Rhondda Bulldogs Match Reports Rhondda Bulldogs

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August 28th: Ton Pentre 0 v Neath 1

After last Wednesday's first home match of the season the Rhondda Bulldogs have played three, won one, drawn one and lost one. A poor Ton performance made sure of the latter.

However, the opening minute saw Ian Shepherd running up the wing and passing an inside ball to Dean Morris who in turn crosses into the box for Carl Thomas to head just wide for Ton.

The 8th minute saw the Ton defence opened like a tin of beans after a classy attacking movement from Neath. However, the resulting shot by the Neath forward was hit wide of John Howe in the Ton Pentre goals. A minute later after the goal kick a Neath midfielder hit a long ball towards the corner flag. Mike Jones in the Ton defence let the ball run and was caught out by Neath's number 7 who gathered and hit a low cross into the area. Luckily for Ton there was no Neath forward on hand to hammer into the back of the net.

In the following minutes Ton made little progress in attacking the oppositions goal and with 14 minutes of play gone Neath were again through on goal with bad finishing preventing them from taking the lead. Sixty seconds later a Ton attack finally pulled together after excellent pressure from Carl Thomas put a Neath defender under enough pressure for him to concede a corner, but nothing came of it.

In the 22nd minute Carl Thomas was once again in the thick of the action as he ran the ball across the outside of the box and creating a chance for himself. The visiting goalkeeper though saved his shot. However, he was unable to hold onto the ball and it was Alex Lawless who attempted to keep the attack moving, and his reward for effort was a corner at the expense of Neath.

The Rhondda Bulldogs had their best chance of the half a minute from the interval, when Lawless attempted to lob the advancing goalkeeper, after Neath's last man failed to connect with ball as the Ton player got round the back of him. All in Ynys Park were waiting for the net to ripple… it never did. The half-time score was 0-0 with the visitors looking the most likely to score, as Ton appeared to be vacant up front.

A Useful attack by Ton saw Ceri Harding and Craig Thomas connect and provide the home team with the first chance of the second half as they won the Rhondda Bulldogs a corner. Harding's corner found its way to Mike Jones who had time to control the ball before unleashing his shot, which was cleared off the goal line in the 47th minute.

Five minutes later Mike Jones was booked after handling the ball outside his own box when he failed to control an attempted through ball by Neath's Nicky Jones for his forwards. Howe was on hand to pull off a magnificent save from the resulting free kick, which then went wide for a corner. Craig Richards of Neath connected with the corner ball to head past the Ton 'keeper into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Lawless provided the home support with more of his skilful antics after 60 minutes as he took on a few players and passed to Lee Tapper for him to cross into the Neath box. Craig Thomas connected and shot at the 'keeper who palmed it out for a Ton corner. Mike Jones got his head to the ball and directed it just over the cross bar.

Lawless was fouled in the 64th minute while trying to play the ball out of midfield. The freekick fell at Nathan Prygodzicz's feet in the box but he took too long and a chance was squandered.

Six minutes later and Nicky Jones provided his striking team-mate with a chance make the game more secure but his one on one with Howe saw the 'keeper come away with the advantage.

Carl Thomas headed at the cross bar in the 70th minute after a Harding corner adding to another of Ton's missed opportunities to equalise.

Five minutes from full-time saw a stunning 35 yard shot from Lawless painstakingly edge over the Neath cross bar. Nevertheless, the match finished 1-0 to the visitors even after Morris had the chance to equalise with a header which rebounded off the cross bar in the final minute.

You can find more news, views and other match reports at tonpentreafc.com sponsored by AiGN.

Ton Pentre: Howe; Tapper (Phillips, 75 mins); Roberts; Mike Jones; Prygodzicz; Morris; Lawless; Craig Thomas (Kiyaga, 69 mins); Carl Thomas; Shepherd (Lewis, 75 mins); Harding.

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