Bont take the points in tough battle at Cae Cynlas
Away side continue with their unbeaten league run
On Saturday we returned to league action following a month full of cup fixtures, and the game couldnt have been any bigger as 3rd met 2nd at Cae Cynlas with unbeaten Bontnewydd the visitors. Both sides went into the game in good league form and well placed so it was sure to be a battle with neither side holding back, we went into the game with no fewer than 5 players missing from the squad but it gave others the perfect opportunity to stake a claim for their places.
The game started with the visitors looking the most nervous on the ball with some slack early passes from their defence creating problems for themselves as we pressed with a high tempo from the off, with Harper and Connor in midfield squeezing up as high as they could. Both sides looked to shape up with the same formation, but Bont struggled to pick up Nath Moore early on who was finding space in-between defence and midfield and was looking threatening early on. Rich up top was stretching the back four with his pace at every opportunity and getting us higher up the field when we looked to break and after a cagey opening 15 minutes, chances started to open up for both sides. Harper and Connor played a quick one two in midfield with Connor moving it on sharply into the feet of Rich, his first touch gave him a yard of space and from just outside the box his left footed effort fizzed just over the crossbar. Bontnewydd have a team packed full of experienced players and they soon settled into the game and found their rhythm, the movement of their front two was good at times, with their smaller front man in particular having an bigger influence on the game as he dropped into pockets of space off the front line and kept Gaz on his toes, but he stuck to his task well, as did Jenks against his pacey opponent. Gaz wasn't called into any really significant action during the early proceedings but swept up well behind his defence and was communicating well at set pieces where Bont carried a threat also. The visitors keeper was called into action twice in quick succession just after the half hour mark, Andrew first warmed his gloves after bringing down a good pass from Karl and striking well, and then Karl himself had a good effort turned away with Rich following up on the loose ball but his low cross back into the box was well defended and cleared away. Both sides continued to plug away and worked hard to create chances, Bont had a few half chances from in and around the egde of the box but their shots were off target, and then just before half time, Rich lept well to head a Gaz Wyn corner goal-wards, only for it to be cleared off the line. 0-0 half time.
The second half started much the same as the first with little between the two sides and both working extremely hard. Some strong but fair tackles were put in and Al Llan was putting in a good performance at left back, winning header after header against his opponent and giving little away. With the way the game was set, you sensed the first goal would be crucial, and so it proved. The visitors took the lead just before the hour mark as they capitalised on some uncharacteristic errors at the back when we failed to clear our lines on 2 occasions, Bont's number 9 taking full advantage and clinically firing low and powerfully into the bottom corner. The goal lifted the performance levels of the away side and completely deflated us as we struggled to gain any control for the remainder of the match and struggled to carve out any real clear cut chances. Gav had to be at his best to palm over a stinging drive from their midfielder after a piledriver from the edge of the box and then Jenks and Ieu Lloyd both did well when under pressure to clear away some dangerous crosses. Rich continued to work hard up front to try and fashion out a way back into the game for us but came up against a stubborn Bont defence who were defending well, however his chance came with some 15 minutes remaining when he finally broke free of his marker but with the keeper rushing out towards the edge of the area, he blazed his shot over the bar. With the clock ticking down, changes were made with Liam on for his debut and Ad on down the opposite flank, a few set pieces from Gaz Wyn looked threatening but Bontnewydd were defending resolutely. With less than 5 minutes remaining the game was up as again the away side were able to cash in on another defensive error, with their number 9 cutting back to the penalty box where the left winger did the rest and finished the game off. Full time 0-2, Man of the Match Al Llan
A tough defeat for us, and our first at home in the league this year. It was a very tight game up until Bont took the lead and the goal, for some reason, seemed to knock the stuffing out of us. The first half was a positive, we played well and created good enough chances to go in leading at the break but we let ourselves down in the second half and now need to work hard ready for another big game on Saturday as Boded visit in the Meditel Cup