McCreesh At The Double In Port Talbot Victory

Port Talbot Town 2-0 The New Saints

Lee John and Gareth Phillips both returned to the starting line-up for this Principality Welsh Premier League match to take league leaders The New Saints. Karl Lewis was forced to sit out the match through injury while Drew Fahiya could only take a place on the bench. The New Saints started the better of the two sides and had the majority of possession but struggle to create any clear cut chances but remained dominant at the back when the home side did break forward. Port Talbot defended well however and their determination in the middle of midfield frustrated the visitors and the home side began to create some early chances.

The opening goal of the game arrived on 27 minutes when a fine cross from Daniel Thomas was headed in at the back post by Liam McCreesh to hand his side the lead. The New Saints became more frustrated at being unable to find a way past the Port Talbot backline and conceded a second goal just before half-time. A through ball found McCreesh in space and he made no mistake in driving the ball past goalkeeper Paul Harrison. The New Saints appealed for offside as the referee brought the half to a close with Port Talbot in a commanding position.

Craig Williams made an appearance for The New Saints as a substitute at half-time as the visitors looked to bring more pace into their attack but despite their possession they again struggled to create any real chances as Port Talbot Town goalkeeper Lee Kendall was left rarely troubled. As time went on Port Talbot grew more and more confident in defending their lead as The New Saints slowly ran out of ideas on how to bring themselves back into the match.

A late penalty appeal by the visitors for a foul on Craig Williams in the area was waved away and not even moving former Wales International Steve Evans into an attacking role could offer The New Saints a way through on goal as Port Talbot held on for a deserved victory.

6th September 2009 – Wales on Sunday

McCreesh at the double in Port Talbot victory

A brace of first-half strikes from Port Talbot front man Liam McCreesh caused an upset as the Steelmen relieved Saints of top spot and their unblemished start to the campaign. It was a rude awakening for the visitors who arrived at Victoria Road as the leaders and with a 100% record.

The Steelmen have ambitions of a top-four spot and looked every inch such material with an assured display that brought Saints down to earth with a mighty bump. Port Talbot were full value for the three points as they shaded a closely contested first half thanks to McCreesh. Then they protected a hard-earned lead with some stout defending as TNS threw everything at the home defence in the hope of salvaging something from the game. After half chances at either end, the Steelmen went in front midway through the first half when Lee John delivered a perfect cross for McCreesh to steal in and score with a header.

Lee Kendall in the home goal had to stay alert as Saints produced some neat approach play, but the crucial second goal was scored by the hosts. It was the diminutive figure of McCreesh who was again on target, this time skilfully rounding two defenders before firing past a helpless Paul Harrison in the Saints’ goal just before half time. Saints threw big defender Steve Evans up front in a bid to add some bite to their attack but the Steelmen held firm to extend their hoodoo over the visitors. Saints have not won at the venue in six years and the McCreesh double ensured the jinx continued. They drop to third in the table while Port Talbot jump to sixth spot.

Principality Welsh Premier League

Saturday, 5th September 2009

at The GenQuip Stadium, Port Talbot

Port Talbot Town 2-0 The New Saints

Goalscorers

Port Talbot Town

Liam McCreesh (27)

Liam McCreesh (45)

The New Saints

None

Referee – Mr Andy Harms

Port Talbot Town

Team – Lee Kendall, Leigh De-Vulgt, Scott Barrow, Gareth Phillips, Matthew Rees, Lee Surman, Lee John, Neil Thomas, Martin Rose, Liam McCreesh, Daniel Thomas

Subs – Lloyd Grist (rep D.Thomas – 71), Mark Jones  (rep Rose – 85), Drew Fahiya (rep John – 90)

Yellow Cards – Liam McCreesh (39), Matthew Rees (57), Lee Surman (72) Red Cards -None

Goalscorers – Liam McCreesh (27), (45)

The New Saints

Team – Paul Harrison, Danny Holmes, Chris Marriott, Phil Baker, Steve Evans, Barry Hogan, Scott Ruscoe, Aeron Edwards, Steve Abbott, Matthew Berkeley, John McKenna

Subs – Craig Williams (rep McKenna – 46), Ryan Marriott (rep Edwards – 58), Sean Jones (Unused)

Yellow Cards – Ryan Marriott (70) Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – None

Attendance – 263