In the mist of some of the worst weather seen in South Wales for some time and with ‘Storm Callum’ in town, Port Talbot Town took on rivals Afan Lido in the Sandfields Derby at Victoria Road this past Friday night.
The occasion might have got the better of PTT on the night however as it was the visitors that came away with all three points.
With both sides finding the conditions very tricky it was Mark Pike’s Port Talbot squad that had the first opportunity of the game. Young Keane Watts broke down the wing and squared the ball across to Morgan Thomas who fired wide in front of goal. Thomas was saved by the referee’s whistle who blew for a foul but it was of little conciliation.
It took the 10 minute for Afan Lido to get their first meaningful effort in on goal. Jack Hurley’s header coming close to the target. With the conditions getting worse, chances were few and far between in the half. Blake Morgan was able to get a shot off that failed to test Rory McCreesh in goal with Sacha Walters effort from distancing forcing a Lido corner.
With half hour of the game gone though it took another effort from Walters from long range to break the deadlock. Walters curled the ball towards the far post and in to the top corner to put the visitors one nil up. There was nothing James Harris could do about that one in the PTT goal.
The Lido kept the pressure on straight from kick off and added a second almost immediately. It was another former Steelmen that got in the score sheet as well as Liam McCreesh headed home from close range to extend the visitors lead.
Lido continued to ask questions of the home defence with multiple chances as they continued to control the game at the latter stages of the half. Blake Morgan was still throwing himself around the box at the top for the Blues before Kieran Miller’s 35 yard half-volley sailed over the bar.
As the second half kicked off, Afan Lido nearly picked up a third with a Jack Hurley free-kick coming close. Josh Pike’s off balance shot was wide of the mark minutes later.
Dylan Thomas had a free kick of his own when he was brought down on the edge of the Lido box. His strike at goal was headed clear by Alex Gammond just behind the wall.
With the wind and rain picking up there was little action from either side as playing football ‘on the floor’ proved difficult. PTT managed to finally grab the goal with two minutes of the game remaining. Dylan Thomas’ set piece caused panic in the box and it was Ben Rose-Miles’ header on his début that kept the game alive for the Steelmen.
Patrick Finneral was starting to look dangerous on the wing and in front of goal. His volley near the edge of the box narrowly off target as the away side looked to see this game out.
With no clear cut chances for both sides in the final 10 minutes of the game, referee Gavin Townsend blew for full time and gave Afan Lido their first derby win in the leave for over six years.
Mark Pike’s men will go away from this one wandering what could have been but Afan Lido were value for money in this derby game and deserved to come away with the victory.
Next up for Port Talbot Town is the Welsh Cup campaign and a trip to high flying Rhondda based Cambrian & Clydach. Kick off for this one is 2:30pm.
Be sure to keep up to date with the latest news through the usual social media platforms and porttalbottown.co.uk for all things Blue and White.