Ton Pentre 0-0 Tata Steel
Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division One
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Matchball Sponsor l L & P Truck Cleaning Services, Port Talbot
Coming into the match on the back of two consecutive victories, Ton Pentre were left disappointed following their goalless home draw against second from bottom Tata Steel, particularly as the Bulldogs completely dominated possession in the game.
Tata Steel offered very little in attacking play, deciding to concentrate on not conceding a goal during their visit to Ynys Park. The Steelmen managed to just this, however, at times they were fortunate as if the bounce of the ball had been kinder to the Bulldogs, the game could have been won comfortably.
The Ynys Park pitch was soft and heavy, which took the life out of the ball every time it made contact with the surface. As a result this was quite a slow match and both sets of players had to demonstrate their strength and fitness to get through the game.
A 20th minute corner provided the game with its first chance for a goal when the ball found its way to Mark Crutch at the far post. The Bulldogs defender connected well with a volley but his effort went just wide of the right post.
Eight minutes later Ryan Morgan provided Leon Young with a goalscoring opportunity with a through ball towards the edge of the 18-yard box. Young ran on to it but scuffed his shot on the heavy surface, letting Tata Steel off the hook in the process.
A poor Tata Steel goal kick in the 44th minute saw the ball go directly to a Ton Pentre midfielder. As a result, a ball was played through for Andrew Hughes, whose run had gone unnoticed by the Tata Steel defence. However, the goalkeeper made up for his error by beating Hughes to the ball, knocking it away to safety.
Andre Griffiths looked odds on the score in the 50th minute when the skilful youngster was in on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat.
Griffiths elected to take the ball around the advancing goalkeeper rather than chipping it over him. This decision allowed the keeper to get a hand to the ball sending Griffiths wider of the goal. With a tighter angle the Bulldogs player still had time to shoot but was unable to get enough pace on the ball and it was cleared off the line by a defender.
Richard Ingram came close to scoring with a 62nd minute header from a right side Morgan cross, however, the Bulldogs midfielder directed the ball just wide of the post.
Lewis Hydes made a return from injury in the 70th minute when he came off the bench to replace George Daly. The winger was soon in the thick of the action with a free kick four minutes later.
Positioned around 25-yards out from goal, Hydes took a shot with the free kick that came close to hitting the back of the net were it not for the goalkeeper’s save, who tipped it over the bar.
With just five minutes left, Ton Pentre thought they’d finally got the breakthrough when a long throw into the box by Hydes made its way to Crutch, who saw his endeavour cleared off the line.
Despite the disappointment of not getting the win that they would have desired, other Division One results went Ton Pentre’s way and the Bulldogs currently sit 9th in the current league standings, 10 points above the relegation zone.
Ton Pentre’s next match will be a tough Rhondda derby encounter against AFC Porth at Ynys Park on Friday, 14 March at 7.30pm.