Port Talbot Town 1-1 Swansea City
Tony Pennock took charge of Port Talbot Town for the first time in this match and more than impressed the large crowd with a strong and committed performance from his well organised team. An unfamiliar starting line-up included the return of former Port Talbot Town youth team player Ryan McCarley and also Robert Cockings who missed all of the previous season through injury. Tony Pennock named himself in goal while Craig Hanford, Tomas Wellington and Leigh De-Vulgt had to settle for a place on the bench alongside a number of trialists.
A strong Swansea City side started the match and created the better chances with Andy Robinson and Ian Craney testing Pennock from the start. Willy Gueret in the opposite goal was also called into action however as Martin Rose, Chad Bond and Scott Barrow tried their luck from long range. Swansea City made a number of changes throughout the opening half but neither side were able to make the breakthrough in a goal-less first 45 minutes. The second half saw both sides make changes and it was Port Talbot Town who gained an unexpected advantage on 57 minutes when Ryan McCarley opened the scoring. Former Swan Daniel Lancey played the ball to substitute Craig Hanford on the left of the field who provided a superb cross into the area.
A defensive mix-up then saw the ball loop over Willy Gueret and allow McCarley to head home from close range. Fitness played it’s part for the remainder of the match as Port Talbot continued to rotate their side against the continuing substitutions of the large Swansea City squad available on the night and after a period of increased pressure against substitute Port Talbot Town goalkeeper Alex Davies, the visitors equalised on 87 minutes when Steve Watt scored from long range with a superb individual effort. Although Swansea City created the better chances, Port Talbot Town will take far more positives from this performance in front of a crowd of 2,168 to start their pre-season campaign. The match was also significant for the club as it officially opened the new Gerald McCreesh Stand and as part of the event Gerald’s nephew Rory made a cameo appearance for the club.
26th July 2007 – Blair Wood, Western Mail
Missing Trundle fuels transfer speculation
Lee Trundle’s absence was the story of the night as Swansea City drew 1-1 with Port Talbot in the last of their pre-season friendlies against Welsh Premiership opposition. The talismanic striker was nowhere to be seen at the Remax Stadium, fuelling rumours that he will soon complete his transfer to Bristol City. His presence up front was definitely missed and the Swans struggled to create many chances throughout the game. Roberto Martinez used the game to give as many players as possible match practice. He picked a surprising starting XI with Andy Robinson being chosen to partner trialist Ibarahima Thiam up front. There was also a welcome return for Dennis Lawrence in defence with returning captain Gary Monk at the back.
Kristian O’Leary continued his return from injury and started in midfield alongside Ian Craney, recovered from the knock that kept him out of last week’s game against Llanelli. Port Talbot named a strong side and there were several former Swans on display for the home team. Captain Mathew Rees was joined in facing his former club by striker Chad Bond, midfielder Scott Barrow and defender Lee Surman. It was a scrappy opening 10 minutes and neither team made much of an impression. Robinson was looking lively up front and he came close to opening the scoring after seven minutes, but his curling shot glided past the post.
Port Talbot soon got themselves into the game and Bond, partnered in attack by the lively Martin Rose, was a constant threat to the Swans’ defence. Swansea should have taken the lead after 20 minutes when Monk blazed the ball over the bar after good work from Angel Rangel and Thiam had earned their team a corner. Five minutes later Craney forced a brilliant save from Port Talbot player-manager and Swans goalkeeping coach, Tony Pennock. The home side continued to frustrate Martinez’s men and after half an hour the Spaniard made changes with Robinson, O’Leary, Rangel and Ferrie Bodde all leaving the pitch. Despite the introduction of players like Darren Pratley and trialist Jamie Price, the Swans were unable to break through. The second half started at a much quicker pace and the Swans pushed forward.
Pennock was in brilliant form, though, and the Swans were unable to make the most of their early pressure. The opening goal came after 55 minutes, but it was Port Talbot who took the lead. Liam McCreesh made the most of Willy Guerret’s error and headed in after the keeper fumbled a cross. The Swans almost hit back immediately, but Shaun MacDonald’s lob hit the crossbar and rebounded out to safety. Martinez’s men continued pushing and the introduction of Leon Britton and Paul Anderson after an hour put a lot more pressure on the home defence. Swansea dominated the second-half possession and they nearly equalised after 80 minutes when Matthew Collins’ free-kick rattled the bar. They were rewarded for their efforts minutes later though when Stephen Watt thundered in a shot from 25 yards, a goal the visting side deserved. The Swans pushed on for a winner in the final minutes of the game, but when it finished as a draw, all the fans were talking about was the whereabouts of Trundle.
26th July 2007 – South Wales Evening Post
Martinez plays it cool on Trundle
Roberto Martinez did his best to bat away questions about Lee Trundle after the Scouse star missed last night’s 1-1 draw at Port Talbot. Trundle’s absence sparked rumours that the 30-year-old is on his way to Bristol City in a deal worth at least £1million. But Martinez insisted the striker sat out because of groin injury and reiterated that Swansea do not want him to leave. “Lee played 80 minutes on Tuesday and felt his groin was a bit tight in training this morning,” Martinez said last night. “There have been lots of rumours about him leaving and much speculation.
I can’t comment on that situation. What I know is that we do not want to sell Lee Trundle. We want him to stay and I expect him to travel with us to Holland (tomorrow). His name is on the room list.” Martinez played down suggestions that Trundle’s future is in his hands in the wake of the Robins’ bumper bid. But he did concede: “We know the club is not going to sell him, but if Trunds wants to go that’s a different situation. You are asking me questions about a hypothetical situation.
You’ll have to ask Lee if he wants to stay.” Trundle has so far refused to comment on the Bristol City link, further fuelling speculation that he is tempted by the lure of Championship football. Martinez, meantime, saw central defender Steve Watt save his side from a first pre-season defeat. with a spectacular 25-yard strike just three minutes from time last night. Tony Pennock’s Welsh Premiership side had led from the 53rd minute after Ryan McCarley’s close-range finish..