Steelmen Show Mettle As Surman Leads Fightback

Port Talbot Town 1-1 Prestatyn Town

Nicky Holland was handed his first Principality Welsh Premier League start since his arrival from Llanelli in the summer as Lee John joined Gareth Phillips and Daniel Thomas on the bench. Port Talbot started the better of the two sides and created enough chances in the opening 15 minutes to have comfortably won the game but Martin Rose and Drew Fahiya were unable to make the most of their opportunities.

Neil Thomas also came close with a couple of long range efforts that drifted wide of the post as Port Talbot began to control the game. Prestatyn did make their own chances on the counter-attack however and came more into the game midway through the opening half. Lee Kendall was called into action to make a fine save on 25 minutes as Prestatyn forced a series of corners. On 30 minutes the visitors opened the scoring as a through ball found striker Ian Griffiths and made no mistake as he slotted the ball past Lee Kendall.

A frustrated Port Talbot had further chances before the break but were unable to draw level. Mark Jones side came out for the second half on the attack but found themselves leaving space in defence for the visitors to counter-attack. On 64 minutes Prestatyn were reduced to ten men as Ian Griffiths pushed his head into Liam McCreesh in an off the ball confrontation. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as less than a minute later Lee Surman struck a fine drive from six yards into the roof of the net to equalise.

The goal and extra player boosted the confidence in the Port Talbot Town side as they visitors went on the defensive to try and hold onto their share of the points. Port Talbot dominated the remainder of the game but could not score despite Martin Rose hitting the crossbar and substitute Daniel Thomas seeing his long range effort move wide of the post. The side did waste possession in-between creating chances however with the Prestatyn defence comfortably winning every high ball played into the area as they held on for a point.

11th October 2009 – Evening Post

Steelmen lacking vital cutting edge as Prestatyn pinch draw

If Port Talbot are to hit the headlines this season they must learn to put games to bed. Prestatyn Town were significantly second best at the GenQuip Stadium but returned home with a point in a 1-1 draw. Mark Jones’s side have drawn three of their eight league matches to date and that is a frustration for the manager who feels, with more composure, his team should have gathered extra points. As it stands, they lie seventh, five points adrift of Llanelli in second, Neath and Prestatyn, who all have 17 points out of a possible 24. “It was very frustrating as we must have had seven, eight or nine really good chances while Prestatyn converted their only one,” said Jones. “We played them off the park yet our only goal was scored by a central defender.

We had to win that one on the chances we had. If you have 80 per cent of possession you have to win games. Martin Rose is not having much luck at the moment but he will have his time. I wouldn’t swap him for any other striker in the league but it’s just not happening for him at the moment. When he does start knocking them in, watch out.” A through ball in the 30th minute caught the Port Talbot defence square and Ian Griffiths took full advantage to coolly slip the ball past Lee Kendall. Griffiths was red-carded in the 64th minute when he went head to head with Liam McCreesh and, a minute later, the 10 men conceded.

An almighty goalmouth scramble saw the ball fall to Lee Surman and he lashed a fierce left-foot shot into the net. Rose was unlucky to see his effort cannon off the woodwork while McCreesh was fortune that a heavy tackle was only adjudged yellow, not red.

11th October 2009 – Wales on Sunday

Steelmen show mettle as Surman leads fightback

Prestatyn failed to claim a first win at the Gen-Quip Stadium, but denied Port Talbot the spoils in an evenly contested duel. Both clubs have lofty ambitions of a top-three place and saw this match as an opportunity to get back into contention.

The North Wales visitors started confidently, intent on building on a solid start to the campaign that has taken them to the top end of the league. They have recruited well in their aim to qualify for next season’s new super league structure and, with just one defeat and three wins on the road prior to kick-off, showed their credentials. Port Talbot had a couple of chances, with Martin Rose and Drew Fahiya proving a threatening pair in front of goal, but neither could break the deadlock. That honour fell to Ian Griffiths, the Prestatyn striker firing home from close range on the half-hour mark.

Port Talbot had won the only game played between the two teams, winning 3-1 last season but there was never a repeat of that in prospect. The Steelmen set about their task with renewed vigour after a half-time talk from manager Mark Jones and it had the desired effect. After Martin Rose and Daniel Thomas had gone close with chances, the Steelmen showed their mettle to claw themselves back into the game. The equaliser came after 65 minutes from an unlikely source, defender Lee Surman blasting a shot into the roof of the Prestatyn net from the edge of the area.

Principality Welsh Premier League

Saturday, 10th October 2009

at The GenQuip Stadium, Port Talbot

Port Talbot Town 1-1 Prestatyn Town

Goalscorers

Port Talbot Town

Lee Surman (65)

Prestatyn Town

Ian Griffiths (30)

Referee – Mr Michael Jones

Port Talbot Town

Team – Lee Kendall, Leigh De-Vulgt, Lloyd Grist, Drew Fahiya, Matthew Rees, Lee Surman, Nicky Holland, Neil Thomas, Martin Rose, Liam McCreesh, Scott Barrow

Subs – Lee John (rep Holland – 69), Gareth Phillips (rep N.Thomas – 80), Daniel Thomas (rep Fahiya – 63)

Yellow Cards – Liam McCreesh (71), Neil Thomas (71)

Red Cards – None

Goalscorers – Lee Surman (65)

Prestatyn Town

Team – Matt Towns, Andy Davies, Jack Lewis, David Hayes, Paul O’Neill, Russ Jones, Michael Parker, Neil Gibson, Andy Moran, Steve Hoult, Ian Griffiths

Subs – Steve Rogers (rep Moran – 83), Adrian Moody (Unused), Alec Williams (rep Hoult – 70)

Yellow Cards – None

Red Cards – Ian Griffiths (64)

Goalscorers – Ian Griffiths (30)

Attendance – 216