European Delight For Steelmen

Port Talbot Town 0-0 Bala Town

A large crowd turned out at The GenQuip Stadium to watch Port Talbot Town qualify for the UEFA Europa League for the first time ever. Both sides went into the match needing three points, Port Talbot to guarantee a European place and Bala needing a win to stay in the top ten.

A tense opening half saw Mark Jones side have the better of the possession and created the better chances but goalkeeper Leon Bimpson was in fine form and prevented Martin Rose, Lloyd Grist and Scott Barrow from scoring in the opening half. On 22 minutes Scott Barrow was harshly booked after having his shirt ripped by Owain Roberts as Port Talbot continued to pressure their physical opponents.

Lee Kendall was rarely tested at the other end as the visitors were restricted to a handful of long range efforts as both sides went into half-time having failed to open the scoring. Port Talbot came out for the second half with a positive approach and Bimpson was again tested in the opening exchanges of the second period. Midway through the second half Matthew Rees appeared top have handed Port Talbot Town the lead but his header was ruled out by referee Kevin Morgan for a push.

Martin Rose and Daniel Thomas were then both denied a goal by the in-form Bimpson but as news filtered through from Aberystwyth that The New Saints were ahead the home sides tension eased. Bala offered little at the other end despite the score at Carmarthen meaning that only a victory would suffice for the visitors as referee Morgan brought the game to a close. A nervy few moments followed the final whistle as Port Talbot players and supporters waited on the final whistle from Park Avenue and from Farrar Road were a 0-0 draw between Bangor and Newtown together with Aberystwtyh’s defeat meant that a point was enough for Mark Jones side to stay in third place and with it qualification for the UEFA Europa League for the first time in the clubs history.

26th April 2010 – Western Mail

Port Talbot clinch European place

A tension-filled afternoon ended in triumph fro Port Talbot as a point was sufficient to gain the Steelmen entry into Europe for the first time. News that Aberystwyth had been beaten by The New Saints reverberated around the GenQuip Stadium, triggering wild scenes of celebration at the final whistle. It should have been a comfortable victory for the Steelmen, but Bala keeper Leon Bimpson pulled off half a dozen breathtaking saves to frustrate Mark Jones’ side. Jones, who was carried shoulder high around the pitch at the end, said, “This is a fantastic day for the town of Port Talbot but especially for the players, supporters, backroom staff and board of directors.”

25th April 2010 – Wales on Sunday

European delight for Steelmen

Jubilation for Port Talbot, but sheer heartbreak for Bala was the outcome of this goalless stalemate. The result and Carmarthen’s victory over Cefn Druids meant that Bala, in their first season in the top flight, failed to finish in the top 10 and qualify for a super league place by right. But for the Steelmen, Aberystwyth’s defeat at the hands of new champions The New Saints ensured a third-place finish and qualification for Europe for the first time in their 109-year history. It climaxed a glorious campaign for Port Talbot, who also have the matter of a Welsh Cup final to contest next week. The star of the game was undoubtedly Bala keeper Leon Bimpson, who made a string of top-class stops. The main creator for Port Talbot was Gareth Phillips who had a hand in most things, with Martin Rose, Lloyd Grist and Drew Fahiya all denied by the acrobatic Bimpson. Port Talbot had a goal disallowed in the second half by skipper Matthew Rees who was adjudged to have pushed a defender.

Principality Welsh Premier League

Saturday, 24th April 2010

at The GenQuip Stadium, Port Talbot

Port Talbot Town 0-0 Bala Town

Goalscorers

Port Talbot Town

None

Bala Town

None

Referee – Mr Kevin Morgan

Port Talbot Town

Team – Lee Kendall, Leigh De-Vulgt, Scott Barrow, Gareth Phillips, Matthew Rees, Lee Surman, Daniel Thomas, Lloyd Grist, Martin Rose, Liam McCreesh, Drew Fahiya

Subs – Lee John (rep Fahiya – 62), Nicky Holland (rep Thomas – 75), Karl Lewis (Unused), Chris Silva (Unused), Josh Wonnacott (Unused),

Yellow Cards – Scott Barrow (22) Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – None

Bala Town

Team – Leon Bimpson, John Irving, Gethin Lloyd, Mark Powell, Danny Jellicoe, Danny Williams, Owain Roberts, Ross Jeffries, Neil Fisher, Ricky Evans, Warren Duckett

Subs – Steve Fisher (rep Evans – 86), Mike Thompson (Unused), John Toner (rep N.Fisher – 62)

Yellow Cards – Owain Roberts (22), Warren Duckett (70) Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – None

Attendance – 564