The end of the year wasn’t to be for PTT as Taffs Well grabbed a late goal to come away from Victoria Road with all three points in what will no doubt go a long way in their bid to beat the drop.
It was a former blue in Jason Bertorelli that kicked off the action this past Saturday afternoon. His free kick on the edge of the Port Talbot Town box beat the wall but was also a little high off the mark to avoid any trouble for Jamie Rano.
Minutes later there was the first big penalty appeal for the day. Jordan Pike’s corner whipped in to the box wasn’t cleared and as John Hall fired a rebound at goal it was blocked at close range but referee Thomas Bevan turned down all shouts from the home side as play continued.
A goal was coming and Port Talbot Town were the side to break the deadlock and in some fashion. Jandir Zola did well to win the ball in midfield and send Keane Watts on his way who dashed down the left hand side. 30 or so yards later he beat his man and fired home beating Glyn Garner at his near post to give PTT the lead.
Before the game got back under way Mark Pike was forced to make his first substitution with around 20 minutes of the game gone as keeper Jamie Rano went down and needed to leave the field for treatment. James Harris took his place and was immediately called in to action when Bertorelli looked to grab an equaliser from the restart. Harris to his credit, did well to stop this one from going in.
Port Talbot continued to apply pressure on the away defence. Connor Harris tackling a defender inside the Taffs Well area and shooting from close range with Garner making a good save this time. Minutes later Watts was unlucky not to grab a second. Ben Rose-Miles sprayed the ball out wide to Dylan Llewellyn on the half hour mark who went on to drill the ball low across the box. Watts managed to get his foot on it but he might have gone away thinking it was harder to miss the target this time around.
Taffs Well finally got themselves back in to the game as the half drew to its conclusion. Charlie Davies creating some tidy play for the away side and unlucky not to hit the target if it wasn’t for Ryan Morgan’s block. Luke Davidson followed up later with an effort of his own at the back post. Davidson found himself free but couldn’t direct his diving header in at goal at a crucial time of the game.
Still, the persistence paid off and the equaliser finally came. Jordan Carey pitched in with a cracking effort of his own. In possession of the ball and on the edge of the PTT area, Carey swivelled, half-volleyed and scored as he fired the ball home in to the bottom corner as the sides went in level at half time.
The Wellmen started the stronger of the two sides in the opening stages of the second period. Jason Bertorelli with the best chance early on forcing Harris in to a terrific one on one save diving to his left hand side to keep PTT in the game.
The turning point came with 20 minutes left to play and it was Port Talbot Town paying the price. Kieran Miller picked up a second yellow card for a late challenge on the edge of the area with no real complaints this time around.
Despite the deficit in players, PTT stayed in the game and shared an equal number of opportunities as the game drew to it’s conclusion. Owain Davies’ header from Pike’s corner forced Garner to make a reaction save where he might not have known too much about it this time around. The away side went up the other end and came agonisingly close with a volleyed effort at goal going just wide of the mark.
Garner was called in to action once again as substitute Patrick Finneral also went close. Finneral did well to beat his man in the area but Garner’s outstanding full stretch save was the difference here.
It wasn’t to be though for the Steelmen as Taffs Well grabbed a crucial goal with minutes of the game left to play. Harris makes an outstanding save of his own late on but the danger wasn’t cleared and the visitors fired away and give Taffs Well a 2-1 lead.
Port Talbot Town were Gung Ho at this point and two successive corners in injury time still couldn’t penetrate the visitors goalmouth as Taffs Well hung on and took maximum points in the final Welsh league match for 2018.
Port Talbot are action once again at home next but in friendly form. The Blues welcome Bridgend Premier Division side Maesteg Park this Saturday ( 5th Jan – 2:00 PM KO) before its back to league action away at Pontypridd Town the following weekend.
Remember to keep tabs with all the latest news through porttalbottown.co.uk as well as your usual social media platforms. Enjoy your New Years celebrations and we look forward to seeing you all in 2019!
Match Images: Russell Morris