Jaymie Wearn’s 24th minute goal was the difference between Ton Pentre and Cambrian & Clydach Vale in this Rhondda Derby match. Wearn’s goal was an incredibly important one too, as the Bulldogs victory over their local rivals made Ton Pentre’s Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division One status mathematically certain.
The result also confirms Ton Pentre as the highest positioned Rhondda club in the Welsh football pyramid after the win prevents Cambrian from being able to catch the Bulldogs.
Cambrian’s defeat means that the Clydach based club are not safe from relegation and have just two games left to play of the season.
The Bulldogs started brightly but were made to wait until the 20th minute before creating their first chance on goal.
When Andrew Hughes controlled a long ball forward, he laid it off on the edge of the box to Shane Davies. The Bulldogs midfielder connected well but his effort went over Jarrad Howells’ crossbar.
Hughes was involved in some neat build-up play again four minutes later, when he played a superb through ball for Jaymie Wearn’s run into the 18-yard box from a wide right position.
The Cambrian defence seemed completely unaware of his presence as he sneaked in behind their back line. Wearn showed incredible composure not to rush his shot and instead dribbled his way into a superb goal scoring position. With his shot, Wearn gave Howells absolutely no chance of making a save and the net rippled for 1-0.
With 30 minutes on the clock, Cambrian were becoming more creative in front of goal and Marcus Griffiths had a snapshot when the ball unexpectedly came to him but Neil Collins was able to hold on to the shot. Had Griffiths had advanced warning that the ball was coming to him, the striker probably would have done much better with the chance.
Moments later Cambrian were in on goal again and looked good to equalise with a strike from close range, however, Collins pulled off a sublime save to turn the ball away for a corner kick that the Bulldogs comfortably dealt with.
In the 35th minute it was Ton Pentre’s turn to apply some pressure and could have doubled their lead from a corner kick when Thomas Davies headed the ball down for Wearn on the edge of the six-yard box. Wearn’s shot was powerful enough but was saved well by Howells.
In the second half of this Rhondda Derby, Cambrian began to throw all that they had at the Bulldogs and their useful pressure forced Adam Lewis to clear the ball off the goal line during the 51st minute as Ton Pentre’s 1-0 lead looked increasingly threatened.
Ten minutes later Cambrian hit Ton Pentre with a counter attack down the left. An excellent cross into the box looked set to be met by Griffiths, however, he missed his connection and a wonderful chance to draw level had been rued.
During the 63rd minute of play Cambrian forced a corner that when sent into the box was met by Huw Bowtell with a free header at the target. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, the ball went over Collins’ crossbar.
Shane Davies nearly put the game beyond doubt in the 70th minute when he produced some fine skill to weave his way forward into space. From 25 yards, the midfielder unleashed a ferocious shot that had beaten Howells. Davies was denied what could have been goal of the season when the ball skimmed the top of the bar much to Cambrian’s relief.
Collins was called into action again in the 79th minute when he was forced to save an overhead kick from close range. The Bulldogs goalkeeper used his agility to get down low and beat the ball away from danger.
At the full-time whistle the Ton Pentre players were clearly overjoyed in beating their Rhondda rivals knowing that the three points ensured Division One safety. For Lee Phillips and his team, Ton Pentre have five games remaining to try and get as high in the table as they possibly can.
The Bulldogs are next in action on Tuesday, 21 April away to Pontardawe Town. The match kicks off at 6:30pm. Following that, Ton Pentre travel to Haverfordwest County on Saturday, 25 April for a 2:30pm kick off.
Ton Pentre Starting XI
1. Neil Collins; 2. Adam Lewis; 3. Mark Crutch; 4. Andre Griffiths; 5. Thomas Davies; 6. Lewis Hitchcock; 7. Steve Williams; 8. Shane Davies; 9. Jaymie Wearn; 10. Leon Jacka; 11. Andrew Hughes.
Ton Pentre Substitutes
12. Tom Mouncher; 14. Adam Raymond; 15. Ryan Jenkins; 16. Sam Danby (for Hughes 79’); 17. Dan Richard