A Newport County AFC XI continued their impressive start to pre-season with a commanding 4-2 victory away at Undy AFC.
Goals in the second half from Trialist 4, two from Trialist 3 and an own goal saw the Young Exiles to victory as their 100% record in pre-season continued with a fourth successive victory.
A late flicked finish from Chris Mbangam Pasi to make it 3-1 then a stoppage time thunderbolt from Dan Jarman did mean Jorden Gibson’s youth side conceded for the first time, but it was another impressive display ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
Undy AFC more than controlled proceedings in the first half but they couldn’t convert any of their opportunities – Gareth Cullimore smacked the crossbar with a header on 16 minutes then missed a free header shortly afterwards.
It was clear that the Young Exiles were insistent on keeping the ball on the floor and their superior fitness showed in the second half when they created and converted several chances.
An impressive slotted pass sent Trialist 4 in on goal to calmly slot past James Smallcombe on 57 minutes, before an unfortunate own goal from an Undy AFC defender doubled the advantage two minutes later.
With twenty minutes remaining, Trialist 3 got in on the act when he headed home from close range after Smallcombe had previously denied the Young Exiles with the first two initial attempts.
An unfortunate handling error from Callum Brain allowed Mbangam Pasi to start a potential fightback when he backheeled the ball into the net.
But Gibson’s charges nullified the comeback with the best goal of the game as Trialist 3 got his second of the contest with a wonderful free kick into the top corner from an acute angle about 25 yards out.
Undy AFC midfielder Dan Jarman completed the evening’s scoring with the sixth goal of the second half as he smashed a low effort into the far corner after cutting in from the left side.
Academy manager Jorden Gibson said: “Tonight was definitely the toughest test so far in pre-season. Undy AFC are a good side, very physical which is always a good challenge for any young player.
“A good result, the lads got the minutes they needed. A couple of sore bodies but that’s part of pre-season, building the boys up.
“At half-time, all I asked for was a bit more intensity. I didn’t think we played quick enough in the first half but we were obviously a bit more clinical in the second half with the four goals.
“I was a little bit disappointed with the two goals we conceded tonight but to score 13 goals in four games is pretty good going.
“We’ve got another game on Thursday at Caerleon AFC then we face Premier League opposition Watford on Saturday. The games are getting tougher which is the idea, more of a challenge just to test the lads against stronger opposition. So far, so good.”
Newport County AFC XI: Callum Brain, Callum Jones (C), Joe Woodiwiss, Jay Williams, Ioan Evans, Trialist 1, Trialist 2, Trialist 3, Ryan George, Trialist 4, Ryan Hillier
Subs: Louie Cirotto, Connor Graham, Sioni Benham, Ruben Fahiya, Dom Jeffries, Elis Watts
Undy AFC: James Smallcombe, Jordan Rathbone, Rhys Aherne, Chris Parry, Gyles Thompson, Dan Morgan, James Barnes, Oliver Smith, Tom Wright, Gareth Cullimore, Alex Jarman
Subs: Paul Clayton, Luke Verran, Dan Jarman, James Gidney, Sam Broadribb, Chris Mbangam-Pasi, Rhys Thomas