Major secure first Welsh League Division One win with victory over Port Talbot
Mark Pike’s Port Talbot Town undefeated streak came to an end this past Saturday at Welsh League Divsion 1 new boys Llantwit Major as they were defeated by the narrowest of margins writes Port Talbot Town’s Craig Mapstone.
It was the ‘Major’ that started stronger out of the blocks. Recent signing Luke Cox got the first effort in on goal. He beat his man with a smart move going forward in to the box but his effort was easily saved by the Port Talbot Town keeper.
Darren Robinson followed up with a shot minutes later from distance that was wide of the mark before PTT started to settle in to the game with 15 minutes gone. Jordan Pike’s corner knocked towards the near post was cleared comfortably with the away side starting to look the better side.
Keane Watts started to make his presence felt. When Glyn Davies wasn’t able to clear a ball knocked over the top Watts’ made great use of his pace to latch on to the ball. He managed to get one on one with Jack Lansdown but the home keeper did well to block the effort in at goal.
Port Talbot continued to pile on the pressure with Owain Davies heading towards the near corner of the goal before another corner kick was gained. PTT finally made this count. Pike’s delivery wasn’t dealt with well by Llantwit Major in the six-yard area as the ball fell towards Blake Morgan who found himself in acres of space. Morgan made no mistake here and smashed the ball in to the bottom corner to put the visitors 1-0 in front.
The most spectacular effort of the game came 10 minutes later with a nice Port Talbot move. Ryan Morgan’s throw in to the box was flicked on by Blake which presented Owain Davies with an acrobatic opportunity. His over head kick going just wide of the mark.
Llantwit Major had the better of the chances as the first half drew to it’s conclusion. Some nice play on the wing resulted in a low cross driven across the box. Any touch on the end of this would have certainly seen the Major equalising but nobody was able to get on the end of it.
Luke Cox tested again with his headed effort going wide and a fine move going forward for the home side had Anthony Rawlings through on goal. James Harris done well to make himself big and prevent the former Port Talbot Town man getting on the score sheet.
Port Talbot Town did get two more chances before the end of the half when Jordan Pike’s free kick on the edge of the area dipped over the wall but was saved well by Lansdown. Keane Watts’ effort from distance was asking questions of the keeper again but he made another smart save as PTT took a 1-0 lead going in to half-time.
The intent the home side showed in the opening few minutes turned out to be a real game changer.
Llantwit Major picked up their equaliser minutes in to the second half following a corner. They made their aerial presence felt from this when Anthony Rawlings made contact with the ball, taking a big deflection and beating James Harris who had no chance to react quick enough. The game was now tied at 1-1.
The Major were still dominating this half with another effort testing Harris from distance before they finally grabbed another goal. It was another header this time from another corner in similar circumstances. The ball was whipped in to the box and Sean Williams headed home to put the home side in the lead for the first time in the match.
It took a good 15 minutes of this half before Port Talbot were finally starting to dictate play going forward. Patrick Finneral attacked down the right flank on two occasions but wasn’t quite able to get his cross in to the box.
As the minutes started to pass going further in to the half both sides were beginning to waste opportunities with Finneral asking questions of Glyn Davies again. Davies did well to force a goal kick on this opportunity with about 20 left to play.
Llantwit Major came agonisingly close again when a half-volley on the edge of the box had Harris at full stretch who done well to save. Kieran Miller knocked a free-kick from distance in to the box with the next real chance of the game. Matthew Birdsey was able to beat Lansdown to it in goal but the home keeper recovered well to shut down any chance for PTT.
With five minutes left to play the visitors piled on the pressure with waves of attack towards Llantwit Major’s goal. There were several aerial battles and away free kicks but this came with no end result for Port Talbot.
Major went up the other end and won another corner with minutes to play and looked dangerous once again. Another powerful header forced James Harris to tip the ball on to the post with what was the last real opportunity of the game for both sides.
Referee Tom Bevan blew for full time and Llantwit Major picked up their first win in the Welsh League this season. Mark Pike’s Blues suffered their first away loss of the season with the game finishing 2-1.
Port Talbot go up against another one of the division’s new boys in Pontypridd Town next. This one will be taking place at Goytre Unite’s Glenhafod Park on Saturday 22nd September with a 2:30pm Kick Off.
FEATURED IMAGE: Brandon Arthur