CDP Ton Pentre AFC

Fixtures and Results 2001/2002

March 9th: Ton Pentre 3 v Cwmbran Town 2

Ton Pentre welcomed Cwmbran Town to Ynys Park for this eagerly awaited Welsh cup quarter final clash between the two old adversaries. The game was sponsored by IMG marketing and Search Direct South Wales Ltd with the match balls being supplied by Football Mad of Cardiff. It was played in front of a large crowd with BBC cameras filming.

Player manager Kevin Richards started the game with a different line up from the one Ton have been playing for most of the year, he played the usual 3 at the back Nathan Prygodzizc, Mike Jones and Neil Davies sweeper. Re introduced the ever-improving left wingback Ian Shepherd with Lee Tapper on the right. The surprise was up front he played Lee Brown and Dai Withers up field with Ceri Harding having a free role behind them. In the midfield he played Dean Morris and Andrew Hughes (captain) and as usual the reliable Marty Ellacott was in goal, with Lee Mathew, Shaun Fackeral and Jason Roberts on the bench.

The game was played in blustery conditions, which favoured neither side. The opening saw Ton take the game to their League of Wales opponents and put them under pressure from the start and after 2 minutes a break by Harding down the right saw him get a low driving centre behind the Cwmbran defence, it was too good and beat everyone. Two minutes later saw Harding get on the end of a cross, he beat the keeper, the ball fell for Tapper who was unable to control his shot, it went high over the bar, this was a good chance for Ton to take and early lead. Cwmbran got into the game following this and gained a number of free kicks, they were taken by Anthony Wright, he played them into the danger area, however Ton were able to clear the danger. After 5 minutes the referee started to get into the game and booked the Ton captain Andrew Hughes, this was the first of 11 bookings 2 sendings off and only about 3 or 4 bad tackles all game.

In the 11th minute Cwmbran made a sweeping break through Hughes and Davies, the latter made a very poor effort which went wide of the target. The two up front for Cwmbran were the danger, Ton knew about Hughes as he played them a few years ago. Cwmbran were playing a long ball game and missing out the midfield, whereas Ton were trying to control the game by playing football, Ton however were losing the ball too cheaply and allowing their LOW opposition easy possession. With this and the indifferent refereeing it was not a very good game in the first 10 minutes. Brown and Withers were working hard and putting Warton under pressure. Then in the 13th minute the referee gave a penalty against Mike Jones of Ton for what seemed a perfectly well timed challenge, it was taken by Wright, he struck the ball cleanly only for his effort to be saved and parried away by Marty Ellacott, however the ever alert Mattie Davies followed up to score the rebound. This gave the lead to the visitors 0-1 to Cwmbran.

Ton responded with a quick attack through Tapper and Brown with Brown firing over the top. This continued and in the 20th Harding came close with a good shot on goal. Cwmbran were causing problems at the back through Hughes and Davies, that said the Ton defence of Prygodzizc, Jones and Davies were coping well The Cwmbran number 7 Wigg broke up field and was able to get a shot on goal; Ellacott was able to make a good save. On the half hour Brown was brought down by Moore near the left corner flag, it was a cynical challenge for which he was shown the Yellow card, probably the very few that should have been given. Harding took the resultant kick, he floated the ball into the area, and Prygodzizc got his head to it and headed over. Cwmbran then had a good period with them winning a number of free kicks and corners. Ton were dealing with them quite well and after 37 minutes came Ton's best chance of the game, Harding crossed from the left, the ball went behind Brown and fell to Tapper the wing back did not control the ball and hit it first time high and wide, this was a glorious chance to get back to 1-1. Then with 3 minutes of time left of the half came the sucker blow for Ton, a deep cross from Wigg on the right was not defended by Ton, it fell to Mattie Davies, he hit it on the volley past an helpless Ellacott, giving Cwmbran a 0-2 lead they did not really deserve. The remainder of the half saw Cwmbran holding up the ball and slowing the game down, Ton were trying to re group, the half ended 0-2 to Cwmbran.

Ton started the second half with a purpose, they attacked the away side from the whistle, whatever was said in the changing room had lifted Ton, they did not look as dejected as they had leaving the field at half time. Although Cwmbran did get forward they were slower to the ball and Ton were again trying to build the game through Morris, Andrew Hughes and Harding with an up tempo game. A superb move in the 5th minute saw Ton break forward with a cross from Shepherd on the left to the far post, the ball was cleared out about 35 yards in front of goal, Morris controlled the ball and produced a delicate chip over the away defence, Andrew Hughes ran onto it and was clear on goal with only O'Hagan to beat, he was then clattered by O'Hagan the Cwmbran keeper, the referee had no option but to give a penalty. He booked the keeper, Hughes stayed down injured for a few minutes, the Ton physio Keri Basset got him back to his feet, Hughes took the penalty himself, he fired the ball into the left hand side of the goal with the keeper going to his right, this brought the score to 1-2 and no more than Ton deserved. It was now game on.

