Afan Lido 1 Pontypridd 3

Three home games and three defeats to start the season. Add this to last year when we lost 6 home games is poor to say the least by contrast, away last season we won 10 of our 15 games only losing 3 and our 3 points to date were picked up on the road.

We kept the same side that won 2-0 at Caerau Ely except Gareth Couch started in goal as Steve Cann was delayed returning from Bath. In the time he was on Couchie made an outstanding save diving to his right to turn a goalbound shot away.

We had the first chance of the game on 5 minutes when the ball was diverted in the path of Kaid Mohamed 40 yards out. He sped towards the goal but he shot at the Pontypridd keeper and the chance was lost. Two minutes later Jack Hurley’s pass found Kaid Mohamed who shot first time, again it was saved and played wide to Kaid who crossed low for Jack Hurley whose touch took the ball just wide. On 11 minutes saw Pontypridd break and Couchie make his fine save at the expense of a corner. Ben Symons then played the ball down the line for Noah Daley, he beat his marker but his cross was too long for Kaid Mohamed and the chance was lost. On 19 minutes we lost the ball in attack, Pontypridd hit a long ball forward and their player went around Gareth Couch but somehow faced with an open goal they only managed to hit the post! They didn’t have long to wait for a goal and it came via the penalty spot for an alleged foul by Alex Gammond on his 100th Tier 2 start. We went straight back on the attack played the ball into the box and there were huge calls for a hand ball which the referee failed to see and a chance of an immediate reply was gone. On the half hour some great blocking by a couple of our defenders cleared a dangerous attack. On 35 minutes we cleared a corner and Noah Daley made ground and reached halfway before he was taken out by a dreadful challenge. Our players were outraged by it and responded, resulting in two bookings for us and also two for Pontypridd. Disappointingly there was no red card for the challenge. We continued to push forward looking for an equaliser an just before the interval a second shout for a penalty fell on deaf ears, not our night so far.

We had an early chance to level in the second half but a header from a free kick went wide. We continued to press for an equaliser, Pontypridd’s game plan was to hit a long ball from defence at every opportunity. It paid off for them when they scored a second goal, Steve Cann made a save but the ball was played back in and despite Ben Symons efforts to clear the ball just went over the line. Finally, we were awarded a penalty on 58 minutes thanks to the assistant who was flagging furiously. Kaid Mohamed scored from the spot to get us back into the game. The remainder of the game saw a lot of Lido pressure but Pontypridd defended well to deny any real clear chances. Pontypridd went 3-1 up on 76 minutes in a rare attack  and for a couple of minutes from time they had a player sent off for a far less dangerous challenge than the one in the first half. We move on to Friday and a game at Llanelli which starts a run of three away games.