It was honours even at Victoria Road for the Blues final game of the Welsh Football League season.
The first 10 minutes of the game only had one notable incident when Bailey Jones had to leave the field early on due to an injury. He was replaced by Dylan Llewellyn who became influential on the game as it progressed.
It was Craig Hughes’ men though had the better of proceedings in the first half. A clear chance on goal on the 13th minute for the visitors was stopped by Morgan Thomas who covered half the pitch to make the important stop.
The Blues suffered another early casualty only 5 minutes later when Jordan Pike picked up a knock this time. Jay Williams was the replacement on this occasion.
Half hour of the game had gone until Dan Bradley was tested in goals for the away side when Craig Jones tested from distance. His half volley going just wide of the post.
Corey Shephard went close for Cambrian in the next phase of player. Picking up the ball from the edge of the area, his shot was saved by Cortez Belle who headed over for a corner. A free header from the resulting corner that was headed over added more pressure on the Blues back-line.
It was Chris Keane though that nearly put the Blues in the lead going in to half time. A ball played over the top of the Cambrian defence was flicked over the keepers head by Keane but he saw his effort go narrowly over the bar as the half came to an end goalless.
Early in to the second half it was the visitors once again that was testing Rory McCreesh in goals. Cameron Keetch smashed the ball at goal from the edge of the six yard area but somehow the shot was blocked by Keane with the visitors getting a corner as a consolation.
The Blues could only take so much though and the visitors finally broke the deadlock. Gareth Welsh made his presence felt in the box and headed home from the resulting corner to put Cambrian 1-0 up with 40 minutes to play.
For the next 10 minutes it looked like Cambrian could have and probably should have doubled their lead with a number of chances. Rory McCreesh made two outstanding reaction saves in the space of seconds to keep Port Talbot in the game. Josh Maksimovic minutes later going 1-on-1 with McCreesh but failed to capitalise putting his effort wide of the post.
There was 20 minutes left to play when the Blues had their next dangerous effort at goal. Craig Jones whipped in a free kick from the edge of the area towards Rhys Owens who was on the back post. His header from an acute angle struck the cross bar and went out of play but the momentum of the game had now swung in favour of the home side.
Another Llewellyn run out on the flank found Keane after he drifted past two Cambrian players. Keane’s shot on the edge of the box this time went straight in to the keeper’s hands.
The late bombardments finally paid off though and Morgan Thomas who grabbed the equaliser for Port Talbot. A throw-in was launched in to the box and Thomas was quick enough to beat two defenders and the keeper at the near post to head home with around 10 minutes left to play.
The home side’s confidence now was high and Lewis Holmes showed this only a minute later when an acrobatic effort 12 yards out asking questions of the away side’s defence once again in the latter stages of the game.
With minutes to play though and with the Blues looking for a winner it was Morgan Thomas that popped up once again to put the home side in the lead for the first time in the evening. Cambrian’s defence appealed for offside when Thomas collected the ball but the officials waved play on. There was no mistake this time however and Thomas fired home from close range in what looked like the match wining goal.
For the final two minutes of the game Cambrian had gone all out attack in a bid to rescue a point… and it paid off when Cameron Keetch managed to get a shot off in the box following a second successive goal-mouth scramble.
The referee blew for full time before the game could be restarted with the game ending two a piece. Although heartbreaking for the Blues, Craig Hughes’ side didn’t deserve to leave empty handed in what turned out to be quite an even game.
Cortez Belle might be disappointed his side was not able to see out the last few moments of the game but it was another point gained for the Blues to see out the final Welsh league game this season at Victoria Road.
Port Talbot XI: Rory McCreesh; Callum John, Jordan Pike, Chris Keane, Rhys Owen; Lewis Holmes (c), Josh Humphries, Craig Jones, Cortez Belle, Bailey Jones, Morgan Thomas.
Cambrian & Clydach XI: Daniel Bradley; Gareth Welsh, Cameron Keetch, Joe Evans, Carn Thomas; Corey Shephard (c), Kyle Jones, David Thomas, Liam Reed, Josh Maksimovic, Sam Jones.
Images courtesy of Lewis Mitchell Photography