Ton Pentre secured their Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division One status with a 2-1 win at Ynys Park against Briton Ferry Llansawel. The Bulldogs plight had begun to look desperate, however, a hard-working display from the players resulted in Thomas Davies and Sam Small scoring the goals for safety.
There was a nervous atmosphere at Ynys Park and the Bulldogs desperately wanted to get the win they needed in front of a home crowd. Ton Pentre fans couldn’t have asked for a better start as the team got straight to work by taking the play to Briton Ferry Llansawel.
Just 8 minutes were on the clock when Briton Ferry conceded a foul inside their own half of the pitch. This provided Ton Pentre with an opportunity to get the ball forward and into the box. Liam Hutchinson took the free kick and glided the ball into the 18-yard box where Bulldogs captain Thomas Davies rose above the Briton Ferry defence to head it past goalkeeper Jamie Griffiths.
Briton Ferry nearly levelled moments later when Bulldogs goalkeeper Jarrad Howells slipped after the ball was sent into the box. The visiting team were presented with a free header but the effort was sent wide of the post.
The next big flashpoint in the half occurred in the 35th minute when Sam Small received the ball a footstep inside the penalty box. As he turned his marker to bear down on goal he appeared to be grounded by the defender. Small and his teammates appealed for a penalty but nothing was given. It was a decision that could have gone either way.
In recent matches the Bulldogs performance levels have dropped during the second half, but they showed real determination to ensure that this did not happen again.
Almost immediately after the second half kicked off, Jewell launched a useful shot from distance that was saved well when Griffiths pushed the ball away.
In the 48th minute Lewis Hitchcock did well to spread the play out to Leon Jacka on the left, who cut inside and squared a pass to Small allowing the striker to make it 2-0 at the far post.
Shortly after, Briton Ferry had the perfect opportunity to get a goal back from a corner but their shot was missed and sent wide from inside the 6-yard box.
There was to be a nervy final 30 minutes to the match when on the hour mark Briton Ferry managed to score from a corner kick, making it 2-1.
Briton Ferry were throwing all that they could muster at the Bulldogs and won a series of free kicks throughout the remainder of the half and in the 86th minute Howells was forced into tipping the ball over the crossbar.
There were five minutes of added time to be played, and after just two of them the Bulldogs could have made all three points certain when they went two-on-one in the Briton Ferry box. Somehow Ton Pentre failed to score and the ball was put behind for a corner.
In the fifth minute of added time Briton Ferry could have scored with practically the last kick of the game but their shot was sent over the crossbar.
With the full-time whistle there was huge relief at Ynys Park as the 2-1 win and three points ensured Division One football for the Bulldogs in the 2016/17 season.
Ton Pentre’s final game of the season sees them meet Briton Ferry Llansawel once again on Tuesday, 10 May at their Old Road ground. Kick off is at 7.30pm
This win also protected all of the hard work that has been going on at the club over the past season. Read more by CLICKING HERE.