GOYTRE made light of being minus suspended top scorer Luke Prosser by overcoming a stubborn Newport YMCA side to post a 14th successive Division Two victory since the season’s start.
Top-flight sides Caerleon, Cwmbran Celtic and Monmouth Town were all beaten, while Llanwern became the highest-placed local team in the lower tier thanks to a five-star home display at Newport Stadium.
Prosser sat out table-topping Goytre’s game with his brother, Matthew, moving from his usual central-defensive role to replace him in attack against YMCA, who began on the back of a fine 1-0 home win over promotion-seeking Briton Ferry Llansawel.
For a little over 50 minutes the visitors more than matched their hosts, who were clearly struggling because of a lack of competitive match fitness, having played only three league games since winning 2-0 at YMCA’s Mendalgief Road way back on October 27 last year.
Early on, Goytre missed a few half-chances with YMCA skipper and goalkeeper Gareth Wesson making a couple of important stops.
YMCA did manage to get forward enough to suggest they weren’t at Plough Road just to make up the numbers, although they didn’t cause any worries for Wesson’s opposite number, Scott James.
Eventually pacey forward Kyle Bassett fired past Wesson for his seventh goal of the campaign nine minutes from the break, but the lead lasted just 120 seconds as YMCA striker Nick Potts levelled matters with a neat finish.
As the second period began it was obvious the next goal was going to be crucial, and from the moment Calum Miles headed in Corey Jenkins’ left-wing cross on 52 minutes it was Goytre who looked the more capable of going on to secure the three points.
YMCA sent on Nicholas Medhurst as a substitute, although within five minutes he made an impact at the wrong end of the field by scoring an own goal past Wesson.
There were still 13 minutes remaining, but during that time Goytre could well have added to their total as YMCA poured forward seeking to reduce the deficit.
Goytre were worthy winners, but credit to YMCA, who drop to eighth, for making a fist of it – although it seems certain they will now have to settle for a mid-table end to the season.
Elsewhere in Division Two there were wins for Undy Athletic, Caldicot Town and Croesyceiliog, while Aberbargoed Buds’ game at Dinas Powys was postponed.
Undy are up to sixth after goals from Andrew Larcombe, with a header on his club debut from Llanwern, and James Barnes earned them a 2-0 success at Maesteg-based Caerau, while Caldicot are just one place behind following a fifth consecutive victory.
However, it was only late goals from Simon Jones and David Lloyd that helped them defeat visiting basement outfit Cwmaman Institute 3-2 – striker Mitchell Slape had earlier put the Jubilee Way side ahead.
Croesyceiliog continued their march away from the drop zone as a goal double from player-coach Jody Jenkins helped them win 2-1 at home against Penrhiwceiber Rangers, manager Mark Waddon’s men winning for the third successive league match to go 11th of 16.
Llanwern were bidding for a third triumph in four Division Three matches when entertaining Newcastle Emlyn and got it with an impressive 5-2 score-line thanks to goals from James Harmer (2), Liam Palmer, who fired in from 35 yards, Alex North and Jonathan Kift.
The win takes manager Gareth Morgan’s men up to fifth and above Risca United, who were beaten 4-3 away by county rivals Tredegar Town – who trailed 3-1 after just 20 minutes.
Rob Aldridge, Ian Turner and Brendon Scott had put Risca in control, but ninth-placed Tredegar stormed to victory with efforts from Chase Mullins (2), Daniel Battle and Ian Pettit counting.
Chepstow recovered from the disappointment of being knocked out of the Welsh Cup the previous week by winning 2-0 at one-from-the-bottom Abertillery Bluebirds.
Richard Sharratt and Ashley Palmer netted the goals that maintained Chepstow’s seventh position, while Newport Civil Service are just one spot behind after defeating bottom-placed hosts Treharris Athletic Western 3-2.
Marc Gunter, Dave Mellon and player-coach Ben Burrows were on the mark for the city side, but Treowen Stars are down to 10th after losing 3-0 at home against the promotion-seeking students of Cardiff Metropolitan University.
In Division One, Monmouth Town were on course to victory over visiting Barry Town as a hat trick from central midfielder Rob Laurie had them 3-1 up.
However, the Kingfishers uncharacteristically let the lead slip as Barry stormed back to clinch an unlikely 4-3 success which dents the home side’s title hopes.
They drop down a couple of rungs to seventh while Celtic couldn’t hold onto a second-minute lead given to them by midfielder Rakesh Patel in losing 2-1 at rock-bottom Margam-based Tata Steel.
Celtic are now 12th and in losing by the same score at Pontardawe Town, Caerleon, who scored via Chris Bickerton, dropped down to one from the bottom at the halfway point of their 30-fixture programme.
Wednesday fixture, Division Three: Pontypridd Town v Risca United (kick-off 7.15pm).