onwards, not allowing any clear-cut chances to arise.
The Young Exiles went into the second-half with the scores level, thanks to Matt Mayor who had been in scintillating form in the first-half.
Only a minute into the second-half, Byron Anthony’s side should have been leading – Owen Taylor saw his shot blocked off the line, which stopped a certain goal for the home side.
In the 58th minute, Michael Cook was the next County player to come close to breaking the deadlock; Cook should have buried a header, had it been on target it would’ve been a goal. Unfortunately, the striker could only place his header over, going agonizingly close to scoring.
With 71 minutes gone, the Young Exiles brought Josh Williams on for Evan Press – attempting to score an elusive goal in the next 20 minutes.
Four minutes later, Cheltenham had broken the deadlock through Camden Duncan after Ross Grimshaw smashed the ball up-field, because of a drop-ball.
Byron Anthony made a single change after the goal, bringing off Owura Edwards for Liam Warman.
It looked like the game had gone past the Young Exiles – who despite all their efforts, couldn’t break down a resolute Cheltenham Town defence.
Owen Taylor would change that however, the midfielder hammered the ball into the back of the net from outside the box, levelling the scores in the 87th minute.
Michael Cook had a chance to win it in injury-time, but he couldn’t connect after Tom Hillman played a brilliant ball from the left, had Cook even got a touch, County might have picked up all three points.
Starting XI: Mayor, Johnson, Hunt, Taylor, Murray, Savigar, Hillman, Press (C) (Josh Williams 71’), Cook, Bishop, Edwards (Warman 75’).
Subs Not Used: Callum Brain, Jay Williams, Callum Beckett.