STM Sports 1-2 Risca United: Tom Pratt dents STM’s promotion push with late winner for Cuckoos
Risca United came away from Llanrumney University Fields with an unlikely victory at promotion-chasing STM Sports.
The Cuckkooos ended the hosts’ unbeaten home record of 16 games stretching over five months as STM missed out on the opportunity to move into the top three.
Risca opened the scoring through Lewis Davies, but Chris Worsley levelled for the Cardiff based side. Tom Pratt was the hero late into the game as he restored Risca’s lead.
STM came into the game on the back of a three-game winning run in all competitions as they looked to move closer to the top three and play in Division One next season. Risca who started the game at the other end of the table named the same starting eleven that were beaten by Swansea University last week.
The visitors started in perfect fashion as they took an early lead. Tom Pratt crossed in from the left and found Lewis Davies just outside the six-yard box who rose highest and acrobatically volleyed home past goalkeeper Exacue Dimonkene.
Dale Gardiner’s men needed a response and nearly got it when a cross from the left was placed into the path of Chris Worsley who shot first time on the volley but effort sailed over the bar.
Another good chance followed as Chris Hajgato could only see his shot go wide after good build-up play from Lamin Conteh. Just as STM were getting into the game Risca’s Davies broke free after a well-weighted pass from Sam Palmer, but the striker who did so well to pick the ball up could only see his low tame effort into the gloves of Dimonkene.
Tom Pratt was superbly denied by Dimonkene. Risca won a corner and Lewis Hitchcock’s delivery went straight onto the head of Pratt and looked destined to hit the back of the net but Dimonkene’s one-handed save kept his side in it. Another chance soon followed by the dangerous Davies, another fantastic cross from Hitchcock found the striker but he could only head wide.
An end to end game was showing no let down of action as Dale Gardiner’s men asked for a penalty as Conteh‘ strike looked to have hit an arm but referee Josh Taylor waved away protests before Chris Hajgato could only see his shot go wide as the visitors went into half time with a slender lead.
An encouraging start to the second half saw Conteh miss two good chances for the hosts. First, a shot that went wide after a good pass from Chris Worsley before an overhead kick straight into the arms of Tom Chorley. In the middle of that Davies again in the thick of the action as he could only see his shot go just wide via a deflection.
STM levelled the game through Worsley after his hard work and endeavour. He picked the ball up around the edge of the area before curling the ball home to level the score.
This seemed to ignite confidence in STM and a minute later his cross was met by Ben Ah-Mun could only direct his header over the bar.
Davies who posed a constant threat throughout the game to STM was denied once again by the outstretched leg of Dimonekene. Dimonekene came to STM’s rescue again a minute later as he bravely saves well from substitute Liam Thomas after he was was sent clean through.
Tom Pratt netted the winner just under ten minutes from time. Hitchcock superbly swung in a cross and it found its way to the back post where Pratt’s header ended in the back of the net despite the defender on the line to seal the win.
STM Sports: Dimonekene, Yohanes, Bull (Bateman 65), Biggs, Hodge, Hajgato, Evans (C), Gardner (Jones, 52) Ahmun, Worsley, Conteh
Bookings: Joseph Evans, Lamin Conteh and Ben Ah-Mun.
Risca United: Chorley, Furness, Hitchcock, Rathbone, Ripley, Lewis, Clayton (C), Pratt, Palmer (Neville 62), Porter (Thomas 78), Davies (Berry 82)
(Featured Image: Mike James)