Newport City look to extend winning streak in Dragon Signs Amateur Trophy final

Newport City go into Saturday’s Dragon Signs Amateur Trophy final against Penrhyncoch having won every single match they have played in 2024.

And manager Sam Houldsworth admits he wasn’t expecting such a successful season, despite some sound recruitment last summer.

“We thought we had a good chance of pushing top five in the league, but we had a bad patch at the start and realised we weren’t strong enough. We lowered our expectations, and all of a sudden we signed a few players and it just clicked. From then it’s been non-stop.”

Currently sitting third in the Ardal South East, Houldsworth says that the trophy run has been a pleasant and unexpected bonus.

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2024 Dragon Signs Amateur Trophy final

“We had no eyes on this trophy,” he admits. “We didn’t expect to go far, and then we just kept on winning.”

Houldsworth says that their winning run does add some pressure going into the final at Newtown’s Latham Park – but opponents Penrhyncoch are also enjoying a fantastic unbeaten run, so something will have to give.

And he is up for the challenge of testing himself and his team against a new opponent.

“I’ve only heard good things about the club,” he says of Gari Lewis’s Penrhyncoch.

He isn’t nervous for the big occasion.

“I’m honestly so excited for it,” he says. “The nerves will kick in on the day – on the coach, I’ll definitely be nervous. At training, we were full of excitement. We’re looking forward to it.

“We want to win it, but if we don’t, we’ll enjoy a cup final day.”

The 2024 Dragon Signs Amateur Trophy final takes place between Newport City and Penrhyncoch at Latham Park in Newtown on Saturday 20 April (KO 12:30).

Tickets for the final will be cash only on the gate, costing £5 for adults and £2 for concessions. A ticket will also grant spectators access to the Welsh Blood Service League Cup national final at Latham Park later in the day. Both finals will be available to watch live for free on RedWall+.

Picture credit: Mac Morgan

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