As the rain continued to sweep in to the South Wales region, Port Talbot Town took on Cwmbran Celtic in one of the few games that managed to beat the weather and play to its conclusion.
Cwmbran looked to make a statement early on and were severely unlucky not to take an early lead with the poor weather to blame. Josh Bull latched on to a ball over the home defence to find himself one-on-one with James Harris in goal. Bull lifted the ball over a sliding Harris and towards goal. As he ran away in celebration along with teammates and management, the ball stopped on the goal line and remained there where Harris collected. Quite crazy circumstances but it finally felt like luck could be on Port Talbot’s side for this one.
Minutes laterit took something special to break the deadlock. Ben Rose-Miles collected the ball on the edge of the area and curled his effort in to the top corner of Lewis Watkins’ far side of the net to give PTT an early 1-0 lead.
Cwmbran were quick to reply however when Daniel Battle caught the home defence and keeper out with a long range effort. Battle hit the ball on the half volley from 30 plus yards out to beat Harris at his near side and finally give the away side the goal they had probably deserved at this point.
Rose-Miles was continuing to test the away defence again with an effort inside in the area. He managed to poke a shot away after a scramble in the area but was unable to find the target. Cwmbran’s Lewis Feeley produced a terrific effort of his own from the edge of the area. His curling effort looked goal bound if it wasn’t for Harris who got his finger tips on this one to prevent Cwmbran from taking the lead.
Port Talbot began to answer back with more efforts of their own towards the opposition goal. Jandir Zola attacked the right hand flank before his through ball cut through 5 Cwmbran players and to the feet of Rose-Miles. This time however his shot just went wide of the mark.
Minutes later captain Ryan Morgan was getting involved in the action. A ball played out wide to Keane Watts saw Watts’ effort smash in to the side of the net which Watkins had covered. The lead looked likely again for the visitors. A decent hit from distance needed a big block from Blake Morgan in defence to ensure the Blues were to stay in this game.
One more effort at goal for PTT finally paid off before the half time mark. Keane Watts was able to get his head on the end of a cross sending the ball in to the bottom corner and give the Blues a 2-1 half time lead.
It took a little longer in the second period for the game to come to life. Cwmbran’s Josh Bull with the majority of dangerous efforts for either side. The pressure from the away side paid off though and like Port Talbot’s opening goal, it took something special to bring Cwmbran back in to this one. Lewis Feeley’s terrific strike from the edge of the area brought the game level at 2-2.
Cwmbran Celtic would have felt hard done by moments later when Chris Ham stepped up to take a free kick. His strike on the edge of the area went over the wall, out of Harris’ reach but struck the post and out of danger. There was another goalmouth scramble for the Blues to contain not long after this and some stubborn defending made sure Cwmbran were not able to get themselves in to the lead as we entered the final stages of the game.
Port Talbot was to have the final say in this game and it was Connor Harris that picked up the decisive goal. Jordan Pike’s in swinging corner wasn’t cleared and Harris was in the right place to side foot the ball home in to the left hand side of the goal and give PTT their lead back.
With 10 minutes to play, goal scorer Daniel Battle was given a straight red by referee Daniel Richardson as Battle raised his foot for a 50/50 challenge with Keane Watts.Watts was replaced by Morgan Thomas following the challenge.
A 10 man Cwmbran Celtic were still refusing to give up and chased the game despite there duction but the result was finally sealed as the game approached injury time. Jandir Zola received the ball from close range and slammed the ball home to give PTT a 4-2 lead as the referee blew for full-time moments later.
Port Talbot’s supporters had been rewarded for braving the elements with a much needed win heading in to the final two home games of 2018 and it was much deserved against a quality Cwmbran Celtic side.
Mark Pike’s men face Cwmamman United at Victoria Road this Saturday (2:00PM KO) as part of the home triple header. Be sure to stick around after the game for post-match entertainment at ‘the SoccerClub’ for the club’s Christmas celebrations.
For all other news as it breaks remember to keep an eye on your social media platforms as well as porttalbottown.co.uk for everything blue and white.
Match Images: Stephen Handley