Match Review: Aberbargoed Buds 3 Pontypridd Town 3
Luke Gullik’s late strike rescued a point for Pontypridd Town, whose Division Two promotion bid suffered another setback at resurgent basement-battlers Aberbargoed Buds.
Gullick was on hand three minutes from time to ensure the visitors earned a share of the spoils at the Ystrad Mynach Stadium, but it was otherwise a frustrating afternoon for the Dragons.
James Hill and Daniel Hooper were on hand to cancel out strikes from Scott Armitage and Kieran Thomas before half-time, before Thomas Gameson put the hosts in front.
But Gullick’s late strike was enough to deny a second consecutive victory for Buds, whose recent revival has seen them lose just two of their last seven league games.
Meanwhile, Ponty are now two points adrift of third-placed AFC Porth, who have the luxury of three games in hand after their clash with AFC Llwydcoed was postponed.
A topsy-turvey affair saw the hosts take the lead on 15 minutes when a scramble on the edge of the area allowed the ball to fall kindly to Armitage, who duly slotted home for his second goal in as many games.
But the lead lasted just over 10 minutes, as Hill got behind the defence to drill past a helpless Gavin Heggarty in the Buds goal.
Sloppy defending at the other end saw Buds regain the lead, with a whipped corner seeing Thomas rise highest to power home a bullet header.
Nevertheless, Ponty headed in level at the break, as Hooper burst towards the byline before lashing a vicious effort into the net.
Having twice battled their way back into the game, Ponty may well have fancied their chances of kicking on for the win, but they were pinned back again after the break.
Some great work down the left allowed Levi Rees to square to Gameson inside the area, with the youngster then applying a cool finish.
Ponty’s Tomas Rutherford inexplicably guided a free header wide of the far post, while Aiden Lewis saw a cross-cum-shot tipped over by Heggarty.
Gameson missed a glorious one-on-one opportunity to kill the game off late on, and the Dragons ensured they left with a point when Gullick reacted quickest to bundle home after Heggarty had parried away Hill’s initial effort.
Man of the Match: Thomas Gameson (Aberbargoed Buds) – Was only drafted in due to an injury suffered by Jordan Maisey in the warm-up, but was a thorn in the visitors’ side all afternoon and deserved his goal.