Port Talbot Claim Convincing Win Over Local Rivals

Port Talbot Town 3-0 Neath Athletic

Goals from Leigh De-Vulgt, Martin Rose and Dylan Blain handed Port Talbot Town a comfortable and convincing victory over newly promoted Neath Athletic in this Challenge Cup match although both sides were reduced to ten men through a forgettable performance from match official Brian James. Port Talbot forced the early pressure without creating too many clear chances on goal while Neath and their collection of former Port Talbot players struggled to keep possession and offered little upfront as they were unable to trouble the home defence.

Leigh De-Vulgt scored the opening goal for Port Talbot on 30 minutes when a questionable free kick decision on the edge of the area went in favour of Port Talbot and De-Vulgt made no mistake with a perfectly placed ball into the top corner of the net. Liam McCreesh then replaced Gareth Phillips in midfield when an elbow from Neath’s Jarrod Price left Phillips requiring stitches on a head wound and was again missed by the referee as the game started to become a heated affair. Neath were reduced to ten men just before half-time when a reckless tackle by Brian Showdery on McCreesh saw a straight red card issued to the former Newtown player as tempers flared on both sides. Within ten minutes of the re-start referee Brian James had evened up the numbers with another inept decision, Neath striker Richard French was fouled by Craig Hanford on the touchline 35-yards from goal but was adjudged by the official to have been the last man and Hanford received a straight red card.

In no way had Hanford stopped a goalscoring opportunity and as players flooded into the area he certainly was not the last man. Port Talbot doubled their advantage in style on 60 minutes when Martin Rose rounded off another impressive display with a well taken goal before Dylan Blain completed the victory on 85 minutes when he hit a fine strike past the visiting goalkeeper. Despite an early save from Kristian Rogers, Neath rarely troubled the home side and their lack of attacking options will be a major concern for them in their first season in the Welsh Premier League. New Port Talbot Town manager Tony Pennock was delighted with his sides performance however in his first competitive game in charge.

13th August 2007 – South Wales Evening Post
Derby day delight for Pennock
New Port Talbot boss Tony Pennock reaped the reward of a first-day Loosemores Challenge Cup win over Neath Athletic at the Remax Stadium. Leigh De-Vulgt made the initial first-half breakthrough, then either side of half-time, both sides were reduced to 10 men with Brian Shoudary and Craig Hanford dismissed. It was then left to Martin Rose and Dylan Blain to stamp their authority on the tie, with goals during the final 30 minutes. Port Talbot started the stronger and after Rose had been obstructed by Cronin, De-Vulgt managed to find a gap in the defensive wall from 20 yards, sending the ball between keeper Craig Morris and the far upright for a deserved breakthrough. Morris continued to be actively involved and he was forced to stretch to gather a header from Chad Bond. Neath went close to grabbing the equaliser when Richard French linked up with Andy Hill, only for his shot to be blocked by the legs of Kristian Rogers. In the final minute of the half, Neath were reduced to 10 men when Shoudary was sent off after a challenge on McCreesh, which resulted in players from each side confronting each other on halfway. Nine minutes into the second half Hanford became the second player to be dismissed when, as the last man, he obstructed French. Port Talbot increased the tempo and when McCreesh and Bond sprinted forward, the alert Rose was well placed to apply a superb shot into the bottom corner from 10 yards. With five minutes remaining, Port Talbot added a third with Blain shooting home. “There are a few points we need to work on for the league campaign, but to win 3-0 makes up for the number of missed opportunities in pre-season,” said Pennock.

13th August 2007 – Phil Blanche, Western Mail
New boys given harsh lesson

Welsh Premier newcomers Neath Athletic have no illusions to the huge challenge facing them following their League Cup defeat. With Llanelli making up the group trio – there are six groups in the competition’s new format – the Llandarcy-based side needed something from this tie to have any chance of qualification. But they rarely looked like achieving is as the hosts dominated and man-of-the-match Martin Rose was twice denied by the woodwork. Leigh De Vulgt put Port Talbot ahead in the 27th minute with a sweet free-kick from outside the box and Rose (60) doubled the lead. Skilful newcomer Daniel Lancey set up the third in the 85th minute, assisted by Rose and finished off in great style by Dylan Blain. “We gave away three bad goals,” said Neath manager Andrew Dyer. “Port Talbot finished sixth in the Welsh Premier last season and they taught us a harsh lesson.” In a match that had an inevitable competitive derby edge, Brian Showdery (Neath) and Craig Hanford (Port Talbot) were both red-carded.

11th August 2007 – www.welsh-premier.com
Two off as Talbot win

A lively start to the Loosemores League Cup saw Port Talbot take the spoils at the expense of neighbours Neath Athletic. Both sides played much of the second half with 10 men – the visitors had Brian Showdery dismissed on the stroke of half-time for a foul tackle on Liam McCreesh, and the Steelmen’s Craig Hanford followed nine minutes after the break after obstructing former Talbot striker Richard French when he was through on goal. Leigh deVulgt fired the home side into the lead with a curling free-kick on 27 minutes with newly-promoted Neath having their best chance when Andy Hill’s shot was well blocked by keeper Kristian Rogers. Martin Rose struck Talbot’s second on the hour from a Chad Bond pass, Dylan Blain adding the third with a cool finish past Eagles’ keeper Craig Morris.

11th August 2007 – www.nonleaguedaily.com
Saturday’s round-up

Principality Welsh Premier club Port Talbot Town won the opening Loosemores League Cup game of the season with a 3-0 success against local rivals Neath Athletic at the Remax Stadium. In an incident-packed affair, both sides played nearly half the game with 10 men, after Neath’s Brian Showdery was sent-off on the stroke half time, followed 9 minutes after the break by the Steelmen’s Craig Hanford. Defender Leigh de Vulgt opened the scoring for the hosts on 27 minutes, and the game was up when the Eagles conceded to Martin Rose on the hour-mark. Dylan Blain then rounded-off the scoring with a late third goal for the home side.

Port Talbot Town

1. Kristian Rogers
2. Leigh De-Vulgt
3. Craig Hanford
4. Gareth Phillips
5. Matthew Rees
6. Lee Surman
7. Dean Johnston
8. Dylan Blain
9. Dyfan Pierce
10. Martin Rose
11. Chad Bond

12. David Burrows
(rep Johnston – 78)
14. Liam McCreesh
(rep Phillips – 43)
15. Daniel Lancey
(rep Bond – 61)


Leigh De-Vulgt (30)
Martin Rose (60)
Dylan Blain (85)

Yellow Cards

Gareth Phillips (25)
Lee Surman (31)
Dean Johnston (45)
Dyfan Pierce (83)

Red Cards

Craig Hanford (54)

Neath Athletic

1. Craig Morris
2. Rob Folland
3. Brian Showdery
4. Lee Bevan
5. Sean Cronin
6. Stephen Pockett
7. Dale Evans
8. Chris Pridham
9. Richard French
10. Andy Hill
11. Jarrod Price

12. David D’Auria
(rep Price – 65)
14. Carl Shaw
(rep Cronin 75)
15. Billy Timothy
(rep Evans – 46)



Yellow Cards

Lee Bevan (56)

Red Cards

Brian Showdery (45)


Mr Brian James