Ton Pentre were provided with a tough test at Welsh League Division Two outfit Pontardawe Town in Round 1 of the League Cup and were made to wait until the 70th minute before taking the lead.
Bulldogs goalkeeper Ryan Griffiths was in superb form as he pulled off several fantastic saves to deny the home team in the first half as Ton Pentre soaked up the initial pressure.
However, Ton Pentre always looked dangerous when on the attack and in the 30th minute should have taken the lead when Nathan Facey ran inside to launch a shot that had the Pontardawe goalkeeper beaten. Unfortunately, the ball struck the crossbar.
Josh Hardy went close from a corner minutes later when the Bulldogs defender was left unchallenged in the box. Hardy headed wide and lashed out at the goal net in frustration, knowing it was an excellent chance to break the deadlock.
For the majority of the second half it could be argued that Pontardawe were the better team but Griffiths was on hand to deny the hosts once again.
With just over an hour of the match played, Bulldogs manager Lee Phillips introduced Leon Jacka and Huw Bowtell to the game.
Within 10 minutes of their introduction, the pair combined for the goal, which was expertly finished by Bowtell.
The victory sets up a Round 2 tie against Trethomas Bluebirds who defeated Swansea University by two goals to one. The match will take place at Ynys Park on Wednesday, 23 August at 7:45pm.
Ton Pentre’s next match is their first home fixture of the season as Monmouth Town are welcomed to the Rhondda. The game takes place on Saturday, 19 August at Ynys Park with a 2:30pm kick off.