Port Talbot Town started pre-season preparations with a creditable 0-0 draw at current JD Cymru South Champions Swansea University FC. In a game played in three thirty-minute intervals on a big Sketty Lane pitch, the Blues started brightly and gave debuts to the likes of Callum Holden, Pete Almond and Bless Kim as the team returned to much awaited action after a seventh month absence.
Starting with a largely familiar eleven, the first chance fell to Jordan Edwards inside of the opening two minutes as he pounced on a loose ball but dragged his effort wide. The opposition quickly had the ball in the back of the net with a well worked move and neat finish, only for the linesman to rule out the goal for an offside in the build-up.
Captain Ryan Morgan went on a mazy run to break through the champions’ defence, but his effort was well saved by the home goalkeeper. Edwards looked bright in the early stages and capitalised on another loose ball from the students, but he couldn’t quite gain enough room to round the keeper and finish as the first interval ended goalless.
Four minutes into the second period and Jack Underwood testing his luck from range with an ambitious effort that was comfortably saved, before James Harris was called into action and produced a fine save to deny a powerful effort from the Swansea University striker.
Harris continued to show his fine form of the 2019/20 promotion-winning campaign as he came out of goal to close down the Swansea Uni winger who worked well to get through the defence. He was called into action soon after to deny a speculative effort from range in impressive fashion to ensure the scores remained level at the second break.
In a third period full of changes, Dylan Llewellyn impressed on the wing with a fantastic run, but his low cross couldn’t quite find Edwards to finish off a great move. James Harris continued to impress at the halfway mark with a sensational save at close range before following up the rebound with another brilliant save.
Owen Williams tested his luck for the Blues from distance with five minutes to go but his effort went over, and drama followed at the other end of the pitch with former Blues defender Dan Sheehan getting the best of Bless Kim on the edge of the box before striking the post, only for the resulting rebound to strike the other post from the home striker as the match ended goalless.
It was a welcomed return to action for Port Talbot Town as the friendlies now come thick and fast ahead of the Nathaniel MG Cup fixture to kick off the season on 17 July.
We caught up with manager Mark Pike shortly after the draw: “It was great to be back out on the field competing and seeing the lads get plenty of minutes under their belts,” said the gaffer. “There were a lot of positives on display and there is still plenty to work on as the season draws closer. A big thank you to Swansea University FC for hosting us and we look forward to our meetings in the league later this year.”
Port Talbot Town return to action at Victoria Road this Saturday for another friendly, against Pontyclun FC. Kick off for that one is 2.30pm.
All image credits: Lewis Mitchell.