Port Talbot Town recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Abergavenny Town in Welsh Football League Divison One, thanks to goals in either half from Conor Harris (pen) and Tom Neville.
The home side looked to continue right where they left off last week with a 4-1 win over Blaenrhondda in the FAW Trophy, but it was the visitors who had the first chance of the game after four mintues with Chris Methven heading a glorious chance wide at the far post. Abergavenny continued their attacking intent with Rhys Tandy going on a sublime run on the wing, but he somehow couldn’t find the goal from inside the six-yard box after finding his way in.
The Steelmen came into the game after twelve minutes with Tom Blizzard producing a blistering effort from outside of the box that went just wide. Ten minutes later and the Blues were again nearly ahead after a delightful dummy from Tom Neville found its way to Jack Underwood who couldn’t quite connect with enough power to trouble the keeper.
Abergavenny continued to look for the opening goal with Nathan Davies working it well to create space, but he didn’t have put enough oomph into his shot to trouble James Harris in goal. However, he was called into action minutes later to keep out a fierce low effort from the same attacker.
After 31 minutes, Port Talbot were awarded a penalty after Tom Neville was pushed in the box by George Clarke and, as has usually been the case so far this season, Conor Harris made no mistake from the spot to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
That margin was very nearly doubled six minutes later following some sublime work from Jack Underwood on the right wing to leave the defence begging. The bedlam in the box nearly resulted in a George Clarke own goal, but his day didn’t quite go from bad to worse.
With just one minute remaining of normal time in the first half, Abergavenny felt they should have had a penalty of their own after George Clarke went down under a Conor Harris challenge. It looked late from the goal-scorer and the referee was on the verge of pointing to the spot, but the linesman indicated there was no foul which ensured Port Talbot Town had a 1-0 lead at the break.
The home side went in search of adding to their tally and (big) Ryan Morgan nearly made it 2-0 on 53 minutes with his header from a brilliant Jordan Pike free kick being well saved. Abergavenny had chances of their own though with a succession of free kicks from Chris Methven and Nathan Davies going straight into the wall.
On the hour mark Port Talbot Town doubled their lead with Tom Neville coolly slotting home after capitalising on a defensive mix up which had the Abergavenny defence and keeper questioning one another. The Blues were cruising at this point.
There was a sour note shortly after the second goal though with Jordan Pike being forced off injured. He was replaced by Jordan Edwards for his first appearance for the club since re-signing from local rivals Trefelin.
Abergavenny Town didn’t lay down lightly despite the two-goal deficit. Sean Feeley showed great attacking impetus on the right wing with a powerful run, but his effort was only fizzed across goal with no away players in sight to tap home.
It was nearly a dream debut for Jordan Edwards as he unleashed a wicked long-range strike that was destined for goal, but the away keeper made a fine save to keep him out. Tom Blizzard took over set piece duty with Jordan Pike substituted and he nearly caught out the Abergavenny defence with cross-come-shot going inches wide.
Blizzard was later somehow denied a goal with William Duggan producing a stunning headed goal-line clearance after his curling effort was heading right into the top corner. A late save from James Harris amidst a goalmouth scramble kept his clean sheet intact and enabled Port Talbot Town to record a comfortable win.
It was a result that understandably pleased the manager: “With five lads out of the squad today, it was important that we showed the strength and depth that we have, and they didn’t fail,” said Mark Pike.
“It was a scrappy affair in difficult and freezing conditions, but I have got to applaud the lads. Sometimes you have to grind out results and today was just that. I was hugely pleased with the victory and that comes on the back of a lot of hard work in the week.”
“It was three points and another game where we did not concede, and I can’t ask any more of this young squad. The challenge now is about how we do on the road with three tough away games to take us into the New Year. The lads know what I want and expect out of them!”
Port Talbot Town are in Welsh League Division One action again next week as they make the trip east to take on Monmouth Town. Kick-off for that one is at 2pm with live updates available on the club’s official Twitter feed.
All image credits: Russell Morris