Cardiff City 0 - 0 Newport County.County win on pens.

Last updated : 25 March 2003 By Michael Morris
Their reward? A 4 day trip to La Manga.

In the big scheme of things it matters not, promotion is the aim but surely these players have pride to play for if nothing else.

Newport County, inc Jeff Eckhardt and Jason Perry were deserved winners. They played their cup final tonight, they showed passion and commitment while a City side that inc Jason Bowen, Des Hamilton, Leo FW, Gavin Gordon, Andrew Jordon etc were unable to stamp any authority on the game and more worringly failed to force Newports Johnny Vegas lookalike keeper into any serious action.

The 90 minutes ended goalless, another 30 ended the same way. Penalties.

City's first 4 were lined up

Jason Bowen, Stuart Fleetwood, James Collins and Andrew Jordan. We never got to the fifth, two centre halves in the first 4 penalty takers, it did not bode well.

Newport scored all 4 attempts, Bowen scored for City, Fleetwood hit the bar, Collins scored before Jordan hit the post and the semi final went Newports way.

Lennie was interviewed several times during the game and was not happy with his troops at any stage. Watching on TV I was not happy either.

External report from The Western Mail

Report from BBC Wales
Jason Bowen fails to get past Andrew Thomas
Neither side could breach the opposition's defence
Non-league Newport fired Division Two high-fliers Cardiff out of the FAW Premier Cup semi-final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Spytty Park.

It continued Peter Nicholas' side's giant-killing acts after they defeated struggling Division Three side Swansea in the last round.

Newport had the better of the 120 minutes play and looked more confident throughout the penalty shoot-out.

Mike Fowler, Gary Shephard, Matt Rose and Richard French stroked home their spot kicks, but youngsters Stuart Fleetwood and Andy Jordon missed nervous strikes for the visitors.

Newport will face the winners of the Rhyl v Wrexham semi-final to be played on Monday, 14 April.

In a tense opening half, Cardiff's second-string side looked short of competitive practice and struggled to get to grips with a passionate home performance.

It took until the 31st minute to see the first real chance of the game, Newport's prolific front man Shephard breaking clear from the defence only to be denied by a fine save from Martin Margetson.

Shephard went close three minutes later, but was adjudged offside. With the Bluebirds offering little but an unimaginative long-ball game, the half ended scoreless.

Our penalty takers were brave, the young lads were superb
Newport's Jason Perry
The home side increased the pressure in the second period. A 55th minute corner was scrambled away by the Cardiff defence, but Shephard volleyed back in and former Bluebirds favourite Jeff Eckhardt just failed to direct the snap header.

It was Shephard again who went close five minutes later, but his shot was fired wide of Margetson's post.

Newport's energy did not prove enough to secure the breakthrough, though, leading the tie into a nervous extra time.

Cardiff blew the first chance of the added half hour, Leo Fortune-West looking startled in a mad scramble in the Newport box and failing to fire a gilt-edged chance past Gareth Wesson.

Both sides looked too nervous to go out and win the game and the match inevitably went down to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

After a delay for the home officials to paint in the penalty spot, it proved agony for Fleetwood and Jordon who struck bar and post respectively.

Newport's former Cardiff favourite Jason Perry commented: "It's great for Newport and for the fans.

"Our penalty takers were brave, the young lads were superb. We deserved the win."

Newport: G Wesson, C Collins, S Benton, A Thomas, J Perry, J Eckhardt, M Rose (capt), M Fowler, N Davis, G Shephard, N Davies.

Cardiff: M Margetson, G Jones (capt), J Collins, A Jordan, M Giles, D Hamilton, L Fowler, M Parkins, J Bowen, L Fortune-West, G Gordon.