Risca United came from behind to inflict a disastrous defeat upon Ton Pentre in the battle against relegation from Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division One.
Had the Bulldogs won the match it would have effectively ensured safety and Risca would have been unable to finished above Ton Pentre in the league table. However, this defeat now sees Ton Pentre just one point above the drop zone.
Prior to kick off, the Bulldogs were dealt a blow when Andre Griffiths was forced to pull out of the starting XI through injury and Sam Small was substituted within the first six minutes of the match when he pulled up.
After Jarrad Howells pulled off a fine save to deny Risca the lead early on in the game, the Bulldogs began to create some useful chances themselves. In the 21st minute Rob Blatchford ran around the Risca defence out wide on the left and when he noticed Lee Kendall off his line attempted a lobbed shot that hit the crossbar.
Moments later a Liam Hutchinson free kick from 25-yards was tipped over the bar by Kendall. From the resulting corner, the Risca goalkeeper missed the ball but a defender was able to clear it to safety.
During the 28th minute of play Ton Pentre took the lead through a fluke own goal. Under little pressure Aaron Colwill hit a pass back to Kendall. As the Risca keeper went to kick the ball it bobbled up and over his foot and into the goal to put Ton Pentre 1-0 up.
Leon Jacka was causing the Risca defence problems as he dribbled around their attempts to dispossess him. When space opened up for a shot, he looked certain to increase Ton Pentre’s lead, however, a superb Kendall save pushed the strike onto the post.
With just seconds to go until half-time, poor defending on the flanks allowed Risca an opportunity to get through to the edge of the box. Paul Michael had ample space to strike past Howells to make it 1-1.
During the second half Risca produced an outstanding display and their direct style of play put the Bulldogs under increasing pressure.
A goal seemed inevitable and it duly came in the 75th minute when Daniel Battle found his way to the back of the net for 2-1. The Bulldogs were left aggrieved as they felt Hutchinson had been fouled in the build-up to the goal but their appeals for a free kick were turned down. Several minutes later Hutchinson was forced off the pitch due to the injury he had sustained.
Five minutes from time it nearly got worse for the Bulldogs when Risca crashed a free kick against the crossbar. Ton Pentre were barely able to get themselves out of their own half leaving Risca to comfortably hold on to their lead.
It’s now getting very tight at the bottom of the table and there are too many permutations to predict who will be relegated along with Aberbargoed Buds and Garden Village.
6 May – Monmouth Town (H)
Briton Ferry Llansawel
7 May – Ton Pentre (A)
10 May – Ton Pentre (H)
14 May – Caerau Ely (A)
3 May – Caerau Ely (A)
6 May – Aberdare Town (A)
14 May – Garden Village (H)
4 May – Goytre (A)
7 May – Briton Ferry Llansawel (H)
10 May – Briton Ferry Llansawel (A)