Writing for Y Clwb Pêl-Droed, PTT supporter Rhys Griffiths reports from the Cardiff International Athletics Stadium where Port Talbot Town took on Pontypridd Town
Pontypridd skipper Scott Hillman opened the scoring, but his effort was cancelled out by a penalty from Keane Watts.
Gavin Beddard’s side saw forward Paulo Marenghi sent off in the first half but were able to salvage a point from the game, but were powerless to resist dropping to last following results elsewhere.
Port Talbot Town now have a weeks rest, whilst Pontypridd Town are back at Leckwith Stadium for their third home game of the year against Cwmbran Celtic.
For the first 15 minutes, both sides were cautious with their approach to the game, with limited chances at both ends. In the 19th minute an off the ball incident spotted by the linesman, when Paulo Marenghi was seen to elbow a Port Talbot defender in the face. After consulting with the linesman the referee gave a straight red card.
Instead of becoming defensive in their approach, Pontypridd immediately applied pressure on to Port Talbot and was rewarded in the 28th minute when Luke Gullick ran at the defence, slipped the ball through to Scott Hillman who fired Pontypridd into the lead.
This spurred Port Talbot on and two minutes later following a great run Keane Watts broke into the Pontypridd’s box and was promptly brought down from behind with a desperate challenge and a clear penalty awarded. Watts took the resulting penalty smashing it into the net to level proceedings.
Despite a chance going just wide of the post for Pontypridd, the remainder of the first half Port Talbot remained on top with a couple of chances and sustained pressure.
The second half started as the first half ended with Port Talbot putting on pressure for the first 5 minutes with a good cross from the right wing and Blake Morgan narrowly failing to connect with the header.
This early spell of chances from Port Talbot woke Pontypridd up who started to bring the attack to their opponents with a shot from Liam Shaw striking the crossbar, followed by Zac Iheancho’s shot being well saved by James Harris in the Port Talbot goal.
Pontypridd continued to threaten but failed to take their chances. A number of yellow cards were given, as both teams battled it out to gain the three points, two going to Pontypridd and one to Port Talbot.
With minutes left in the game, Port Talbot applied pressure but a case of too little too late.
Port Talbot town secured a vital point on the road but failed to make the most of the man advantage, whilst Pontypridd’s lack of cutting edge for a second goal, saw them drop to 16th. Relegation rivals Taffs Well’s away win at mid-table side Cwmamman United rubbed salt into the wounds.
It’s a first local derby for PTT in 2019 this Saturday (19th Jan – 2:00PM KO) as the Blue’s take on Briton Ferry Llansawel in the Welsh Football League. If you’re unable to make it we’ll have live match updates on the official twitter club channel.
Match Images: Lewis Mitchell