Match Review: Albion Rovers v Cwmbran Town
Five star Albion Rovers put Cwmbran to the sword at Kimberley Park on Tuesday evening.
On a difficult surface the hosts started brightly and almost took the lead after 2 minutes, Luke Cueto seeing his shot by the feet of visiting custodian Chris Pike.
Rovers continued to threaten and took the lead in the 8th minute, the dangerous Cueto cutting in from the right and firing a low, left-footed shot past Pike.
Cwmbran responded and 5 minutes later created their first real opportunity of the game but found home goalkeeper Jason Kelly in sparkling form, denying both Owen Llewellyn and Luke Thomas with two splendid saves in a matter of seconds.
Cwmbran looked to get in behind the home defence at every opportunity and mid way through the first half created another opportunity only for Kelly to make another outstanding double save and keep the hosts lead intact.
Five minutes before half time however, Kelly was finally beaten, Owen Llewellyn playing in substitute Aaron Palfrey who finished clinically to ensure the sides went into the break level at 1-1.
The home side increased the tempo in the early stages of the second half and only resolute defending prevented Rovers regaining their lead following a lung-busting run from right-back Scott Lewis.
The pressure continued and only the fingertips of Pike denied Cueto his second of the game, turning a dangerous cross-shot around the post in the 56th minute.
Rovers finally restored their lead in the 63rd minute, a superb diagonal crossfield ball from Lewis found striker John Lilygreen who rose unchallenged to head home from 12 yards.
On a heavy pitch it was inevitable that the game would become stretched and as Cwmbran tried to haul themselves back into the game, Rovers further increased their lead through substitute Joe Howells.
A defence splitting pass from Ashley Sully found the run of Howells who nonchalantly lifted the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to put the game beyond the visitors.
To their credit, Cwmbran continued to push forward but left themselves exposed at the back and paid the ultimate price when, with 10 minutes remaining a long kick from Kelly bounced through to Lillygreen who scored his second and Rovers fourth, finishing expertly with the outside of his right foot into the corner of the net.
As the light faded there was still time for substitute Howells to claim his second and Rovers fifth of the game, beating the offside trap and controlling the ball superbly before sliding the ball into the corner of the net past the advancing Pike to make the final score at Kimberley Park Albion Rovers 5, Cwmbran Town 1.