Ton Pentre notched up their third consecutive win following a tough challenge at Plough Road against Goytre, where the home team came back from being 2-0 down before the Bulldogs secured all three points with a Mark Crutch goal.
From the moment this match kicked off it was an open affair and following a 2nd minute corner, Ton Pentre goalkeeper Neil Collins was forced into making a great save just as Goytre were ready to celebrate taking the lead.
The save from Collins allowed Ton Pentre to attack and when Dan Richards received the ball on the halfway line, the Bulldogs striker set off on an incredible run that saw him dribble in and out of the Goytre midfield and defence. From the edge of the box Richards unleashed a pile-driver the resulted in the ball smashing the top left-hand corner of the net. It was an exceptional run and incredible goal.
Ton Pentre struck again in the 5th minute after the Bulldogs were awarded a throw-in deep inside the Goytre half of the pitch. Leon Young’s throw to Ryan Jenkins was returned, which allowed the Bulldogs captain to run infield before passing to Shane Davies. From approximately 30-yards out from goal, Davies stunned everyone inside Plough Road with a powerfully hit shot that went into the goal off the inside of the left post. There was nothing any Goytre defender or the goalkeeper could do about it. The score was now 2-0 to the Bulldogs.
Despite the two-goal sucker punch, Goytre continued to show their usefulness in attack and after ten minutes they forced Collins into making two consecutive saves to protect Ton Pentre’s two-goal lead.
Goytre were piling the pressure on Ton Pentre and were beginning to play much better football. The home team thought they’d scored in the 17th minute when their striker looked to place the ball in the top right-hand corner. Collins looked beaten but the effort went just wide.
Five minutes later, Goytre did finally hit the back of the net when more pressure from the home team managed to open up space on the edge of the box for a lovely strike to be expertly placed into bottom lefthand corner of the goal to make it 2-1.
Mark Crutch nearly restored Ton Pentre’s two-goal cushion in the 28th minute from a Bulldogs corner. With the ball swung in towards the back post, Crutch was the first to jump and his clean header looked destined for the net but unfortunately for the defender his effort went painstakingly wide of the right post.
The second half was much the same as the first and there was great desire from both teams to win this match.
In the 54th minute Shane Davies ploughed forward from midfield and the Bulldogs soon found themselves with three on two in the Goytre defence. Ton Pentre looked odds on to score when Davies played Jenkins free on the edge of the penalty area. Jenkins spotted the goalkeeper approaching him off his line and delightfully clipped the ball over him and towards the goal. It looked certain that the striker was going to score but the ball seemed to bend wide of the righthand post at the very last moment. The strong shadow of the ball as it passed the goalpost taunted the Bulldogs.
With 59 minutes of the game now having been played, Goytre were awarded a soft free kick deep inside their own half of the pitch. Despite taking the free kick with the ball still rolling, the referee allowed it. The free kick provided Goytre with a one-on-one opportunity after it was sent long up the field and the home team made no mistake by taking their chance to draw level.
Moments later Goytre could have taken the lead when they were through on goal once again, however, a superb sliding tackle from Thomas Davies inside the box denied the opportunity for the striker to go one-on-one with Collins.
Young thought he was going to regain Ton Pentre’s lead in the 72nd minute when he cut inside from the right wing to strike with power from 20-yards. His good effort was saved well however, by the dive of the Goytre goalkeeper.
During the 79th minute of play, Richards set off on a mazy run once again but on this occasion he was upended by a Goytre defender and the Bulldogs were awarded a free kick. Liam Hutchinson superbly delivered the ball into the box and a diving header from Mark Crutch found its way into the back of the net to make it 3-2 to the Bulldogs.
The drama was not over in this match as the referee stopped play in the 88th minute when Ton Pentre were on the attack in the Goytre half of the pitch. After Crutch had cleared the ball upfield to set-up the attack, his challenger appeared to make a stamping action whilst the Bulldogs defender was on the ground. Crutch appeared to push the player away from him and soon several players ran in to hustle and argue. Play was eventually restarted with a free kick bizarrely being awarded to Goytre right on the edge of the Ton Pentre box. The Bulldogs survived this danger but there was more drama to come.
The game was now deep into injury time and Goytre were applying pressure to the Ton Pente defence. With a man running into the box at the goal line he fiercely struck the ball, which was blocked at close range by a Bulldogs player. It all looked legitimate but the referee awarded a controversial penalty for handball.
Goytre looked set to equalise from the spot kick but it was smashed high over the crossbar, providing the Bulldogs with a sense of justice. It also secured victory for Ton Pentre and three excellent away points.
Following the match, Manager Dean Morris and goalkeeper Neil Collins provide their post-match reaction to RadioTon:
Ton Pentre play home for the first time this season at Ynys Park in their next Welsh League Division One fixture against Penybont, who have made an excellent start to the season. The match takes place on Friday, 12 September 2014 with a 7:30pm kick off.
Ton Pentre Starting XI
1. Neil Collins; 2. Leon Young; 3. Lewis Hydes; 4. Mark Crutch; 5. Ross Porter; 6. Thomas Davies; 7. Shane Davies; 8. Liam Hutchinson; 9. Ryan Jenkins; 10. Dan Richards; 11. Andre Griffiths.
Ton Pentre Substitutions
12. Adam Raymond for Jenkins 73’; 14. Andrew Hughes for Hutchinson 80’
Richards 3’; S.Davies 5’; Crutch 79’
Young 11’; Crutch 88’, T.Davies 89’, Griffiths 90+4
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