County 1 Cardiff City 2
STRIKER Tre Marrett went from hero to zero as ten-man Newport County AFC crashed out of the FAW Youth Cup at the hands of local rivals Cardiff City.
The talented but temperamental front man scored a 30-yard screamer before being sent off for his part in a mass brawl in a feisty derby encounter.
That allowed Cardiff back into the game and two goals from Eli Phipps either side of half-time saw the visitors triumph on a sodden Spytty Park pitch.
The Exiles youth team, led by coaches Glyn Jones and Danny Elliott, battled bravely but Cardiff’s extra man was the decisive factor as the game wore on.
The visitors had started in confident mood with Phipps almost opening the scoring after just two minutes as he turned Tom Pearson’s tempting cross inches over Jake Keating’s crossbar.
Keating was then forced into a smart save by Gary Lavery before County took the lead thanks to a stunner from Marrett after ten minutes.
The striker, who also scored in the 5-0 victory over Aberbargoed Buds in the last round, collected the ball 30 yards from goal and let fly with an unstoppable rocket into the bottom corner of Joe Massaro’s net.
That gave County a real boost and Lewis Jones twice hit the woodwork from long-range free-kicks as the hosts looked like running away with it.
But the Exiles were halted in their tracks by the red card for Marrett just before the half hour mark after an altercation with Cardiff defender Ash Baker.
Marrett appeared to throw a punch in the scuffle so couldn’t really argue with the decision from referee Leigh Jones.
But how Baker escaped any sort of punishment for his part in the incident is a mystery, particularly as he had already been booked.
Cardiff then took charge as Ellis Bellamy, watched from the stands by his dad Craig, saw a shot well stopped by Keating and Ieuan Baldwin cleared another Phipps effort off the line from the rebound.
Phipps then levelled matters on 42 minutes with a neat touch and finish inside the area and he almost added a second two minutes later but his header bounced off a post and into Keating’s hands.
Lavery hit the bar from Jamie Veale’s corner shortly after the break as the young Bluebirds continued to bombard the County goal.
Phipps fired home the winner on 65 minutes to finally sink the Exiles and could have had a hat-trick soon afterwards when he lobbed Keating but saw his shot cleared off the line by Kieran Parselle.
And the drama wasn't over with the final whistle as Bellamy demonstrated that he has inherited a few traits from his dad by picking up a second yellow card for remonstrating with the referee as the players left the pitch.
County: Keating, Findlay, Parselle, Victory, Redman, Baldwin, Omoregie (Wood, 62), Holmes (Behaldeen, 75), Marrett, Owen Evans, Jones
Subs not used: Preece, Flay, Christie