MATCH REPORT: Vale United 1-0 Cwmafan – Bridgend side through after narrow victory
Vale United progressed through to the third round of the SWFA Senior Cup after a 1-0 win against Cwmafan on Saturday afternoon.
Despite not being in action for three weeks, Vale headed into this one feeling confident after a resounding 7-0 win against Carnetown last time out.
Meanwhile, the away side also travelled to The Corntown Carpet with high hopes after a 4-0 win against Gwynfi United last Saturday.
Cwmafan got the game underway, playing from right to left as they looked to progress through to the next round of the cup.
And with a scrappy start to the game, both sides struggled to hold onto possession early with most of the play taking place in the centre of the park.
However, Cwmafan’s chances of reaching the third round were quickly dampened after Lewis Richards’ strike gave Vale a 1-0 lead.
After some good build-up play by Jay Tominey, Ryan Jenkins’ low cross was met by Lewis Richards, who did well to get in front of his marker and tap in to put the home side in front.
With new signing Luke Cox watching on from the side-lines after his move from Llantwit Major, it was the perfect start for Vale.
After the goal, the intensity of the game began to rise as Cwmafan’s Aled Rumph and Vale’s Jay Tominey both received yellow cards for late challenges.
Moments later, Cwmafan went close as Connor Brennan found space down the right-hand side, although his teammates failed to get on the end of his cross into the area.
The away side then created another chance as they went in search of the equaliser, this time Cory Davies’ effort sailed just wide of Vale goalkeeper Rhys Davies’ post.
As Cwmafan looked to draw level, Vale had other ideas as their goalscorer Jenkins looked to grab his second of the day by driving towards the opposition defence.
After unleashing a strike from the edge of the area, his effort was comfortably saved by Josh Davies in the Cwmafan goal.
Vale headed into the interval with a 1-0 lead, leaving assistant manager James Lang pleased with what he had seen in the first 45 minutes.
Into the second-half, and it was the home side who had a glorious chance to double their lead early on as Tominey’s effort went inches wide of the top right corner.
However, the away side quickly worked the ball up the field from the resulting goal kick, and were close to drawing level when Connor Brennan went through on goal.
Although, the Vale ‘keeper raced off his line to close down the space, and did just enough to keep his side in the lead.
For the next five minutes, Vale had the majority of the possession, and had two great chances to double their lead.
First, Tominey fired over from inside the area, before the goalscorer Jenkins was at the centre of attention once again, this time his effort sailed wide of the post.
Cwmafan were awarded the first corner of the second-half and nearly found the equaliser, however James Davies was there to nod the ball to safety for the home side and out for another corner.
From the resulting set piece, Cory Davies found Owen Midwinter, although he couldn’t guide his effort on target, despite finding space in the area.
After soaking up the pressure, Vale had another opportunity to extend their lead through an unlikely source in centre-back Jay Ellis.
After staying up the field following a free kick, Ellis tried his luck from close range, although the Cwmafan defence stood stern and did enough to clear the danger.
The away side’s best chance of finding an equaliser came five minutes before the final whistle as Brennan raced through one-on-one with just the ‘keeper to beat.
However, his effort went sailing over the crossbar, leaving the away side wondering if it was ever going to be their day.
Not the prettiest game of football from a neutral point of view, although Vale defended well to see out the win after taking an early lead, 1-0 the final score.