Then another twist in the game in the 54th minute, Cotterrall of Cwmbran was shown the red card for an elbow on Dean Morris. Cwmbran were now down to 10 men and Ton were on the ascendancy. Ton were now a completely different team, they were in control and playing good football, Cwmbran were happy to kick the ball forward. Ton threw everything at the away team, Brown and Withers working hard, however O'Hagan was easily dealing with their efforts. Tapper and Shepherd were getting forward and getting the ball into the area without any chances going Ton's way. On the hour a rare corner from Cwmbran saw the ball fall to Davies, he hit a volley which was goal bound, his effort was charged down by Davies the Ton sweeper. A break by Withers saw him brought down on the edge of the Cwmbran area, the referee awarded a free kick just outside, when everyone thought it was yard inside and a penalty, another decision that went against a spirited home side. The 68th minute saw Cwmbran have a free kick which was placed into the heart of the Ton box, Watkins was able to get the ball goal wards only for his effort to be cleared by the inspirational Ton captain Andrew Hughes, he was having a superb game, probably his best since his return this season from his short holiday at Haverfordwest in the LOW. Two minutes later Brown ran at them, he was about to get clear on the left hand side of the area when the ball stuck under him with only the keeper to beat, at this time the weather had changed there was a heavy hail storm and the crowd were running for cover, the pitch was soon white and the surface became very slippery and muddy. Richards then made his first change Lee Mathews replaced Shepherd (74th). Ton kept plugging away and looked much the better side, the second substitute was used when Fackeral replaced Jones (83).

Richards and Ton were now throwing caution to the wind, Hughes went close in the 84th, Warton clearing for a corner, from the corner Cwmbran cleared to Davies he went at the Ton defence, he was unable to get his shot in and Ellacott collected, he threw the ball out to the Ton defence who played the ball forward through midfield. Then in the 88th minute Ton got their well deserved equaliser and what a goal it was, good build up play saw Brown cross into the far post where he found Hughes who hit it into the net with Cwmbran's defence unable to do anything other than watch this made the game 2-2. In stoppage time Ton had a couple of chances to win the game, as did Cwmbran through Davies, Ellacott pulled off a double save to keep the tie alive for Ton. There was 5 minutes of added time, the referee blew up with game 2-2 in normal time. So there would be extra time and penalties if needed.

The first half of the extra time again saw Ton dominate, they were winning corners both left and right and from one Prygodzizc headed just wide. Cwmbran were still a danger from set pieces, when from 30 yards Wright took a superb free kick which was going into the goal just under the cross bar, Ellacott pulled off a wonderful save parrying the ball over for a corner. Brown and Hughes were continuing to run at the Cwmbran defence who were now looking very tired. The superior fitness and skills of the home side were allowing them to pin the away side back in their own half. Then in the 103rd minute Ton hade a free kick on their left 35 yards from goal and 10yards from the touchline, Fackeral took it quickly and played it short to Harding he cut back and crossed the ball into the box, Morris was on the end of the cross and headed home for Ton's 3rd, taking them into the lead for the first time, a delighted crowd were now ecstatic. 3-2 to Ton. The reminder of this first half of extra time saw Ton in control however the nerves of the Ton supporters were on edge. The referee ended this half with Ton in a well-deserved lead 3-2.

The second half of extra time was played in the Cwmbran half, with them trying to get the equaliser by playing long balls. The 3rd minute of this half saw Richards play his last card, he replaced Withers with Jason Roberts, to give fresh legs and bolster his defence as Cwmbran were now throwing everything they had at Ton, with Davies tirelessly working hard up front, Hughes had now gone out of the game. The 110h minute saw the crowd hold their breath a corner fell to Warton 8 yards out, he hit the ball straight at Ellacott who made a save. If he had hit it either side of him he would have scored, this was a great chance wasted by the Cwmbran captain. The game was now quite even and Ton were in control with Cwmbran trying to get the elusive goal. Then a cruel twist of fate, Prygodzizc was deemed to have brought down a Cwmbran player on the half way line, which the referee deemed a yellow card offence, this was his second yellow so was then show the red card and sent off, with 3 minutes of extra time remaining. This seemed to lift the Cwmbran team and they were now launching the ball high into the Ton area, Roberts and Davies were able to clear the danger. Then with 1 minute to go Brown found Hughes who hit a great shot at O'Hagan he could only push it away for a corner. Ton tried to kill the game off by playing it in the corner, however Cwmbran won a throw and launched the ball up field, where they won a free kick on the edge of the Ton area 20 yards out just to the left of goal. Their substitute Phillip James took the kick, the wall did their job and held firm and the ball fell to Morris who cleared the danger. This was to be Cwmbran's last chance. Ton were able to keep the ball in their opponents half until the referee finally blew up with Ton the victors 3-2!

This was a superb game and had everything, with the weather changing from bright sunshine to hail and rain, to the roller coaster ride given to the Ton faithful by a their team. It was a win that Ton thoroughly deserved to put them into the semi final for the first time since the 1920s. With the BBC filming this game it is a great advert for Ton Pentre AFC and the faith put into them by their main sponsor Wayne Devine of Griffin Windows. It just goes to show you what this club can achieve if they can get back into the LOW, surely the "valleys" must have a representative in the LOW? Let's hope Ton will be that team next season. Roll on the Semi Final, Barry Town, Bangor and Flexys Cefn Druids are there with Ton Pentre.

Ton Pentre: M Ellacott, L Tapper, I Shepherd, Mike Jones, N Davies, N Prygodzizc, A Hughes, D Morris, C Harding, L Brown, D Withers, substitutes, S Fackeral, L Mathews and Jason Roberts.

Cwmbran Town: P O'Hagan, R Carter, N Smothers, C Watkins, S Warton, A Wright, M Wigg, A Moore, Craig Hughes, Mattie Davies, N Cotterrall substitutes P James, M Pattimore and Sean Mainwaring.

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