The 3-0 final scoreline was a little harsh on the Bulldogs as the Rhondda outfit battled well against a table-topping Llanelli Town team that are running riot in Welsh League Division One.
Llanelli were promoted to Division One with an already made team for the league. Their squad is full of experienced players that have operated at a much higher level – Lee Trundle, Jordan Follows, Kyle Graves, Anthony Finselbach etc. – and are therefore, already title contenders vying for a return to the JD Welsh Premier League.
Prior to their encounter with the Bulldogs, Llanelli had scored four goals or more in each of their four league games and the home crowd at Stebonheath Park were expectant of more goals and three points. In the end, that’s exactly what they got, however, Ton Pentre made it difficult for the West Wales club.
During the first half, the Bulldogs were welcoming Llanelli on to them as they sat deep with men behind the ball. Llanelli created the best chances to score but Ton Pentre held out and remained strong, waiting for their opportunity to have a go at the home team’s goal.
Leon Jacka had Ton Pentre’s best chance in the 40th minute as his well hit strike was swerving in the air and forced Llanelli goalkeeper Scott Coughlan into acrobatically pushing the 20-yard effort away by reshaping his body to the shifting ball.
The Bulldogs got themselves on top in the fixture during the second half as they created some wonderful attacking passages of play. They also engineered several excellent opportunities to take the lead.
In the 57th minute, Nathan Facey sent a cross-field pass from the left into the feet of Adam Lewis on the right. The Ton Pentre stalwart sent a lovely cross into the penalty area where Sam Small brought the ball under control before turning in space to shoot just over the crossbar.
Moments later, Small was on the end of a Jacka cross from the left. The Bulldogs striker made excellent connection with the ball but was denied by a fantastic save from Coughlan, who tipped the ball over the bar.
Immediately following this chance, Llanelli broke quickly and dealt Ton Pentre a huge blow when a lovely move was finished off by Jordan Davies who made it 1-0 to the home side.
Barely a minute had passed before Llanelli made it 2-0 as Davies pounced again to give his team some breathing space.
Liam Samuel’s 84th minute strike into the back of the net seemed inevitable as Ton Pentre attempted to pile forward but the third goal was harsh on a Bulldogs performance that deserved much more.
The Bulldogs are home to Goytre (Gwent) on Saturday, 23 September at Ynys Park. Kick off is at 2:30pm.