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October 12th: Ton Pentre 1 v Cardiff Corries 0

With all the top clubs in Division One playing Welsh Cup Second Round matches, Ton Pentre had the opportunity to claw back some lost ground in Saturday's encounter against Cardiff Corries. And the Rhondda Bulldogs took full advantage of having a bye to the Third Round when they saw off the visitors with a 1-0 win.

The first incident of the match came after five minutes when Saltmarsh, for the Cardiff team, fell to the ground clutching his head. Dean Morris for the Rhondda Bulldogs was shown the yellow card for a high-footed challenge; however, it was very unlikely that the Ton player had seen his rival who had run from behind to challenge.

Ton Pentre put this early incident behind them and five minutes later created their first attempt on goal. Good play on the wing from forward Carl Thomas saw him cross into the Corries box winning a corner. Mike Jones got his head to the crossed ball and headed upwards, the ball then fell to Nathan Prygodzicz's head, who saw his attempt meticulously hit the crossbar and then cleared.

After this Ton seemed to have lost their way in the match and looking a little disjointed, nevertheless, a long ball from defence found its way to Carl Thomas who did well to retain possession. He then passed a short ball to Craig Thomas who had joined him in attack. The player unleashed a vigorous shot that if on target would have rippled the net.

In the 27th minute Ton lost possession from a free kick and Corries winger, Wallwork, ran the ball towards the Ton area, he passed inside to Kevin Crock whose shot across the front of goal went wide. In reply Jamie Michaels avoided various challenges when running up the wing and passed a neat short ball inside to Alex Lawless. The talented youngster created enough space for him to shoot and was unlucky to see his effort edge wide.

After a corner in the 41st minute the ball pinballed around the Cardiff Corries area with Prygodzicz first getting a touch, then Lawless, then Craig Thomas and then finally back to Prygodzicz, who managed to get a shot in but sent it wide. The score was 0-0 at half time.

Seven minutes into the second half the Rhondda Bulldogs subbed forward Paul Parker for Dean Lewis. Lewis took up a position on the left wing with Michaels taking up a striking spot.

With Ton Pentre playing towards the railway end, Lewis was fouled while in possession of the ball out wide and parallel to the Corries goal area. Ceri Harding took the free kick and directed the ball into the box. Lewis miss hit his strike but it did not matter as Michaels cued up a rocket shot with its destination the back of the net. The goal put Ton 1-0 up after 57 minutes.

This goal then became as valuable as the crown jewels when Ton player Dean Morris was shown his second yellow card. He was sent off after the referee felt that Morris had followed through on his challenge for the ball with James McCarthy in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later a barrage of pressure followed, starting with a conceded free kick outside the home team's area. McCarthy stepped up to take the kick and struck it goalwards. A magnificent agile save from John Howe in the Ton goals saw him leap across the goalmouth to tip the ball away from danger.

Carl Thomas nearly made it two nil after 73 minutes when a ball from Lewis appeared to have been hit too far forward. Thomas chased it and beat the keeper to the ball to head. Unfortunately he couldn't keep his balance and the ball slowly rolled towards goal enabling visiting keeper, Matthew Flugg, to recover.

It was another goal keeping tale immediately after when Lawless fouled a visiting player outside the Ton box. The ball went into the box and Howe smothered it excellently saving Ton from conceding a goal once again.

Kevin Richards decided to add a few fresh legs into the game in order to hold onto the one goal advantage by substituting Harding and Michaels for Lee Tapper and Lee Skyrme.

Two minutes from time Ton were forced to clear off their own goal line after a goal mouth scramble. The ball didn't go very far but Howe was aware and saved a shot from a Corries player and made sure that he held onto the powerful effort. This was the last action of the game and the ten men of Ton were clearly happy with their three points.

Saturday 19 October the Rhondda Bulldogs travel to Llanwern for a Welsh League Division One encounter and the next home game is against Briton Ferry on Saturday October 26.

The draw for the Welsh Cup Third Round has also taken place with the Rhondda Bulldogs facing an away trip to Welsh League Division Two outfit Porth Tywyn Suburbs. This match is due to be played on Saturday 16 November.

If you have any views regarding the Rhondda Bulldogs of Ton Pentre then don't hesitate to leave them on the message board at tonpentreafc.com.

Ton Pentre: Howe; Michaels (Skyrme, 80mins); Davies; Jones; Prygodzicz; Lawless; Craig Thomas; Morris; Carl Thomas; Parker (Lewis, 52mins); Harding (Tapper, 80mins).

Match report by Rob Dowling.


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