Kick off:15:30 Saturday, 26 Apr 2014
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Mark Whitby
Airbus keeper James Coates punches before Shane Sutton can connect (Kevin Hughes)
A DRAW against the runners up today brought down the curtain on Newtown’s most successful season for over ten years.
The Robins took the lead through a Zach Evans penalty, however that was cancelled out within seconds from a great piece of skill from Mike Pearson.
Despite having chances the Robins failed to get in front, but despite this a credible draw against one of the league’s top sides sees Newtown well set going into the play-offs.
Chris Hughes made two changes for the final league game of the season as Lance Jones and James Bloom came in form Tom Goodwin and Max Penk.
In a relatively even start at a sunny Latham Park Matty Hearsey tested the Airbus defence with a teasing cross, and Ian Kearney fired a free kick just over the Robins crossbar.
Former Newtown skipper Andy Jones returned to Latham Park for the first time since his move to the Airfield, and he was greeted with a few boos from the stands, but the defender received a warm reception on the whole.
On the ten minute mark the Robins were inches from going in front as a Craig Williams free-kick caused a melee in the Airbus box.
Shane Sutton directed in goal wards and it looked to be going over the line but for an intervention from former Robins skipper Andy Jones.
The ball then fell for Kieran Mills-E vans but his header cannoned back off the crossbar and away to safety.
The hosts created another great chance following this as a sweeping move on the counter attack saw Newtown switch the ball, and Luke Boundford flashed a shot inches wide.
Steve Jones followed this up with a tame effort wide for the wing makers who were struggling to test the Newtown defence.
The Robins were stringing together some good passing moves when in possession, however they suffered a setback on the half hour mark as James Bloom went off injured on his return from a previous injury.
Another good passage of play saw Boundford put his head in where it hurts at a corner, and then Hearsey and Mitchell combined well to win a free kick in a dangerous area.
Newtown's Craig Williams battles with Airbus forward Steve Jones (Kevin Hughes)
Airbus did create a chance on the break but former Robin Jones’ header was easily dealt with by Chris Mullock.
However Airbus nearly shot themselves in the foot as a tame header by Kearney back to his goal keeper was intercepted by Boundford, but the covering defender got back just in time.
Despite this the Robins got their just reward five minutes before the break as Kearney pushed Mills-Evans to the floor at a set piece and the referee pointed to the spot.
Zach Evans stepped up and slotted the ball away, however the lead was short lived as the visitors countered immediately.
A ball from the left found Mike Pearson who smartly volleyed the ball home.
In the topsy turvy tussle though Hearseys smart touch and volley nearly gave the Robins the lead again but it flew narrowly over the bar.
The Robins again threatened in added time as good build up play saw the ball fall to Neil Mitchell, however he fired wide when surrounded by two Airbus defenders.
Airbus came flying out of the traps in the second period and Mullock had to be smart as he saved a flick on from a visitors long throw.
From the resulting corner they had the ball in the net but they had it chalked off for a push.
Airbus had the majority of the early pressure from corners with Oswell heading over but Newtown managed to keep the wing makers at bay.
Andy Preece’s men should have taken the lead moments later as Steve Jones countered down the right. His cross fell to Evans but his poor touch laid it off for Aaron Hassall who fired wide.
Jones was becoming the biggest threat for Airbus and his teasing shot come cross seemed to have been gathered by Mullock.
However the ball fell loose and Zach Evans was on hand to clear the ball.
Despite this pressure Newtown did create a good chance on the counter as Mitchell held the ball up well, went between two players and fired a shot at Coates who spilled the ball, but no one was on hand to fire the ball home.
And the Robins had another chance to take the lead as Williams crossed from the left, but Hearsey couldn’t direct his header towards goal.
The visitors carved the Robins open moments later as Zyiac Edwards fed Glenn Rule but his strike from a narrow angle was smartly saved by Mullock.
Following this the Robins countered and from a short free kick Newtown skipper Matt Cook stung the palms of the Airbus stopper Coates with a long range drive.
The game fell a little flat with no sides able to get any rhythm before Hassall lashed wide from a flick on by substitute Budrys.
Hughes introduced Callum Wright from the bench and he had an immediate impact as he showed good feet, and despite his shot being blocked Evans had a strike deflected over.
Hearsey then ran at the Airbus defence and caused Jones all sorts of problems but couldn't find an end product.
With almost the last kick of the game the Robins produced a good counter however Williams fired over to put an end to Newtown’s official league season.
The result sees the Robins secure fifth, their highest league finish for years ahead of the play-offs.