Cardiff Draconians 0-2 Penydarren BGC – Pen maintain unbeaten record with narrow win over Dracs
Goals from Joshua Brogden and Asa Lloyd helped Penydarren to hard-fought win over third-placed Cardiff Draconians at Lydstep Park. The win means that Pen maintain their unbeaten record in this season’s South Wales Alliance Premier Division.
It was the return of the big rivalry where last time out Penydarren sealed a 2-0 victory over the Dracs to secure the South Wales Alliance League title. This time Cardiff Draconians were eager to bounce back to try and secure a runners up spot where they knew a win would give them a great chance of achieving it.
The game started in an intense fashion as both sides looked sharp from the offset. But it was the home side who were first to have a foothold in the game. The chance coming through captain Liam Williams who got on the end of a cross from midfielder Thomas Clean but only to guide his header over the bar, leaving goalkeeper Green unworried.
Next it was Pen with the chance through striker Brogden who couldn’t find the target with a header at the back post from a fantastic delivery from Asa Lloyd. It was the Draconians who looked the better side in the first period, with Pen unable to settle into a rhythm.
This time it was Williams who hit a driven cross across the face of goal but no Dracs player could get on the end of it to punish the visitors. Shortly after, Bradley Stubbs beat full back Reynolds and centre half Lloyd to find his shot power straight into goalkeeper Green’s hands. Another wasted opportunity for the home side as they looked to capitalise on Pen’s mistakes.
Towards the end of the first half it became an end to end game as both sides continued to search for an opener. For the Dracs, Joseph Morelli outpaced midfielder Connor Kinsey to eventually hit a strong shot which was heading in, but only to be denied by Green again who showed great agility and distribution.
Penydarren had a chance soon after, as an intricate ball was played into the path of winger Christopher Owens from 17 year old Harri Moyle who then tried to pull a cheeky ball back to the feet of Asa Lloyd, but he was denied from goalkeeper Dominic Smith who showed good reactions to keep the winger out.
Just before half time, the Dracs had a golden opportunity to take the lead at Lydstep Park through Stubbs who rose highest in the air against full back Pike, only to guide his header just past the post from a terrific delivery from Robert Fowler. This chance came from a direct ball which caught the Penydarren defence napping as they looked to continue their dominant pressure.
The second period started with Penydarren on the front foot as they looked to put things right from a disappointing first half display. A glorious chance appeared to the feet of Brogden who hit an incredible shot which was somehow saved by Smith. The youngster put in an impressive performance in his final game for the club.
Another big chance for Pen came soon after as a direct kick from Green was targeted to the head of Brogden who flicked the ball on to the head of Adam Lewis who again flicked a wonderful header into the path of Owens who was denied by some heroic goalkeeping by Smith.
The opening goal arrived just after the 80 minute mark from Joshua Brogden, who took a quick free kick from 15 yards out which he finished impeccably into the far corner, catching the goalkeeper and wall cold.
Shortly after the goal, Dracs midfielder and captain Liam Williams was dismissed for an inappropriate comment made towards referee Mark Boucher.
Not long after the restart, Kerry Mullins’ men struck again through Asa Lloyd who went past three Draconians defenders to finish into the bottom right hand corner, beating Smith to put his side out of sight..
The league champions have two games left to play, in which they will be hoping to successfully navigate to finish the season unbeaten. They play Ynyshir Albions at The Bont Playing Fields on Thursday, before returning to conclude the season against already relegated Llangynwyd Rangers on Saturday.
(Featured image: Mackenzie Thomas)