A step too far
Written by Nathan Brearley, April 02, 2018
A disappointing evening saw a much changed NEWFA side go down 4-3 to NWCFA. NEWFA were 2 down in the first 5 minutes, after a defensive error and some slack work which was extremely disappointing after the initial team talk. However credit to the NEFWA boys as they showed character and rallied back to be level within quarter of an hour. The picture shows NEWFA's first goal from Lewis Jones and this was quickly followed up by the equaliser from Kyle Wilkes. The match was played at a ferocious pace and NEWFA very quickly created another chance with Terry Pugh clean through. Unfortunately his effort was saved but NEWFA continued to press and from a resulting corner Jordan Dorrington's header came back off the bar to the frustartion of the away side.
That said NWCFA continued to try to press and saw a goal disallowed for offside just prior to the half time whistle. Once again NEWFA discussed how they wanted to keep things tight at the back but impress the advantages they had created going forward. All knew the next goal would be crucial. Very quickly there was a feeling of deja vu as the Coast scored just two minutes into the second half with a sweetly struck shot and then extended their lead after just 51 minutes. Why NEWFA didnt defend the opening exchanges of both halves is something that will be left as a reflection point for a long time.
The next 10 minutes or so saw the game settle and play was mainly in the middle third, but with 25 minutes to go a through ball by Ste Orsler saw Terry Pugh rushing onto the ball in the penalty area only to be clattered by the home goalkeeper and a penalty correctly awarded. Up stepped Matt Williams (who had grabbed a hatrick in the previous game) and he swept the ball home to set up a pulsating last section of the match. NEWFA needed a goal and NWCFA just needed to hold on. As the game advanced NEWFA began to take more risks and whilst chances were created they were always inches away from the required touch. NEWFA played the last few minutes of the match with just one at the back and at least 5 in attack, with the others in the pocket behind, but it was just not meant to be and the referee sounded his whistle at full time where there was conflicting emotions - dejection from an away side who came so close and elation for the Coast who progress to the Play Off final v South Wales FA on Easter Monday - 2pm kick off at Newtown.
NEWFA wish the Coast all the best for the final and will regroup ready for the next competition.