Newent Town beat Longlevens Reserves 3-2 with the last kick of the game, in a competitive and entertaining pre-season friendly.
Newent, who started with three Romanians in their starting XI will be playing in the Hellenic League Division One West next season after winning Division Two west last season and ultimately it was their Romanian connection who were the difference between the two sides.
Longlevens started with first teamers Ed Smyllie, Luke Kavanagh, Jonty Welch & Craig Martin as well as youngsters Harry Emmett Toby Shelton, Fin Brown & Tommy Callinan waiting in the wings on the bench.
Midfielder Jonty Welch departed inside the first 5 minutes with a calf injury but that didn’t stop Longlevens taking the lead.
A swift counter attack saw Filton Gardiner cut in from the right, lay the ball infield to Harry Emmett who in turned laid it on a plate for forward Craig Martin to sell his defender with a dummy before slotting home to break the deadlock.
Ten minutes later Longlevens went from nearly doubling their lead to being pegged back. First the impressive Harry Emmett curled an effort against the post, before Craig Martin’s superb left footed effort curled just wide.
The hosts broke down the other end and the move end with Rares Micula firing an unstoppable effort past Tom Shaw in the Levens goal. A spectacular strike from the Romanian bringing the scores back to parity.
With ten minutes to go until the break Micula found himself in behind the Levens back line, only to be brought down by Longlevens defender Ed Smyllie. Micula stepped up to convert the spotkick and put the hosts in front going into half time.
The scoreline remained the same until 15 minutes before full time when Harry Emmett barged his way through on goal, took advantage of a slip, rounded the keeper and tucked the ball away. 2-2 and game well and truly on.
Longlevens pressed for a winner and saw Gardiner denied by a terrific stop from substitute keeper Luke Merchant before Ed Smyllie had a delightful chip ruled out for offside, annoyingly for the visitors he looked onside.
In the dying embers of the game a long through ball split the away side’s defence, with forward Cosmin Micula leaping onto it, bearing down on goal and sidefooting the ball beyond Shaw winning the game for Ben Stringer’s side.
Newent are still awaiting their first set of fixtures to be released in the Division One West but it looks like their season will kick off on Saturday 18th August. For Longlevens their first team kick off against Flackwell Heath at Saw Mills and their Reserves begin their Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division One campaign away at Leonard Stanley, with both games taking place on Saturday 4th August.
Newent Town Starting XI: Goode, Odace, Burns, Nutting, Prictor, Reece, Rickard, R Micula, H Jones, R Jones, C Micula
Longlevens Reserves Starting XI: Shaw, Parry, Barnard, Perry, Kavanagh, Smyllie, Davies, Welch, Sutherland, Gardiner, Martin
Newent Man Of The Match: Rares Micula
Longlevens Reserves Man Of The Match: Harry Emmett