The Exiles travelled to Cardiff City Stadium to face Championship side Cardiff City to conclude their pre-season campaign ahead of the Sky Bet League Two 2021/22 season.
Jermaine Hylton started off strong for the Exiles with an early chance to score following a powerful kick from Priestley Farquharson as the game kicked-off.
The Bluebirds pressured the Exiles within the early stages of the game, but it was Townsend who stopped what could have been City’s first goal in the 16th minute and saved Aden Flint’s header just moments later.
Michael Flynn’s side continued to show strong pace and cohesion on the field however, later fell to an early defeat following a fast strike from just outside the box which slipped past the gloves of Townsend and into the net.
The Exiles made numerous opportunities in what could have been their first goal against the Championship side as Willmott sent the ball down the line with a shot on target. City came back moments later with a powerful shot towards the Exiles’ goal but went astray of the right post.
A late challenge in the first half pressurised Townsend in a one-on-one contention, but it was the County keeper who came off on top as he deflected the ball away, stopping the Bluebirds from doubling their score before the half-time whistle.
After the break, a corner taken from City’s attacker Giles was powerfully headed off the line by Dolan who captained the side in the second half of the game. The midfielder then came excruciatingly close to a leveller as he took a left-footed shot towards the goal but was tipped over by the home sides defence.
The Bluebirds responded with fast pace as the ball found itself into the hands of Joe Day, who had come on in place of Townsend. It was the save from the substitute Day that prevented City from extending their lead as the former Cardiff City keeper leapt to get the slightest of touches on the ball to keep it from going into the back of the net in the final ten minutes.
The Exiles played hard to create more chances as the full-time whistle loomed, but it was the home side that managed to get a late goal following a low cross that slipped through the legs of Day.
County remained resilient in the closing stages of the game as substitute and new academy signing Livermore deflected a ball within the last minute to see the score settle at 2-0 to Cardiff City.
Newport County AFC’s pre-season preparations for the 2021/22 season have now ended, with the Sky Bet League Two opener against Oldham Athletic to be played next Saturday at Boundary Park.