Mark Pike’s Blues hit the road again for the first Friday night game of the season. This time though it’s a short over to Briton Ferry Llansawel for the first of many local derbies this season.
The manager caught up with porttalbottown.co.uk this week and gave his thoughts ahead of the big game;
“Just as we start to get momentum into our season yet again another game is called off, this time due to the weather. Our stop start season continues, whilst frustrating for us we just have to get on with it and as a group we are looking forward to playing the experienced side [manager] Carl Shaw has assembled.”
Pike on the season so far;
“I am happy with the season to date. The squad is young and lack a little bit of division 1 experience. The first loss of season at Llantwit Major recently was a blow, a mad 5 minutes after the second half restart cost us and we could not get ourselves back in the game even though we kept prodding and asking questions.
These youngsters now know what it feels like to lose this early in to the season and I am sure they have learnt from this tough defeat. Of course it came down to fine margins in the end but full concentration is obviously required throughout. We had six players out on the day but really that is no excuse. It’s about the squad as a whole and throughout the season we will need all the boys from top to bottom be at its best.
Briton Ferry will have multiple players familiar to the Port Talbot fan base and in particular two that Mark will know very well;
“Ferry, as I’ve mentioned already have a great squad and specifically two boys that boast quality I know very well. Both Connah McFenton and Tyler Brock were developed through the Port Talbot Town academy system and have no doubt been instrumental to Ferry’s season to date.”
Port Talbot Town news for the match this Friday include a few returns following the Llantwit Major defeat as well one or two key players that are set to miss out.
“We’ll be welcoming back Nikki Parvin, Dylan Llewellyn, Chris Silva and Bailey Jones who have been away recently due to injury. Morgan Thomas and Dylan Thomas will be back in the squad now they have returned from holiday.
Unfortunately we’ll be missing influential midfielder Kieran Miller who’s away with the Welsh six-a-side squad. As ever this will mean opportunity for the rest of the squad and a headache for myself when it comes to the team selection. A nice headache to have mind you.”
“We’ll be going into the game like we always do, full of confidence. For some of the boys it’s their first local derby at this level. I am hopeful we will compete on the night and that it’ll be a good decent encounter under the lights of the Old Road.”
For match updates be sure to keep up to date through the usual social media platforms as well as porttalbottown.co.uk
Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell