Goytre United boss Lee John expects Port Talbot Town to challenge 

Goytre United manager Lee John says he expects tonight’s opponents Port Talbot Town, to be challenging at the top end of the division this season. 

Port Talbot travel to Goytre United this evening and the manager in the home dugout believes that we will see a resurgent Port Talbot this season.

Paul Evans’ side finished in mid table last season after a relegation scare but now after a full-season in charge and a season of transition following their relegation from the Welsh Premier League, Port Talbot could be a strong outfit this season.

The away side have strengthened this season and have added experienced utility-man Cortez Belle to their front-line and John has gone out to say that the attack they boast could be one of the best in the division.

“With the squad they’ve assembled, I totally expect them to be at the top end of the league, challenging this season which is where they should be. 

Their front three of Cortez Belle, Luke Bowen and Anthony Rawlings are as good as anything in the division.”

This game will be the second derby in the space of the week after Goytre United’s convincing 6-1 victory over Afan Lido last Friday but despite the score tally, Goytre started on the back foot.

“It was just one of those games, The home team played some good football first half and we struggled to even get out of our half at times.

We won a penalty from a set piece after about 25 minutes and we settled down after that. The second half we were relentless and were able to adapt to the strong weather conditions better than the Lido. We showed great desire and quality in the final third to seal the three points.”

Not much separates the sides geographically but the former forward says that the emphasis on the game will just be to get the three points.

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There’s always a worry that players will up their intensity in a match between two local sides but Lee John expects his side to maintain their good disciplinary record.

“It’s just another three points up for grabs. I have a long association with port talbot and we beat them twice last year. Our lads just want to win the game. 

We had fantastic discipline last season, we are a hard working team but we do it the right way. We can’t afford to be losing players during a game or losing them to suspensions for any length of time. 

We’ve got to respect the opposition, earn the right to play and do our best to show our quality. If we do that we’ll be okay.” 

In midweek, both sides were in Welsh Football League Cup action with Port Talbot being taken to extra time against Division Three opposition in Ely Rangers whilst Goytre United were victims of a cup shock to Division Two side Abergavenny Town.

Despite playing longer than Goytre United, Lee John says the win on Tuesday for Port Talbot will work as a positive for them.

“They made 7-8 changes from the team that played against Haverfordwest and I’m expecting them to do the same on Friday night. We lost and they won, so they’ll be on a high after scoring five goals and getting through to the next round. If anything they’ll have a physiological advantage after we lost.”

Last time out, Goytre United secured a stunning away victory at Victoria Rad, where they trailed in stoppage time but a dramatic turn of events saw Dylan Blain in the end score a winner. This time out though, the Goytre boss is just hoping for three points and has no specific manner in how he wants the game to be won.

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What an end to a game that was, 2-1 down after 91 minutes. 3-2 up on 93 minutes. As long as we get the right result i don’t care how we do it. I’d prefer to be more comfortable, but I’ll take three points however we can get them.”

It’s early days so far but an opening day victory where you’ve ran out 6-1 winners always provides speculation on whether your side could be up there challenging but Lee John is taking it game by game, with no real expectations set for the season ahead.

“Another three points this Friday would give us the perfect start to the league campaign. We aren’t looking any further than Friday night.

Yet again I’m expecting the league to be very inconsistent this season. Most teams are capable of beating each other. Consistency will key to any team wanting to challenge at the top end of the league table.”

After boasting one of the best defences in the league last season, Lee John identified his sides desire for goals as the most neccessary movement in the transfer market and in that he signed Caerau Ely pair Jamal Roberts and Curtis Hutson, as well as signing prolific Caerau forward Thomas Walters.

“We’ve definitely added more pace and power, but we’ve only played 2 games this season and we’ve a long way to go before we know if we’ve improved or not. But I’m more than happy with all the players we’ve recruited over pre-season.”

(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)

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