Port Talbot Town suffered a first league away defeat of the season at the Murch, falling to a 2-1 loss to Dinas Powys. Two headed goals from Guillaume Haist were enough for the home side to secure victory, with a Niall Chinn own goal the only thing the Blues had to shout about.
Things nearly started perfectly though with Tom Neville’s beautiful effort from outside the box crashing the underside of the crossbar and bouncing on the line rather than over. The Dinas Powys defence were quick to clear and ensure they didn’t fall behind early to a Port Talbot Town team who should have been full of confidence after last week’s 4-1 victory over Bridgend Street.
Rueben Bryl then tested the home defence from outside of the box with a wicked spinning effort going just over after five minutes. Paulo Marenghi then went close for Dinas Powys but he flashed his shot just wide on the 19-minute mark.
The Blues nearly had the lead after twenty minutes with Tom Blizzard going very close from inside the six-yard box after finding space, but his close-range shot was well saved by Ryan Fleming in the home goal.
The game was open and certainly didn’t seem like it was 2nd against bottom, with the new Dinas Powys coaching staff clearly having a big impact on their side. Niall Chinn went very close but smashed his effort into the side netting from the edge of the six-yard box before James Marr skied a long ball over the top onto the nearby railway line.
Yellow cards were on the agenda as the first half neared a close with John Hall cautioned for a late challenge and then Andrew Townsend also booked for a late foul on (little) Ryan Morgan.
As the first half entered stoppage time, Jordan Pike and Jack Underwood nearly repeated their delightful free-kick routine that resulted in the third goal in last week’s victory over Bridgend Street. Pike delivered a low ball in and found Underwood, but this time his shot was blocked, and Conor Harris could only mishit from 8 yards out. It was goalless at the break.
Dinas Powys started brightly in the second period with Townsend crossing a great ball into the box but there was nobody there to tap it in with the goal begging. The Blues also started well with a long curling strike from Jack Underwood going just wide.
Port Talbot continued to apply pressure with Tom Blizzard capitalising on a slipped clearance by Fleming in the Dinas goal, but his chipped effort was the wrong side of the post. Tom Neville nearly got on the scoresheet with two successive blocked efforts but there was no way past a resolute home defence.
The chances kept coming for the Blues with Morgan Thomas and Conor Harris linking well with the former hitting his shot from the edge of the box over the bar. Just as it looked like Port Talbot were on the verge of scoring, the away side broke and changed the course of the game.
A crowded box saw a good ball crossed in and it looked like it was Guillaume Haist who got his head onto the ball and guided it into the net to give Dinas the lead after 69 minutes. Daniel James in goal and the Port Talbot defence as a whole will feel they could have done better, but it was not long before they had the equaliser.
Jordan Pike delivered a wonderful ball into the six-yard box from a corner that caused chaos for the home side. They failed to clear their lines after John Hall’s header and Niall Chinn could only smash the ball into the roof of his own net under immense Port Talbot attacking pressure to bring the scores level at 1-1 after 71 minutes.
However, this didn’t seem too much of a setback for Dinas Powys and Daniel James was called into action with a big save to deny Nial Chinn some immediate redemption for his own goal. Morgan Marias then had the ball in the net, but his effort was ruled out for a clear offside with Chinn then going close again after taking advantage of a slipped goal kick by James, but his strike went wide.
The Dinas Powys pressure soon paid off with Nicholas Hill, who was in far too much space on the right wing following a corner, delivering a cross that Haist met and powered a header into the bottom left corner to restore the home side’s lead on 79 minutes. Larry Tabi nearly sealed victory but he should have done better than dragging his strike inside the box wide.
Blake Morgan and Dylan Llewellyn came on as the Blues searched for a late equaliser, but the biggest chance fell for Jack Underwood in stoppage time. He was found with space in the box, but his flashed header went wide from six yards out. It should have been a late equaliser, but instead it was a first victory of the season for Dinas Powys and a first league defeat for Port Talbot Town on the road this season.
Blues manager Mark Pike was understandably frustrated with his team’s performance: “On the day it was just not good enough. Our standards slipped.”
“This group have to find consistency and work harder together,” added the gaffer. “Hopefully the group will learn from this set back and find a way of being consistent, putting a string of results together and kick on.”
Next up for Port Talbot Town is a home fixture with Blaenrhondda in the FAW Trophy next Saturday (23 November). Kick off at Victoria Road is 2pm.
All image credits: Russell Morris.