AFTER going behind twice yet again, four first half goals meant that Monmouth Town were left frustrated at yet another home draw against an organised New Inn side, reports DAN KEANE.
In a game of contrasting halves in autumnal conditions, fortunes swung both ways.
The Kingfishers failed to capitalise on several chances in the second half after Dan MacDonald’s free-kick was tapped in from close range at the back post by Jack Alderdice equalising after half an hour.
Monmouth were forced to come from behind again when MacDonald equalised himself moments before half time, chesting the ball down and firing the ball into the roof of the net after a clever pass across the box from Jacob Perrella.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Town, who were left frustrated after dominating yet another game, creating far superior chances to win it, but lapses in concentration and discipline cost them the three points.
The away side led in empathic fashion after five minutes when a cross into the box looped into the top of the net off a Lewis Ford header.
Despite Town’s slow and lethargic start, they levelled through Alderdice meeting MacDonald’s superb free kick into the box on 20 minutes.
It was a similar narrative to previous weeks for the Kingfishers though, when yet again they found themselves behind.
This time Benjamin Williams was played through one-on-one with Town keeper Dan Keane, contentiously going down in the box from the challenge and being awarded a penalty despite huge protests from the home players.
Williams stayed cool amid the protests and controversy to beat Keane from the spot to regain the lead.
Monmouth, though, levelled moments before the conclusion of the half after MacDonald’s clever finish from Perrella’s pass.
Five minutes after the break the hosts nearly took the lead for the first time when the ever-threatening MacDonald`s effort from just outside the box fizzed just past the left post.
The half continued with the Kingfishers dominating possession, but being left frustrated by New Inn`s defensively pragmatic approach.
The game became something of attack versus defence, the away team rarely able to push up into Monmouth’s half as the hosts struggled to create any attacking penetration in their desire to score a winner.
Town thought they had won it with minutes to play with another precise delivery from MacDonald, but Alderdice`s header from inside the six-yard box went agonisingly wide of the post.
Monmouth remain fifth in the Premier Division.
With Rogerstone and Pill drawing who occupy third and sixth, as well as teams below them including Caerleon and Cwmbran Town recording vital wins with games in hand, it will leave Town frustrated after a similar story to the previous week against Abertillery Excelsiors.
Having come from behind in a fourth consecutive match, Alderdice and fellow joint manager Nick Harrhy`s side will ultimately feel like it was two points lost rather than one point gained.
Alderdice described the draw as “hindering yet still encouraging”.
“Obviously to not win the match after the opposition didn’t register a single shot in the second half, and after dominating possession for another week is disappointing,” he said. “However, we cannot dwell on the result and must take the positives. If we can improve on small details I know we are good enough to turn these draws into wins and push up the league.”
Monmouth’s position in the table is slender with just four points separating fourth and eighth.
The draw sets up a momentous meeting with Caerleon AFC at Cold Bath Road on Saturday (November 18)., with the Romans seventh just a point behind Monmouth having played four games fewer.
Elsewhere, Chepstow Town suffered heartbreak in their third round JD Welsh Cup clash at South Gower, drawing 2-2 thanks to goals from Josh Gibson and Leo Ross only to lose 5-4 on penalties.
Fellow Chepstow outfit Thornwell R&W won through the first round of the Gwent Amateur Cup though thanks to a 1-0 win at Trinant.
Tintern Abbey went top of East Gwent 2 with an 8-2 Wyeside hammering of Caldicot Castle 2nds, Jack Coleman hitting four backed by solo strikes from Harry Hoskins, Gavin Stewart, John Hitchens and an own goal.
Sudbrook CC 2nds won 5-4 at Severn Tunnel, while Thornwell’s 2nds missed out 3-2 at home to Portskewett and Sudbrook 2nds.
Redbrook Rovers lost 3-1 at home to Lydney Town A in North Glos 1, but they were celebrating at The Island as Usk Town 2nds secured a first Gwent Central 2 win of the season, beating visitors Fairfield United Dev 5-0.
Other fixtures on Saturday include – Treowen Stars v Chepstow Town, Monmouth Town 2nds v Sudbrook CC, Chepstow Town 2nds v Treowen 2nds, Undy Athletic 3rds v Rockfield Rovers, Usk Town v Pontnewydd United, Thornwell R&W v Riverside Rovers, Caldicot Castle v Portskewett & Sudbrook, Caldicot Town 3rds v Underwood, Redbrook Rovers v Lydbrook Athletic 2nds, Lydbrook Athletic A v Redbrook Rovers 2nds.