Undy Athletic 3-4 Ton Pentre (After Extra-time)
Nathaniel Car Sales League Cup – Round One
Saturday, 7th September 2013
An outstanding performance from Leon Young helped Ton Pentre reach Round Two of the Nathaniel Car Sales League Cup but their Welsh League Division Two opponents Undy Athletic were the team that deserved to progress.
The Gwent outfit had led twice before Young’s dramatic late equaliser took the League Cup game into extra-time. The Bulldogs midfielder was forced into playing up front after striker Steffan Davies limped off in the first-half to add to the Bulldogs injury woes. His introduction injected life into what was a stale Ton Pentre performance and the match was eventually won with a Ross Fowler goal in the 116th minute.
The Bulldogs started the match looking like a team playing their football in a higher division as they enjoyed much possession pinning Undy back in their own half. Steffan Davies had the best chance to score when with just James Smallcombe to beat, the striker hit his shot directly into the goalkeeper’s arms.
Undy signalled their ability shortly after when Ben Davies went close with a shot deep inside the Ton Pentre box, however, he was denied by a terrific Neil Collins save.
With 20 minutes of the match played, Undy were increasingly applying pressure on the Ton Pentre defence and when the ball hit the hand of a Bulldogs player from close range, the assistant referee awarded a penalty to the home team.
Gareth Cullimore took the spot kick and hit the ball to the right, sending Collins the wrong way. With Undy now 1-0 up, the Division Two outfit grew in confidence and began to control the game.
Daniel Jarman nearly increased his team’s lead moments later but another fine save from Collins kept the Bulldogs in the match.
A Richard Ingram corner kick in the 25th minute nearly provided Ton Pentre with an equaliser when Thomas Davies met the ball at the far post with a useful headed effort. Fortunately for Undy there was a defender on the line who was able to clear the ball to relative safety.
In the 41st minute, Leon Young replaced Steffan Davies in attack for the Bulldogs and he was quick to throw himself around giving the opposing defence a multitude of problems.
At half-time, the Bulldogs were forced into making another substitution when Andre Griffiths was withdrawn through injury for Lewis Hydes.
Within a minute of second-half beginning, Young was on the attack and through into the box after shrugging off the attempts of two defenders to stop him. Showing great awareness, Young spotted the run of Josh Powell with a squared pass. Powell made it 1-1 with a confident strike.
With the equaliser Ton Pentre were expected to show their class, however, the Bulldogs nearly found themselves behind again in the 57th minute when Thomas Davies was judged to have fouled an Undy attacker in the box. As a result the home team were awarded their second penalty of the match.
Cullimore was on penalty duty again and this time decided to send his shot to the left. On this occasion however, Collins got the better of the Undy striker by guessing the right way to make the save.
In the 66th minute Undy were fortunate not have a player sent-off when a Hydes run down the left was stopped with a dreadful straight-legged challenge that sent the Ton Pentre player tumbling. Hydes was lucky to walk away with the contact fortunately glancing his leg rather than going through it. The Undy player escaped with a yellow card.
Ton Pentre were being put under some considerable pressure and were unable to retain any meaningful possession. It therefore came as no surprise when Undy regained the lead in the 77th minute when a well worked goal saw the ball sent into the box by Jarman where Ollie Beckett sneaked in between the Bulldogs defence to hit the back of the net for 2-1.
Time was quickly running out for Ton Pentre and Undy could sense a shock result but the Bulldogs were able to muster some pressure in the closing minutes of the match. From a cross into the box, the ball worked its way to Young, who squeezed his shot into the net between Smallcombe and his goalpost to take the League Cup tie into extra-time.
Tom Hooper nearly regained the lead for Undy in the 104th minute when he took a neat shot from distance. The effort appeared to be goal-bound but with a dive across his goalmouth, Collins pulled off a super save to keep the scores level.
Within a minute of this chance, Ton Pentre were on the attack with Hydes up the left. The Bulldogs winger did remarkably well in displaying some fine skill and strength before crossing into the box where Young was able to slot the ball past Smallcombe, putting the Bulldogs into the lead for the first time in the match.
Undy struck back in the second period of extra-time when slack defending allowed Cullimore to score his brace giving the home team belief that a shock result could again be attainable.
However, more determination from Young saw him running at defenders again. Although he had his route to goal shutdown by the Undy defence, the Bulldogs stand-in striker supplied an excellent pass to Fowler in the penalty area. Fowler cued up a shot and deftly directed it low into the goal. The 116th minute goal proved to be the winner as the Bulldogs protected their lead for the final four minutes of extra-time to win the match 3-4.
This was a good win for Ton Pentre as Undy Athletic had clearly been the better team in the match, however, key performances by Leon Young and Lewis Hydes assisted the Bulldogs in reaching the Second Round despite a subdued and poor display of football.
In their next match, Ton Pentre have a tough task at home against Goytre United in Welsh League Division One on Friday, 13th September. The game kicks off at 7.30pm.
Ton Pentre AFC:
1. Neil Collins 2. Stephen Oliver 3. Josh Powell 4. Thomas Davies 5. George Daly 6. Craig Rees 7. Adam Raymond 8. Andre Griffiths (16. Lewis Hydes 45’) 9. Ross Fowler 10. Steffan Davies (12. Leon Young 41’) 11. Richard Ingram (14. Lloyd Toghill 61’).
Subs not used:
15. Ross Porter 17. Nathan Wiggins
Powell 46’; Young 90’, 105’; Fowler 116’