Port Talbot Town maintained their unbeaten start to the 2019/20 Welsh Football League Division One season with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Aberbargoed Buds thanks to Jack Underwood’s first-half goal.
It was a team missing the likes of Jackson Hall, Ben Rose-Miles and Blake Morgan, but a dogged performance ensured the Steelmen took the three points.
Both teams had their chances in the first-half and Port Talbot started brightly quickly closing down the opposition and ensuring the Buds had no time on the ball to create space. Dylan Llewellyn and Ryan Morgan were impressing on both wings with their attacking threat always looming.
Jack Underwood scored for the second-consecutive Saturday as he followed up his late strike against Monmouth with another crucial goal. The ball was crossed in and he met the ball unmarked in the box and coolly slotted home to give Port Talbot the lead just before the half-hour mark.
The home side were under pressure in the second-half and were forced to play more defensively with Aberbargoed also looking dangerous from set pieces. Impressive performances from Conor Harris, the goal-scorer in the midweek draw with Trefelin, and Owen Williams in midfield helped Port Talbot see out the victory.
Dylan Llewellyn went close as his header drifted just wide of the left post midway through the second period and the away team were pressing a lot more in search of an equaliser. A superb save from James Harris late on and an unexpected miss from the Aberbargoed striker with the goal gaping meant that Port Talbot had a second clean sheet of the season and their second win.
“This was always going to be a tough encounter which was made more difficult with a number of players out following the midweek derby against Trefelin,” said a delighted Port Talbot Town manager Mark Pike.
“Some of our play was sloppy and poor, and we can do better there but we still created more chances than Aberbargoed. The positive was not only the win and three points, but how we managed the game and ground the result out.”
“I was not happy with our overall performance on the day,” said Pike. “But I have to give credit to these youngsters after the tough week we have had with three difficult fixtures to start the season and three great results. I could not have asked for anything more from them.”
“It is important that we now keep this momentum going and learn from each game. We have another tough fixture next week at West End in the cup and we go into that with a lot of confidence. I’m looking forward to the test.”
That fixture away at West End sees attentions shift from the league to the Welsh Football League Cup and our first away game of the season. Kick-off for that one on Saturday (24 August) is 2pm.