Port Talbot Town maintained their unbeaten start to Welsh League Division One with a dominant 5-0 win over Garden Village at a wet Stafford Common. Goals from Conor Harris (pen), Matthew Beynon (x2), Jack Underwood and substitute Dylan Llewellyn, along with a fine penalty save from James Harris, ensured the Blues came away with all three points.
It was a perfect return to the form for the Steelmen after consecutive defeats in domestic cups, but it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game early on. Kurtis Morgan unleashed a venomous shot from distance in the first few minutes for Garden Village, but the ball went well wide and through the advertising boards.
Jackson Hall went close for Port Talbot shortly after as his header went wide, with suggestions of a possible push but no penalty was awarded. However, when (little) Ryan Morgan was clattered by Dion Carrol in goal, the Blues did have a penalty and Conor Harris stepped up to slot home and give the away side an early lead.
It was a lead that Port Talbot never looked like surrendering and it was nearly doubled through Jack Underwood after more good work from Ryan Morgan on the wing, but the striker’s effort was just too close to the goalkeeper.
Garden Village started to apply pressure as they searched for an equaliser with Kurtis Morgan striking from close range straight at James Harris in goal, and Harri Lawson’s great cross was not met with any contact in the box despite the ball begging to be put into the net.
On the half-hour mark, Tom Neville went close to getting his first goal in a Port Talbot Town shirt as he met Owen Williams’ delightful through ball but was unable to apply the finishing touch. The lead was nearly doubled through Ryan Morgan of Garden Village as his headed block nearly ended up in his own net.
The pressure continued to come from Port Talbot and Conor Harris was close to doubling his tally as he met a sublime pass from Chris Silva, but his effort was kept out. Ryan Morgan also went close with a deflected strike that was well saved by Carroll in the Village goal.
Five minutes before the break and that pressure paid off as Matthew Beynon headed home from a Jordan Pike corner to double the Port Talbot lead and get his first goal in a Blues shirt.
Daryl Hughes nearly halved the deficit immediately after with a thunderbolt of an effort, but James Harris made a fantastic save to his right to keep the ball out. Chris Silva went close to giving Port Talbot a third in first-half stoppage time as he did well to meet (little) Ryan Morgan’s pass, but he couldn’t quite divert the ball into the net. Regardless, the Blues had a comfortable half-time lead.
The Blues came out of the blocks firing in the second half and had a big shout for a penalty turned down after a strong tackle on Jack Underwood, but the referee was happy for play to continue.
The same could not be said seven minutes into the second period when Matthew Beynon brought down Daryl Hughes in the box to give Garden Village a penalty and a way back into the game. Alexander Giardelli stepped up but James Harris was in fine form throughout the match, saving brilliantly to his right to keep his clean sheet and the Blues’ two goal lead intact.
He was called straight back into action as he kept out the effort of Michael Morris with Ryan Morgan then doing well to block the rebound. Ryan Morgan went close to pulling one back for the home side soon after though, as his cross-come-shot was destined for the top corner, but Harris again did brilliantly to tip over. He was going to take some beating.
Jack Underwood was causing problems up front for much of the match and he nearly had his deserved goal before the hour-mark as he was put through on goal but could only fire his effort at the keeper. That all changed three minutes later as he was found unmarked in the box by Conor Harris and was able to slot the ball past the keeper to give the Blues a 3-0 lead.
Tomos Blizzard came on for his Port Talbot Town debut shortly after that goal, replacing Chris Silva, and the Blues were threatening to blow Garden Village away with Matthew Beynon once again getting on the scoresheet to make it 4-0 to the away side after 65 minutes. He was found wonderfully by a Tom Neville dink and the defender took his time and calmly put the ball past Carroll in goal for his second of the day.
Port Talbot Town showed no sign of letting up a ruthless performance with another penalty claim following a second strong challenge on Jack Underwood. Nothing given. Jackson Hall then went close to getting in on the action with a free-kick effort from 20 yards being well saved. Both big and little Ryan Morgan were also inches away from getting on the scoresheet in a matter of minutes only to see their efforts go wide.
The home side deserved credit for failing to give up with Alexander Giardelli seeing his strike go wide. Sam Handy also tried to gain a consolation goal for Village, with his brilliant run from the back lacking a finishing touch as his long-range strike went well over.
There were joyous scenes five minutes from time as substitute Dylan Llewellyn, who had come on for Jack Underwood ten minutes earlier, scored his long awaited first goal in a Port Talbot Town shirt. Tom Neville was put through after a terrific run and saw his shot saved, but the rebound fell to Llewellyn who struck his effort in off the post from close range to wrap a comprehensive victory in front of the jubilant and very vocal travelling fans.
It was the perfect day at the office for Port Talbot Town who moved up to third in the table following the resounding victory. We caught up with two of the goal scorers after the match to reflect on their goals and the team’s victory.
“I am absolutely delighted to get my first goal of the season,” said Dylan Llewellyn after netting the fifth goal for the Blues. “But it was more important to keep our undefeated run going today. There is still so much more to come from this team and the league is our ultimate goal and what we are aiming for this season.”
Jack Underwood, scorer of Port Talbot’s third goal today, was also delighted with his goal and the victory. “It is a pleasure to be back in the starting eleven today after being out for such a long spell through suspension. It was brilliant to be on the scoresheet once again and to keep our momentum going. The boys were absolutely superb and James [Harris] in particular was excellent.”
Attentions now turn to next week’s home fixture against league leaders Risca United at Victoria Road. It will be a clash of two unbeaten sides in what should be a keenly tested affair. Kick-off for that one is 2.30pm.
All image credits: Russell Morris.