Goals from Jermaine Hylton and James Brophy ensured that Town’s Development Side finished their 2016/17 Central League campaign on a high courtesy of a 2-1 victory against Newport County earlier today.
The Reds dominated proceedings from start to finish and carved out a glut of clear-cut chances, with Hylton’s coolly-taken penalty the difference at the break.
Brophy then added a second on the hour mark and that proved to be enough for Town, despite the fact that Liam Angel had given his side a glimmer of hope.
As has been the case in recent weeks, First-Team Coach Ross Embleton plumped for a strong Starting XI with the likes of Anton Rodgers, Brad Barry, Ellis Iandolo and James Brophy all given a chance to impress.
And impress they did as the hosts launched wave after wave of attack on the Newport goal in the opening exchanges of the game.
Jermaine Hylton fired wide following good work by Jordan Stewart while Ellis Iandolo sent an effort off-target after being picked out inside the area by Brad Barry.
The Reds went closer moments later as Iandolo picked out James Brophy with a sublime pass, but the attacker could only watch on as his shot drifted inches wide of the post.
Rhys Davies then did well to keep out Jordan Stewart’s flicked effort from close-range, while Will Henry had to be alert to deny Joshua Williams down the other end.
It was all Town though and they came close to taking the lead bang on the twenty-minute mark, but Jesse Starkey’s volley was headed off the line by a County defender.
Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill sent a drive over the bar before he presented Brophy with a golden opportunity to score, but the latter could only poke a strike wide.
Stewart rose highest to meet Iandolo’s pinpoint delivery only to glance a header wide, although Town did finally take the lead halfway through the first-half.
After Rhys Davies could only parry Anton Rodgers’ well-struck free-kick back into the danger zone, Iandolo was fouled as he attempted to go for the loose ball which led to Hylton confidently stroking home from the penalty spot.
Newport did look to muster up a response and they put together a rare attack just before half-time, although Momodon Touray could only plant a firm effort against the post.
As was the case in the first-half, Town were much the dominant side after the interval and they came close to grabbing an opener shortly after the restart with Davies doing well to parry Starkey’s drive to safety.
Hylton then slammed wide after being set-up by Iandolo before Aaron Williams skewed a shot off-target at the other end.
Davies was having a good afternoon in goal for the visitors and he had to be at his best in order to beat away Ormonde-Ottewill’s fierce strike.
However, he was unable to keep the Reds at bay for long and the home side deservedly doubled their advantage on the hour mark after Brophy curled home following quick thinking by Rodgers from a short corner.
But that joy was short-lived with Newport pulling one back almost immediately, Liam Angel producing a good finish inside the area.
Town were soon back on top though and they had further chances to extend their lead with Scott Twine forcing Davies into a smart stop.
Henry produced a brilliant save at the other end to keep his side’s lead intact, before Newport had a shot hacked off the line from the resulting corner.
With time running out, Town looked to put the game to bed but they were unable to finish their chances as Davies produced a fine stop to tip Ormonde-Ottewill’s bullet free-kick over the bar, before both Barry and Twine missed the target.
But those missed opportunities didn’t matter as the Reds held on to finish the Central League season on a high.
TOWN STARTING XI:
Henry; Barry, Christopher (Louis Spalding 71), Frimpong, Ormonde-Ottewill; Rodgers (C) (Jordan Simpson 73), Starkey, Iandolo, Brophy; Stewart (Scott Twine 59), Hylton.
Subs Not Used - Tommy Ouldridge.