Following consecutive defeats to Garden Village and Goytre United, Ton Pentre face a tough battle to maintain their Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division One status. With other results also not going in the Bulldogs favour, the Rhondda club are now just one point above the relegation zone.
The Bulldogs have a season defining week ahead as they must play Aberbargoed Buds (27 April) and Risca United (30 April) in their next two matches. Ton Pentre’s destiny is firmly within their own hands as the Bulldogs have played less games than those around them, however, they need to get back to winning ways.
Goytre United scored what was the eventual winning goal in the 22nd minute from a sublimely hit free kick that went into the net by beating Jarrad Howells low to his right.
Before half time Goytre could have scored twice more but the crossbar and post came to Ton Pentre’s rescue.
Before the interval the Bulldogs were able to put the Goytre defence under scrutiny but the Port Talbot based club held onto their lead as Tom Billing fired over the bar after Aaron Jewell had headed the ball down to the striker’s feet from a cross into the box.
In the 52nd minute Andre Griffiths prevented the Bulldogs from falling further behind when he blocked a shot on the line. Goytre United were convinced they had scored but the officials did not believe the ball had crossed the line.
Ten minutes later Ton Pentre were dealt a blow when Billing was sent off after being judged to have purposely stamped on an opponent during a tussle for the ball that had already gone out for a corner.
After the ball was swung into the box by Leon Jacka, it was not allowed to continue its trajectory towards goal due to the hand of a Goytre player. The Bulldogs appealed loudly for a penalty but nothing was given.
Since going down to 10 men the Bulldogs were playing with urgency and dominated the closing stages of the match.
With five minutes of the game left to play, Ton Pentre looked set to score the equaliser that they desperately wanted when Jewell was able to shoot from pointblank range. The home fans were waiting for the net to bulge but Jewell struck straight into Luke Martin’s arms.
In the 88th minute Ton Pentre had another penalty appeal turned down when Thomas Davies was completely taken out inside the box by two of the Goytre United players whilst he was attempting to head the ball on. Once again the officials felt the offence did not warrant a penalty.
This defeat for the Bulldogs makes Wednesday’s (27 April) match against Aberbargoed Buds incredibly important. The game takes place at the Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach at 7.30pm. Ton Pentre will also view the home match against Risca United on Saturday, 30 April as another vital game. This match at Ynys Park kicks off at 2.30pm.