Gwent County Motors Cup
Mardy FC 3 Newport CS 1
Mardy were in County Motors Cup action against Newport Civil Service on Saturday in a game which became decidedly uncivil on occasions but still saw them run out 3-1 winners against opponents from the Gwent Premier Division, reports CLIVE HARRY.
The match was preceded by a minute’s silence by both teams in memory of Will Hughes, a much-liked character on and off the field for Mardy not too long ago.
The hosts made a slow start with Civil looking dangerous in the opening minutes and almost taking the lead when a good move gave Simeon Weir a sight of goal and his shot beat keeper Kris Purnell only to rebound to safety off the inside of the post.
The escape seemed to shake Mardy out of their initial lethargy and they took the lead after 11 minutes with a well worked goal.
Good play by Aaron Norman in the area gave Dan Wait a crossing opportunity and he flighted the ball perfectly onto the head of Liam Simmonds who crashed a lovely header in off the underside of the crossbar.
The lead was increased only seven minutes later with the type of spectacular goal that home fans have seen several times already this season.
The instigator was Ben Jones who has already hit the net from distance previously this campaign, but turned provider on this occasion with a cross to the edge of the box which was met perfectly by Matthew Wham with a first time volley on the run which screamed into the corner of the net.
The hosts maintained their momentum and grabbed a third goal just after the half hour when a Wham through ball released Lloyd Walker and he netted past keeper Josh Griffiths for his eighth goal of the season.
A rampant home side almost increased the lead minutes later when a Wait header was safely held by Griffiths, and Simmonds went close to grabbing his second just before the break with an effort from 30 yards that hit the outside of the post.
With victory seemingly assured, the second half degenerated into a rather messy, bad-tempered affair with several outbreaks of handbags involving both teams and resulting in the visitors winning the yellow card war by five to three.
They also pulled a goal back with 12 minutes remaining when a shot from distance by Regan Price slipped through Purnell’s grasp.
There was to be no comeback, however, and the lead could have been increased just before the whistle when Jones gave Walker a sight of goal which he put over the bar.
Mardy are in cup action again this Saturday (September 30) with a home game against unbeaten East Gwent Division One leaders Underwood in the FAW Amateur Trophy (ko 1.30pm).
The 2nds also return to action with a game away to Fairfield United in the Gwent Central Open Cup.