Ton Pentre were the biggest casualty in Round 1 of the JD Welsh Cup after they crashed out of the competition to lower league opposition in the form of STM Sports, who comfortably beat the Bulldogs at their Ynys Park home.
STM Sports achieved Welsh League Division Three status at the end of last season after being crowned champions of the South Wales Amateur League and beating Pontlottyn of the South Wales Senior League 4-1 in the promotion play-off that was held at Cardiff City Stadium.
They have only been in existence for eight years and the win against the Bulldogs in the JD Welsh Cup is their most significant result to date.
It was an abysmal performance from Ton Pentre, who failed to show the same desire and character of their opponents, with STM Sports fully deserving of their win and progression into Round 2 of the competition.
The Bulldogs were suffering from multiple injuries going into the match with the starting XI also containing two injured players in Thomas Davies and Tom Billing. The latter had to be substituted during the first half due to his problem and Andre Griffiths was also withdrawn after picking up a hamstring injury.
Despite the depleted squad, it was still no excuse as the Bulldogs did not demonstrate the quality of football that they have produced throughout the season so far and the gulf in standard between the clubs should have been evident.
STM Sports could have taken the lead in the 19th minute of play when Curtis Scotto showed his blistering pace when he ran at the Ton Pentre defence. His cross into the box was useful but the STM Sports striker was unable to connect.
Moments later the Bulldogs were awarded a free kick outside the STM Sports 18-yard box. Leon Jacka struck well but goalkeeper James Peckham pushed the ball onto the goalpost before being cleared to safety.
STM Sports took the lead on 25 minutes when Scotto went through on goal to make it 1-0 and put the visiting team on the path to a cup shock.
Ton Pentre thought they’d equalised seven minute later when Adam Lewis’ cross into the box found Jacka in space, who hit a powerful strike that had Peckham beaten. However, the shot hit the underneath of the crossbar and the Bulldogs began to feel that this was not going to be their day.
As half-time approached, Ton Pentre suffered a huge blow when they failed to close down Jamie Davenport, who curled a wonderful effort over Jarrad Howells and into the top right-hand corner of the goal. It was now 2-0.
There was no change in the Bulldogs performance during the second half and after STM Sports hit the crossbar from a free kick in the 50th minute, Scotto made it 3-0 six minutes later leaving the lacklustre Bulldogs red-faced.
A dismal Ton Pentre conceded again in the 65th minute with Scotto completing his hat-trick as the Bulldogs failed to find any composure in the game.
STM should have scored more but the woodwork saved Ton Pentre from more humiliation in what was a very uncharacteristic performance from the Bulldogs, who have enjoyed a good start to the season.
For Ton Pentre, the JD Welsh Cup dream is over once again for another season.
JD WELSH CUP ROUND 1 RESULTS