Major continue their promotion march
The prospect of Welsh League Two football being played at Windmill Road next season moved a step closer to reality following a hard fought 2-1 win for Llantwit Major over Bridgend Street.
The Vale of Glamorgan side have been forced to shuffle their pack in recent weeks, with fixture congestion caused by several early season postponements causing a hectic end of season schedule. Next week, Major play four games in eight days.
Last night at Windmill Road Major were no doubt not at their fluent best, but they did enough. Manager Karl Lewis speaking in advance highlighted the negative impact of a constantly changing starting XI. Indeed, he had regular full back Rhys Llewelyn patrolling the centre of midfield.
Major, however, still played some great football at times, highlighting why many still expect them to pip STM Sports to the League title. It was the visitors who had a glorious early chance, though. Jack Huntley latched onto a through ball from Paul Fowler and had all the time in the world to take the ball into the box and beat the ‘keeper. Perhaps he had too long to think as the young striker spurned the chance, firing straight at Jack Lansdown in the Major net.
Major slowly imposed themselves on the game, but created little more than half chances against a committed Street side. Gareth Davies beat ‘keeper King to the ball but Ross Dingle headed away the shot from a narrow angle. Llewelyn head against the post from a corner and the ball was scrambled away.
The breakthrough came just before the half hour. Luke Cox, who looked constantly tricky down the left, was able to beat Ross Dingle, who had been dragged out of position. He ran deep into the box and squared for Gareth Davies to finish from close range.
Many might have expected Major to take the match by the scruff of the next, but it was Street who responded and forced chances to equalise. Paul Fowler found himself unmarked at the near post from a corner, but got too good a connection and headed wide at the near post. On the stroke of the interval Dan Noyes curled in a free kick from the right apex of the box. It beat the ‘keeper but crashed off the bar.
The second half continued in a similar vein. Street perhaps had slightly more of the ball, but Major continued to look threatening on the break, but spurned presentable chances to move clear. Sub Lee Jones the worst offender, clear in the box he fired high and wide.
With ten minutes to go Major did double their lead. Picking up the ball on the left of the box Robert Jones cut in and fired low. King parried but the ball fell to Conner Goldsworth who slotted home. The youngster celebrated, as did the assembled crowd.
Street, though, are never beaten, as the cup semi final against Haverfordwest County showed. They pressed forward again, getting regular balls into the box. One from the right was partially cleared to Jason Martin, just inside the box. He drilled the ball into the top corner.
Despite several free kicks and long throws, Street couldn’t quite find the opportunity needed to make it 2-2 and in the final few minutes the home side gained more of the ball. There was a slightly farcical end as Richie Noyes and Tom Dawter were both sent off for violent conduct, for what looked little more than a frank exchange of views. They will both miss three matches. By then, Major will almost certainly be up.
Full time: Llantwit Major 2 (G Davies 28, Goldsworth 80) Bridgend Street 1 (Martin 82)