WNLD1 Focus: New Brighton Villa pull off comeback to beat Llangollen
There was drama in the Welsh National League Division One on Saturday afternoon as New Brighton Villa came back from a losing position to topple Llangollen Town.
The hosts had prepared for a challenge as they welcomed Llangollen who were enjoying a stable run with four wins from six games so far in the season, losing just two.
Although New Brighton sat four places below Llangollen in the table, they came into the game off the back of a late victory over Welsh Alliance Division One side Pwllhelli in the FAW Welsh Trophy.
The game started at a windy Estadio De Mark Lopez, with Llangollen the side who were out of the stocks first.
With the wind to their backs, they attacked from the off and went close on three minutes when a close range shot went narrowly wide of the left post.
New Brighton Villa met Llangollen’s pressure with a solid shape which bode well for them throughout the opening stage of the game, using some well placed kicks from goalkeeper Rhys Peers to push upfield.
The fourth-tier game had a physical style typical of its level, but both teams showed their skill with well timed challenges creating a good flow which rarely had to be stopped by the referee.
Whilst the home side began to increase their share of the possession, it was Llangollen who looked more dangerous upfront, using their quick pace to get ahead on 16 minutes.
Dominic Jay took advantage of a knocked on ball in the New Brighton box, tapping home to give Town a deserved lead.
Despite trailing, Villa stayed well in the game, seeing a chance to equalise before the interval go amiss when had a curling effort from around 12 yards was held by Llangollen keeper Kristian Jones.
The second half started and Llangollen looked to consolidate their lead, successfully controlling play and limiting New Brighton’s chances on goal.
Looking for a way back into the game, Villa coaches Dave Roberts and Liam Evans rung the changes, introducing Jack Leonard-Gill and Robbie Davies in place of Max Quinn and Jack Neal.
The home side’s determination paid off when as took advantage of a perhaps too comfortable opposition to equalise with 15 minutes to go. Grant Spenser broke free on goal from a Nic Blythin assist to send a well taken half volley into the bottom left corner of the net.
With the game well and truly on, New Brighton looked the more likely winners as they made a number of darting runs towards the Llangollen end, forcing a number of corners, one of which rattled the crossbar via the kick of Jacob Harril.
With five minutes left to play, New Brighton defender Jordan Dorrington turned the game on its head as he headed a Sam Wainwright corner past keeper Jones to give his side a 2-1 lead against Llangollen who had previously been controlling the encounter.
Villa showed great mettle to see the game out, showing good composure to hold possession in the final stages of the game, at one point holding the ball up in Llangollen’s right corner flag to run down the clock.
Llangollen’s day got worse after full time was confirmed as Gwilym Keddie was shown a red card for abusive language whilst in dialogue with the referee.
The win sees New Brighton round off an unbeaten month in October, as they look to continue climbing the table away to Cefn Mawr Rangers next week.
— New Brighton Villa (@newbrightonvfc) October 28, 2017
Llangollen will look to recover from the disappointing late loss, but it will be a challenge as they travel to league leaders Maesgwyn.