Rhondda Bulldogs Match Reports Rhondda Bulldogs

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September 14th: Ton Pentre 0 v Llanwern 1

Ton Pentre's disappointing start to the season continued at Ynys Park last Saturday when Gwent side Llanwern visited the Rhondda and took away three points in a 1-0 win.

However, the Rhondda Bulldogs started the game brightly when Adam Lewis stole possession from Llanwern in midfield in the opening stages of the match. His one-two with Carl Thomas though failed to bear any fruit. Ton came much closer after five minutes of play when a Ceri Harding corner was headed towards goal by Thomas who saw his effort cleared from the line.

The 11th minute saw Dean Morris using his skill to put Harding through on goal, but the pace between the ball and himself differed which resulted in a Llanwern defender catching up with him and doubting any danger.

The visitors had their first real chance to score after 19 minutes when Mike Jones conceded a free kick outside the Ton goal area. From the free kick there certainly would have been a goal if a Ton defender hadn't cleared the ball as Llanwern's Ian Burman would have scored with a header.

Within the 34th minute Ton conceded a corner after some Llanwern pressure. The corner was hit to the front post and Lee Stewart headed unchallenged past John Howe in the Ton goals, much to the dismay of the Ynys Park faithful.

Phil Bowden, an ex-Ton Pentre player, was ruled to have obstructed an attacking Bulldogs player just outside his goal area. Harding drifted the ball into the box from the free kick but saw no Ton players challenging in the air and Llanwern's Paul Archer cleared from danger.

Before the break Ton had one more chance to score, Thomas showed real strength when he attained possession and passed through to Harding who saw his shot have all the fizz taken out of it when it rebounded off one of the visiting defenders. Therefore, the score was 1-0 to Llanwern at half time.

The Rhondda Bulldogs started the second half poorly with the midfield and forwards not able to combine. They remained to be separate entities until a movement in the 62nd minute saw Alex Lawless shoot over the bar.

Ton failed to put an attractive attacking movement together until the 84th minute, when an advancing Lee Tapper was fouled outside the Llanwern goal area. Thomas took the resulting free kick with his effort on target, but Marc Evans in the visitor's goal made sure that he was going to keep a clean sheet.

A minute from time Howe made sure that an attacking movement from Llanwern's Stewart and Hanbury didn't result in a second goal conceded when he pulled off a stunning one handed save to tip the ball over the bar.

When the final whistle was blown it was clear to see the joy on the faces of the Llanwern players. Once again, like other games this season, a team has come to Ynys Park and taken points away. Ton Pentre have failed to take their chances with teams snatching a goal and leaving the Bulldogs looking unlikely to score. However, every team goes through a rough patch, let's hope that Ton's finishes soon.

The Rhondda Bulldogs next league match is away to UWIC Inter Cardiff on Saturday September 21st with a 3 o'clock kick off. And the next home match is Saturday September 28th with the kick-off once again at 3pm.

Ton Pentre: Howe; Tapper; Davies; Jones (Kiyaga, 82 mins); Prygodzicz; Craig Thomas; Lawless; Morris (Richards, 49 mins); Carl Thomas; Lewis (Shepherd, 76 mins); Harding.


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