Ton Pentre 0-1 Tata Steel
MacWhirter Welsh League Division One
Saturday, 8th September 2012
Match Ball Sponsor l Rob Dowling
Bottom of the table Tata Steel pulled off a shock win at Ynys Park as the Port Talbot based club sneaked their way to all three points by beating Ton Pentre with just ten men following a first-half red card.
This was the Ton Pentre’s fourth consecutive defeat and the Bulldogs have now been without a goal in 270 minutes of football.
Prior to the match, Ton Pentre were hopeful of getting their season back on track following a promising start that saw them playing scintillating football, however, this latest defeat is likely to increase concern as to the task ahead.
The Bulldogs did create some excellent chances in this match and at times clearly showed that they were the better team, nevertheless, chances need to be converted into goals and Ton Pentre are desperate to find the back of the net so that it doesn’t turn into a goal drought.
Twenty-four hours before kick-off Dean Morris acquired the services of Jayme Wern from Merthyr Town to replace the outgoing Christopher Colvin. Wern put in a solid performance and had some of the best chances in the match.
Following a frantic start it was Ton Pentre who settled the play and in the 21st minute Richard Noyes played the ball forward to Wern who turned his marker. As he ran into the box the striker shot across the face of the goal but although Mathew Stanton was beaten, the ball fizzled wide of the left goalpost.
Tata Steel’s Damon Thomas was getting himself heavily involved in the game but was not always following the Laws of the Game and in the 37th minute he picked up a second yellow card for a late and dangerous tackle on Ton’s Thomas Davies and was sent off.
Ton Pentre sensed an opportunity with their one man advantage but they failed to take advantage of the situation and nearly allowed Tata Steel to take the lead in the 41st minute when Christopher Parfitt headed painstakingly wide following a cross into the box from the right.
During first-half injury time, Ross Fowler gained possession by dropping deep and the striker began a movement that resulted in Wern having another fantastic opportunity in the 18-yard box, but his shot was desperately cleared behind the goal by a Tata defender and the referee blew for half-time.
More was expected from the Bulldogs in the second-half but they failed to deliver as Tata Steel were permitted far too much possession and comfort for a team who were a man light.
One of Ton Pentre’s best chances came from a corner kick in the 51st minute when Shane Brewer passed to Richard Noyes who worked the ball into the box. Defender Jason Brewer headed a shot but directed it off target allowing Tata Steel to survive the scare.
After Noyes sent his shot into the side-netting during the 65th minute, the Bulldogs thought they were going to be awarded a penalty moments later when Tom McCarthy dribbled his way into the box only to have his shirt blatantly pulled taking him off balance just as he was releasing a shot. The referee turned down Ton Pentre’s penalty appeals.
Shortly after, Ton Pentre captain Adam Lewis was lurking around the edge of the box and when the ball was passed to him he sweetly unleashed a thunderous shot that had Stanton agonisingly watching the ball go past him. Just as the spectators in Ynys Park expected to see the back of the net ripple, the ball painfully crashed against the crossbar.
In the 83rd minute the Bulldogs were desperately unlucky not to be awarded a penalty for a second time, as Noyes was visibly dragged to the ground after getting in behind a defender. As Noyes shaped to shoot a defender pulled his arm as he made a desperate attempt to tackle for the ball. Once again Ton Pentre’s appeals were dismissed.
With Noyes being pulled away from the ball it allowed Stanton to clear it up the field where Tata Steel were able to take advantage of Ton Pentre pushing everyone forward into attack. Jonathan Howe was helpless when Conor Harris had the ball squared to him in the penalty area before slotting it into the goal for 1-0.
In the 90th minute Noyes thought he’d equalised from a Lewis cross but his useful looking strike saw the ball inch wide as Tata Steel picked up not only their first win of the season but also their first ever win in Division One against one of its most famous clubs.
There’s a tough task ahead for the Bulldogs as they look to turn their fortunes around as Bridgend Town visit Ynys Park on Friday, 14th September at 7.30pm. Bridgend have had a faltered start to their season but drew 2-2 against Haverfordwest County in their last match.