CDP Ton Pentre AFC

Fixtures and Results 2001/2002

March 16th: Maesteg Park 0 v Ton Pentre 1

There were two changes in the Ton line up from the defeat at home to Gwynfi the previous game, Jason Roberts and Rob King in the starting line up with Shaun Fackeral and Ian Shepherd dropped to the substitutes bench. Manager Kevin Richards moved the experienced Neil Davies into mid-field and Roberts took up the sweeper role. The game was played on a decent surface with no wind, a pleasant change.

Ton opened the game and went on the attack trying to get the home side on the back foot. The tactic had the desired effect until the 4th minute when there was a nasty collision between the two centre backs of Ton, Mike Jones and Nathan Prygodzizc, Jones had a head injury and Prygodzizc damaged his shoulder, the play was stopped for over 4 minutes before Prygodzizc as taken off the field. His shoulder "went" back in and he bravely returned to the game. After this the game settled and Ton were a match for the hard intimidating game Maesteg were trying to play. The play was very quick with both sides unable to settle on the ball in the opening 12 minutes.

The first attempt was from the home side, with Lee Skyrme forcing the Ton keeper Marty Ellacott to punch the ball wide. From a free kick 30 yards out. In the 16th minute Prygodzizc fell heavily and further damaged his shoulder so he had to leave the field, it was very brave effort by "Prod" which did not pay off. So Richards sent on Lee Mathews to replace Davies in midfield and Davies went back to sweeper. So Roberts and Mike Jones were the pairing in the middle. The game was very keenly contested in the middle of the park, with a number of free kicks going to Ton. Dai Withers made a good break in the 23rd minute and was chopped down on the edge of the box, a free kick was given. Ceri Harding took the kick and fired the ball at the goal, it was cleared by Maesteg, however there was a huge appeal for handball, the referee waved play on. Minutes later Mathews was challenged from behind and suffered an injury; again the game was stopped for over two minutes. Harding took the kick, which was on the left 5 yards from the touchline and 45 yards out. His cross was met by Dean Morris who headed the ball just past the upright with the Tucker in the Maesteg goal scrambling to get near it.

The Ton performance was far better than Gwynfi, however they were still not getting into the final third. Morris, Mathews and Andrew Hughes were winning the mid field without posing any questions of Tucker in the Maesteg goal.

Maesteg were dangerous on the break through Skyrme, Alyn Jones and James Sullivan. On the half hour Maesteg had a corner which was put over by Stephenson, Ellacott dominated the box and collected in the air, he kicked the ball out quickly to Harding who was not able to use the early ball, with Maesteg ensuring he had no time and were doing everything they could to stop him.

With Maesteg unable to control the game, they were giving the ball away cheaply, so Ton were able to play from the back. With Lee Tapper and King given some good passes, again the away side were not able to pressure Maesteg in the area. When Maesteg did break they did so very quickly and on 37 Alyn Jones struck a good shot from 30 yards, although it was well hit, Ellacott was able to take it comfortably.

A minute later saw Tapper have a "rush of blood", a ball was played into the Ton area, Ellacott went down and collected it easily, however Tapper had pushed Alyn Jones and the referee gave a penalty to Maesteg. Alyn Jones took the kick and struck it to the right of Ellacott, who was able to make a terrific save and pushed the ball around for a corner. All the Ton Supporters and players sighed with relief.

From this point Ton went on the attack for the rest of the half, which had 8 minutes of stoppage time. Harding was put through and was not making the keeper to work on a couple of occasions. In the 45th minute Hughes made a great driving run at the home defence, he passed to Harding whose run was closed down by Dean Thretfall. Ton kept the pressure on and got their reward in the 5th minute of stoppage time, Withers headed out to Tapper, he looped a header over the Maesteg defence and the evergreen Withers beat the offside and put the ball home from 7 yards with Tucker soundly beaten, 0-1 to Ton. The referee called a halt to the first half with Ton holding a well-deserved lead at half time.

The second half started with Maesteg getting a booking for Morgan for foul on King. 4 minutes later Thretfall was booked for foul on Harding, some of the tackles would be X rated in the cinema. The game continued with Ton having the upper hand and were being awarded free kicks, the delivery was not too good. When they did get good ball into the danger area Tucker in the Maesteg goal was dropping them, he was not as reassured as he normally is. On one occasion Roberts and Jones went for the same ball and the headed attempt went over the bar.

Maesteg were trying to hit their opponents on the break, with Skyrme and Jones still prominent, Roberts and Mike Jones were not too troubled at the back, and Davies was able to cover when needed. On the hour another X rated tackle from behind on the Ton skipper Hughes saw the overworked Keri Bassett the Ton physio on the field again, at this rate he will be the fittest player on the field. From a corner King was able to strike a low drive to the right of the goal just inside the upright, Tucker made a good save pushing it around for a corner. Ton were guilty of being caught offside in their eagerness to get the second goal. A great move involving Withers linking with Harding on the right touchline saw Harding get past the last defender and he put a poor cross behind 4 onrushing Ton players 15 yards out.

With 70 minutes on the clock it was all Ton they controlled the game and Harding was getting a lot of the ball but unable to use it, he was working hard for the team. Maesteg were not giving in, they were putting everyone up for their kicks, Tucker was taking the kicks from just inside his own half, with Morgan and Thretfall giving height to an already big Maesteg forward line.

One break saw the Ton right wingback Tapper get in on the back post and get a good headed attempt on goal, Tucker collected just under the cross bar. From the throw out, Alyn Jones ran from inside his own half at the opposition he beat 3 players and was on the edge of the box and about to shoot when a superbly timed tackle from Davies saw the ball go out for a throw in.

Then another good move by Ton in the 85th minute saw Harding square the ball to Withers in the area, he beat Morgan and was then brought down 10 yards from goal. The referee awarded a penalty. Hughes took the kick and struck the ball to the keeper's right, Tucker went the right way and pushed it around the same post as Ellacott did earlier. If this had been converted it would have taken a lot for Maesteg to get back into the game, however the miss gave them a chance and their heads lifted. Maesteg were launching the balls into the area, Roberts was dominating with Jones. Davies was able to clean up. Richards made a change in the 90th, with King being replaced by Shepherd. Ton were hitting Maesteg on the break and Withers and Harding were holding the ball up in the Maesteg half, the very poor discipline of Maesteg saw Stephenson sent of in the 93rd minute. The game ended with Ton the victors 0-1. However that was not the end of the proceedings, Thretfall of Maesteg went onto the referee after the final whistle and was shown the red card.

This was again another solid defensive performance, with Roberts having a very good game, ably assisted by Ellacott, Jones and Davies. The foundation of Ton's wins is around a defence that has only conceded 12 goals in 22 games. The concern is that Ton are not able to finish off sides.

This was a game that was dominated by yellow and red cards, the referee was criticised for his handling of the game, however there is a need for some of the players to look at their contribution to the game, the referee quite rightly played 14 minutes of "injury" time, so this says it all.

This was a good result and a better performance by Ton, although they were not at their best, the points were needed and a win in Maesteg is always a good one.

Maesteg: Tucker, Burge, Showdery, Thretfall, Morgan, Blackwell, Stephenson, Sullivan, Alyn Jones, Mark Kemble, & Lee Skyrme, substitutes Camelleri, Holland & Ratti.

Ton Pentre: Ellacott, Tapper, King. Mike Jones, Prygodzizc, Roberts, Davies, Morris, Hughes, Withers & Harding, substitutes Mathews, Shepherd & Fackeral

Written by Gary Matuszczyk

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