MATCH REPORT: Cardiff Draconians 1-2 Ton Pentre
Welsh League side Ton Pentre shook off early nerves to avoid a JD Welsh Cup Round One upset as Tom Randall scored with a minute before second half stoppage time at Llanidloes Road.
The Bulldogs who are under the caretaker charge of Steve Williams at the moment as they seek a replacement to departing manager Lee Phillips started the game on the back foot after going behind early on but recovered as they came out on top against a side four divisions below them.
It was a spirited performance by the Draconians who will take great pride from matching a team of such history and will certainly build on the performance.
From the first minute, both sides had a fast start and showed their attacking intent. Joe Lewis carried the ball and worked his way through the defenders but blazed his shot over the bar early on.
The Dracs would then have another opportunity as Brad Stubbs would cross the ball in to Isac Morrison who would control the ball and lay it off to Leighton James but his tame shot was saved by Ryan Griffiths in the Bulldogs net.
Ton Pentre would have their own chance to grab a goal early on though as Phil Clarke crossed the ball in on the right-hand side and Leon Jacka was there to header, forcing Dom Smith into a good save.
The dead-lock would be broken though in the first five minutes as Joey Morelli would collide with the Ton Pentre defender and the referee pointed to the spot, to give the home side the advantage to score from twelve-yards. Captain Liam Williams stepped up and hit the ball into the corner of the goal with a low-hard penalty.
That lead would only last ten minutes though as Andre Griffiths would square the ball to Josh Thoomy who would slot home with an easy finish to settle the game.
The game would continue to remain even and the Dracs had the chance to take the lead again as Joey Morelli had a shot on goal which deflected out for a corner which was headed away but fell to the feet of Isaac Morrison, as Ton Pentre defender Josh Hardy blocked the ball off the line.
Brad Stubbs would earn a free-kick in a good position as he danced thrugh the Draconian defenders, allowing set-piece specialist Liam Williams to smack the ball in, allowing Leighton James to header at goal but Griffiths was there to deny him.
Ton Pentre though had a good opportunity as Thoomy tried to break into the box but Jake Gammond made a telling interception as he blocked his path on goal.
They also had the opportunity to take the lead ten minutes before half time as Gavin Morris made an over-lapping run and he played a good cross to Thoomy again but his header was tame and fell straight into the hands of Smith.
As the game approached half time, it was Ton Pentre who were edging it as the last chance of the half as Andre Griffiths was fouled, he took the free-kick with a great lofted pass to Leon Jacka but he tried an audacious chip which was saved as the referee brought the half to an end.
The game resumed after the fifteen-minute interval and Ton Pentre carried on from where they left of as Jacka won the corner, as the ball was whipped in to Andre Griffiths, he saw his efforts cleared off the line twice as the Draconians defence stood firm to deny the enigmatic winger.
Jacka who returned to Ton Pentre following a brief spell with Cambrian was instrumental to a lot of the Ton Pente attacks and his corner almost went directly straight in from the set-piece.
Both defences were trying their hardest not to be beaten and Josh Hardy made a well-timed sliding challenge on Isaac Morrison after he skimmed past the oncoming Pentre keeper, denying an almost certain goal for a corner.
From the set-piece, Liam Williams headed it across goal and it fell to Morelli who had a weak shot as Pentre regrouped.
With just a minute remaining until the ninetieth minute, it was heartbreak for the Draconians but ecstacy for Toon Pentre as Sam Small would cross the ball in and substitute Tom Randall rose above to score with a neat header.
Ton Pentre saw out the game, to deny the Draconians a way back into the game as they saw the game out, retaining possession as they took the ball into the corner as they awaited the full time whistle.