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December 28th: Ton Pentre 3 v Penrhiwceiber Rangers 3

The Rhondda Cynon Taf derby between Ton Pentre and Penrhiwceiber did not disappoint. After an exciting finale during six minutes of injury time the Rhondda Bulldogs managed to salvage a point from a game that at one point they looked certain to win.

Tom Billings started in the absence of Carl Thomas and got himself involved in the play from the start of the match. He passed a through ball to Lee Tapper on the right wing whose cross into the box put pressure on the Penrhiwceiber defence. The visitors pounced straight back with Chris Keepings and Paul Parker linking well to make the Ton Pentre defence creek. However, the Rhondda Bulldogs withstood the attack and created a golden opportunity up the other end when a header from Andrew Hughes forced Robert Davies to pull off a well executed one handed save.

The home side took the lead after 24 minutes when Billings played a ball inside to Jamie Michaels who ran it out wide to cross into the box. The ball was met by Hughes who calmly slotted into the back of the Penrhiwceiber net.

Ton Pentre's lead was nearly increased five minutes later if it were not for two brilliant point blank saves from Davies in goals that denied Michaels and Hughes in succession.

The Rhondda Bulldogs rued those missed chances soon after as a good attack by Penrhiwceiber saw Parker supply the ball to Geraint Harris who cleanly hit his effort past Richard Johnson in goals making it 1-1.

For the first ten minutes of the second half Ton Pentre struggled to get out of their own half until they won a free kick just inside the visitors half. Ceri Harding sent the ball into the box and after ricocheting around Tapper finally managed to place the ball onto Dean Morris's head, whose effort just shaded the cross bar.

That was to be Morris's last action of the game as he attained a head injury in the 62nd minute after clashing with Keepings in midfield when both players were attempting to head the ball. This injury would eventually force six minutes of added time at the end of the match.

Alex Lawless replaced the injured player and Craig Thomas came on for Tapper soon after.

Fifteen minutes from the 90 minute mark Ton Pentre took the lead once again. Billings sent in a cross-come-shot from wide on the right that hit the cross bar and rebounded into Michaels path who fired in Ton Pentre's second.

After that goal Penrhiwceiber looked out of the game with any movement they made breaking down before they reached the halfway line. Then Ton Pentre lost concentration as the away team equalised when an unmarked Parker scored past Johnson in the 89th minute.

Penrhiwceiber confidence then soared as they took a 3-2 lead after four minutes of injury time, until Michaels scored with a wonderful bicycle kick that hit light speed on its way into the back of the net after Harding had crossed into the box.

Visit tonpentreafc.com for all the latest news on the Rhondda Bulldogs. Meanwhile, the next match for Ton Pentre will see title challengers UWIC Inter Cardiff visit Ynys Park on January 11 2003.

Ton Pentre: Richard Johnson; Lee Tapper (Craig Thomas, 72mins); Neil Davies; Jason Roberts; Ian Davies; Andrew Hughes; Mark Evans; Dean Morris (Alex Lawless, 67mins); Tom Billings; Jamie Michaels; Ceri Harding. Sub not used: Kevin Richards.

Match report by Rob Dowling.


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