Llantwit Major 4-3 Pontypridd Town: Major edge out Dragons in seven-goal thriller
A fortuitous 85th-minute strike from full-back Connor Goldsworthy secured victory for Llantwit Major and meant Pontypridd Town remained winless in six at Windmill Lane.
In the first half, Anthony Rawlings scored a brace for the hosts to bring them level after Matthews Hibbs had scored twice for the Dragons, who were without Tom Farmer after his red card in the 35th minute. Sean Williams then gave Major the lead in the second half but Luke Gullick equalised for the visitors. Full-back Goldsworthy scored the all-important winning goal.
Pontypridd performed better than they did last week after capitulating against relegation rivals Taffs Well last week and would have been deserving of a point, having battled with a man light for 55 minutes.
The win keeps Pontypridd bottom, whilst Llantwit moves into the top six after the abandonment at Cwmbran Celtic and Cwmamman United.
Matthew Hibbs produced the first goal of the game with the first real chance. A punted kick from keeper Cameron Clarke was flicked on but Luke Gullick and Hibbs lofted it over Llantwit keeper Jack Lansdowne.
Llantwit almost sent an immediate response through Robert Jones after he cut in from the flank and sent his shot just wide of the post.
Aiden Lewis showed good determination to tackle and then play a ball through to Matthew Hibbs, who tucked it past the stretching goalkeeper.
The two-goal deficit reduced on the half-hour mark. After failing to clear a corner, Jonathan Butler played the ball to Anthony Rawlings who slotted home from close range.
Moments later, Llantwit Major were level. Rawlings beat the offside trap and lofted it over Clarke who got a slight touch, to level proceedings. Tom Farmer was shown two yellow cards in quick succession as he protested Llantwit’s equaliser, resulting in a red card.
Robert Jones almost forced in a strike after a shortly-taken free-kick, but Clarke saved his effort in the last action of the half.
Having dealt with a barrage of Major attacks, Pontypridd succumbed to Llantwit pressure. Sean Williams fired his side ahead from close-range having initially been denied by Clarke.
Pontypridd quickly responded through a returning Luke Gullick. Jack Wheeler found Gullick in a good spot and he unleashed a powerful shot past Lansdowne.
In the last ten minutes, both Anthony Rawlings and Rob Jones had similar efforts go just wide of the post.
Kareem Leigh also squandered a chance to provide the ten-men with the lead after staying onside from a lofted through ball.
Pontypridd were left heartbroken when Cameron Clarke smashed his clearance against Scott Hillman, to allow Connor Goldsworthy to latch on to the failed clearance and slot into an empty net.
Zac Iheanacho almost levelled in stoppage time after a corner was lofted in, but his header went just over the bar.
In the last action of the game, Anthony Rawlings thought he had his hat-trick, but his shot failed to go over the line.
Llantwit Major: Lansdown, Millar, Goldsworthy, Fletcher, Williams, Evans, Butler (C), Smith (Davies 66) N.Jones (Hartley 75), Rawlings, R.Jones (Gardner 84)
Pontypridd Town: Clarke, Wheeler, Farmer, Fowler, Hillman (C), Iheanacho, Albarrini (Sellway 45) (Hogbakken 82) Lewis, Gullick, Hibbs (Leigh 75), Fox.