Pontypridd Town 0-1 Cambrian & Clydach Vale: Sam Jones nets winner as Derby marred by FOUR sending-offs
Substitute Sam Jones was the hero in the Rhondda Derby as Cambrian claimed victory over Pontypridd at Leckwith Stadium, with a total of FOUR sending offs.
Sam Jones’ 69th-minute strike gave Dane Williams’ side the victory, as Cambrian inflicted defeat on to Gavin Beddard’s men, in his first game in permanent charge of Pontypridd.
Carn Thomas, Joe Evans and Sam Jones were all shown red cards, for the visitors, with three of the four red cards coming in the final fifteen minutes of the game. Aiden Lewis was shown a red card for the hosts.
Cambrian moved to within a point of third-placed Haverfordwest County and six points off of league leaders Afan Lido with two games in hand.
Despite being the lower ranked side, Pontypridd started the game on the front foot, using set pieces as a mean of attack. Aiden Lewis’ corner found Pontypridd skipper Scott Hillman but Dan Bradley made a comfortable save.
Lewis was proving to be Pontypridd’s talisman in the first half. A free-kick from half-way caused Bradley problems as he came to punch, player-manager Gavin Beddard managed to flick a header just over the bar from the set piece.
Beddard had a further header from another Lewis free-kick, but Bradley saved again.
Cambrian towards the end of the first half had their first real opportunity. Liam Edwards was able to keep in Strinati’s cross and he fed it to Carno Thomas who blazed a shot over the bar for the last action of the half.
In the second half, the game sprung into life. Carn Thomas forced Cameron Clarke into his first save as he aimed for the top corner of the goal with a shot from a tight angle.
Having seen his effort saved, just two minutes later Carn Thomas was shown a straight red card for an apparent kick out on Luke Gullick. Liam Edwards was replaced by Sam Jones as Cambrian tried to deal with being a man light.
Through the gaps left after Thomas’ dismissal, Gullick flicked a header at goal but Bradley saved.
Cambrian had their own chance through Cameron Keetch who powered a left-footed free-kick onto the crossbar with Clarke rooted. Teammate Callum Shephard also went close via a free-kick as his dipped just over the crossbar.
After dealing with the threat of Cambrian’s free-kicks, Pontypridd had a good chance to open the scoring. Substitute Andrew Smith beat the offside trap as he attempted to curl an effort into Bradley’s corner but the Cam keeper made a good save with his leg.
Moments later Cambrian broke up the other end and scored from a similar chance. Having been a man light for seventeen minutes, Jones exposed a gap in the Ponty defence and scored with a composed finish.
Shephard who went close with a free-kick almost doubled Cambrian’s lead with ten minutes remaining as his effort whistled past the post.
Cambrian’s job of defending their lead was made much harder as Joe Evans was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away, with Cambrian reduced to nine. With now a two-man advantage, it was Pontypridd with all the attacking threat. Gullick escaped the challenge of the visitors’ defence and tried to drill a shot past Bradley, but the Cambrian keeper dived down well. Pontypridd then hit the post as Gullick played in Smith who was hoping it would go the other side of the goal.
Pontypridd in stoppage time were awarded a free-kick after Sam Jones was booked for giving away a foul. Lewis lofted it into the box for Hillman to header down and Fox was denied by superb reactions from Bradley.
With already five minutes of additional time played, Cambrian were reduced to EIGHT. Sam Jones was shown a second yellow in quick succession for a late challenge which sparked a squabble between the two sides. Pontypridd’s free-kick taker Aiden Lewis was shown a straight red card for his protests.
In the last action of the game, Jack Fox wasted the opportunity to level as his free-kick strayed wide of the goal.
Clarke, Iehanacho, Fowler, Rutherford, Brewer, Hillman (C), Lewis, Shaw, Beddard, Gullick, Hibbs
Smith, Fox, Wheeler, Hole, Burnett
Bradley, Thomas Keetch, Crutch, Evans, D.Jones (C), K.Jones, Shephard, French, Edward (S.Jones 53) Strinati
S.Jones, M.Jones, Owen, Lloyd, Reed.
(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)