An enthralling match between Ton Pentre and Penybont at Ynys Park finished a goal apiece as both teams demonstrated that they are capable of challenging at the top end of the Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division One table.
Bulldogs midfielder Andre Griffiths cancelled out a first-half Penybont goal in order to get a point out of the encounter for Ton Pentre.
There was a fast pace to this game and both teams looked very capable when going forward but it was Ton Pentre who should have taken the lead in the 10th minute when Ryan Jenkins started a superb passage of play by spreading the ball to Shane Davies. The Bulldogs midfielder cut through the Penybont defence before picking out a pass to Leon Young. The Ton Pentre captain was now free on goal but he saw his shot saved well by Chris Curtis, the Penybont goalkeeper.
Moments later Penybont had possession out wide on the left and an excellent cross towards the far post should have resulted in a goal, however, the two players running into the box both missed their opportunities to hit the back of the net.
It was 1-0 to Penybont after 26 minutes when an uncanny error from Thomas Davies saw the defender giveaway possession on the edge of the box following a botched clearance. There was nothing goalkeeper Neil Collins could do to deny the goal when he was left one-on-one with the Penybont attacker.
It nearly got worse for the Bulldogs on the half-hour mark when a Penybont free kick was blocked by Young on the edge of the box and the follow-up shot was sent just wide of the goalpost.
Early pressure in the second half probably should have resulted in a penalty kick for Ton Pentre when there was a clear handball in the box by a Penybont defender. Despite the player’s arm being in an unnatural position, the Referee was unwilling to listen to Ton Pentre’s appeals.
Afterwards, Lewis Hydes assisted Dan Richards to a goal scoring chance after the winger played the ball up towards the Bulldogs striker. Richards sneaked in between two defenders but he sent his shot just over the crossbar.
A truly stunning sliding tackle from Thomas Davies just inside the Ton Pentre 18-yard box prevented a Penybont striker from going one-on-one with Collins in the 57th minute and from scoring an almost certain goal.
Penybont were now applying some considerable pressure on Ton Pentre and following a cross from the left the visitors had several chances to score, which culminated in Sean Williams missing the target from around 10-yards after the ball fell to him in space.
Ton Pentre withstood the pressure and began to go up through the gears as Shane Davies ran the ball up the left wing and despite Scott Hillman’s efforts to bring him down, the Bulldogs man kept his feet with the Referee playing some superb advantage. His cross from the edge of the 18-yard box worked its way through to Andre Griffiths at the back post. Although being under some considerable pressure from Penybont’s Williams, Griffiths prodded the ball over the goal line for an equaliser.
Shortly after, Shane Davies was crossing into the box from right and found Jenkins at the penalty spot. The former Barry Town striker had time to shoot but the ball was directed off target and wide of the post.
Ton Pentre were maintaining the pressure on their opponents and Dan Richards was played through on 75 minutes but Chris Curtis saved well in the one-on-one situation.
With ten minutes remaining, Jaymie Wearn was introduced into the game off the bench in the place of the Jenkins.
With 90 minutes played and the game having entered into added on time, Wearn was set free inside the Penybont box. He appeared to lose a little balance as he was running on to the ball but a Penybont defender seemed to make certain that he hit the ground with a discreet ankle tap. One again Ton Pentre’s appeals for a penalty were turned down by the Referee.
This game demonstrated the quality within Welsh League Division One and for Ton Pentre, they have now gone four games without defeat.
Ton Pentre’s next match is away to Caerau Ely on Saturday, 20 September 2014. Kick off is at 2:30pm.
Ton Pentre Starting XI
1. Neil Collins; 2.Leon Young (Captain); 3. Lewis Hydes; 4. Mark Crutch; 5. Ross Porter; 6. Thomas Davies; 7. Liam Hutchinson; 8. Andre Griffiths, 9. Ryan Jenkins, 10. Shane Davies, 11. Dan Richards.
Ton Pentre Substitutes
12. Adam Raymond; 14. James Gronow (on for Richards 87’); 15. Jamie Wearn (on for Jenkins 75’); 16. Ryan Shugar; 17. Dafydd Brewer.
Hydes 13’; Griffiths 82’