In one of the many local derbies to be contested at Victoria Road, it was a blue win heading in to blue Monday to set the Port Talbot supporters moods high heading in to the week ahead.
It was the away side that applied the pressure early on in to the game and were immediately awarded with a penalty kick with a little less than one minute of the game played. Stephen Davey stepped up for Briton Ferry to take the spot kick but was denied by James Harris in goals for Port Talbot Town diving to his right to prevent an early lead.
Harris was called in to action a minute later when Luke Jones found himself in time, space and with a one on one opportunity. Harris was forced in to making another big save to keep the sides level with supporters still coming through the turnstiles.
It might well have been the first attack for Port Talbot but it was one that paid off when Morgan Thomas got on the score sheet for the Blues. Blake Morgan’s shot on the edge of the area was deflected over the Ferry back line and straight to Thomas’ feet. With a little time on his hand, Thomas composed himself and slotted home to put the home side in the lead.
Despite this early one way traffic, Port Talbot finally got in to the swing of things and began to produce multiple chances of their own. Blake Morgan tested Connah McFenton from distance with a first time effort. Minutes later Morgan was in the thick of things again and was unlucky not to get on the end of Connor Harris’ chipped ball across the box. Some clever defending on this occasion being the difference to what was looking like a second for the blues.
Even with an apparent swing of momentum, Briton Ferry were soon back in the contest. A shot from range strained a good low stop out of Harris in goals but it was Ferry’s Gavin Jones the first man to the rebound as he tapped home to level proceedings at one goal each.
This lead didn’t last too long however as a little over 10 minutes later, Port Talbot had a penalty of their own awarded. Keane Watts collected the ball on the left hand flank and carried the ball forward driving towards the box and beating two men in the process before being brought down. Jandir Zola stepped up for PTT and smashed home the resulting penalty to put PTT back in to the lead.
As opposed to the first half of play, Port Talbot started the stronger of the two sides with Blake Morgan heading just wide early on. Ferry soon settled down though and had multiple chances of their own to test the home side’s defence. Consecutive corner kicks for the reds went close which included a James Harris save with a potential equaliser coming moments later.
Goal scorer Gavin Jones found himself unmarked in the penalty area but was unable to direct a headed effort in the back of the net heading just over this time around. Port Talbot produced two chances of their own on the hour mark with Morgan Thomas supplying crosses on both occasions. Some solid Briton Ferry defence this time around preventing any further goals as both crosses were cleared.
With minutes ticking away both sides exchanged further chances but nothing to test either keeper in goals before heading in to the final 10 minutes where the reds applied more pressure on to a Port Talbot side that began to sit back and hold their line solidly. Substitute Dylan Thomas game close heading in to injury time to rub salt in to the Ferry wounds after some tidy link up play with Keane Watts. Thomas’ volley in the box heading just over.
Referee Dean John blew for full time moments later though as the collective weights were lifted off of the Port Talbot Town shoulders as it was job done on this Saturday. Port Talbot will look to carry this momentum forward heading in to another crucial game against Ton Pentre at Victoria Road this Saturday (Jan 26th; KO – 2:00pm)
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Match Images: Lewis Mitchell