The first team in it’s latest pre-season friendly drew 3-3 with Pontardawe. Originally the match was arranged to be played in Pontardawe but was switched earlier in the week. Ioan Clatworthy scored the first with Jay Thomas scoring from a well taken free kick and another youngster Taylor Evans scored with a curling shot into the top corner. Another good workout as we look ahead to our first competitive match at Cwmbran Celtic in the Nathaniel Cars League Cup on July 17th.
We lost our first friendly 2-0 to Penrhiwceiber this afternoon
Despite leading 2-0 with Bryanna Demery scoring both goals the girls eventually lost 3-2 to Penybont in another entertaining game.
The Ladies side lost their friendly at highly ranked Merthyr Town 4-1 on Sunday. It was goalless at half time before Merthyr took charge of the game scoring 4 goals before Megan Jones scored just before the end. This was good experience for the girls against strong opposition.
Afan Lido find themselves out of the Nathaniel MG Cup after a disappointing 5-2 loss away to Risca United at Ystrad Mynach.
This was the first fixture since March for all clubs at Tier 2 level – the coronavirus pandemic enforcing an extended break for all clubs beneath the top division.
It’s been a tumultuous summer at the Marston’s Stadium following the exodus of last season’s squad and the nine month break in competitive action has yielded significant change which was evidenced here, with no fewer than seven first-team debutants named in the starting line-up.
Management team Paul Evans, Matthew Driscoll and Barrie Jones were also without several key figures for this opening fixture which made an already difficult fixture even tougher for a young, inexperienced squad.
Lido’s young side started brightly, however, forcing the Risca defence onto the back foot early with the two Ioans – Evans and Clatworthy – pressuring their full backs on the respective wings.
And it was Clatworthy who came closest to opening the scoring after just four minutes, somehow only managing to hit the post from inside the box with the goalmouth gaping after Risca goalkeeper Jordan Dibble was beaten by a low cross.
Lido were soon made to pay. Risca striker Tom Berry profited from some lax defending, turning his defender to place a long range shot into the bottom corner.
Berry was on fire for Risca, creating space every time he touched the ball, and he was soon to become the story of the afternoon.
Only three minutes after opening his tally, he hit the post after ghosting past two Lido defenders in the box.
By the middle of the half it was 2-0. Evan Price brought down Camden Duncan on the edge of the area and referee Teifion Cook had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Lewis Hitchcock duly tucked the penalty away.
Lido weren’t yet out of the reckoning and veteran midfielder Craig Reddy soon narrowed the deficit with a sumptuous half volley from 30 yards out, angling his body to guide a rising ball into the top corner to open his club account.
Risca hit back immediately and it was that man again Berry, losing his marker in the box to turn home a low cross.
Lido made two changes at the break to shore up the midfield and it appeared to work, the visitors looking far brighter in the opening exchanges. It looked to have paid dividends when a second goal came, this time courtesy of the promising Clatworthy who saw his low drive deflect into the bottom corner.
The goal seemed to spur Risca on, however, and they quickly added a fourth, Sam Palmer pouncing on a misplaced pass from Aaron Jones to play in Tom Berry for his hat-trick.
Despite a tactical switch that saw captain Cai Owens deployed up front for the last fifteen minutes, some sustained pressure from Lido couldn’t find that all-important opening. With the Seasiders pressing forward at every opportunity, Risca eventually broke quickly and capitalised by adding a fifth with two minutes to go. Camden Duncan breezed past Ben Burns on the right wing and fired in a cross which was turned home by Leon Thomas.
It was the story of the match, with Lido’s bright attacking movement undone by some inexperienced defensive play.
Nevertheless, the Lido management team will be encouraged by a return to action and the adaptability of all the players and officials in adhering to the unfamiliar protocols.
Patrick Finneral gave the Youth an early lead but then saw a penalty saved. To add insult to injury Village went down to equalise. Despite putting the Village defence under pressure they broke and took the lead. Jay Thomas and Finneral saw efforts well saved by the keeper but Finneral hit a screamer from 30 yards to level the scores and give the side a well deserved point.
We made a promising start probing in the right areas. No breakthrough yet but Lido have forced a series of corners and put some pressure on the Taffs defence. Taffs had their openings too but nothing has materialised yet.On 16 minutes the first real chance for Taffs Well and it’s a tight one. The visiting attack waltzed through the home defence and the ball landed up with Carey who dummied past his defender and took a shot at goal which narrowly missed the far post
A chance for Lido on 28 minutes when a corner was deflected goalwards by a Taffs Well defender and it took a great save from Jones to claw it off the line. Taffs Well broke under Carey who carried the ball 30 yards before taking a shot at goal but he doesn’t connect well and it tamely drifted past the post. Lido took the lead on 33 minutes, Sean Hanbury lifted a free kick into the box and it was nodded home by Toby Link-Jones for his first ever senior goal. Lido 1-0 Taffs Well. Almost immediately Taffs Well equalise, Carey turned inside the box and shot goalwards, it took a wicked deflection past the helpless Coughlan and into the back of the net. On 39 minutes we retook the lead, Chris Jones was released through on goal by a sumptuous through ball from Sean Hanbury. Chris took a touch before guiding a low shot into the bottom corner. A minute later Ben Symons played in Brad Flay in and he fancied his chances from distance but his shot went narrowly over the bar. After 49 minutes, some great link up play from Lido with Liam McCreesh finding Sean Hanbury out wide. He whipped in a cross onto the head of Flay who tried to direct it into the bottom corner but it landed into the side netting. Brad was unlucky with that effort; it could so easily have been a goal. Twenty minutes to go and Taffs Well took a shot from distance which bobbled goalwards and it took a great save from Coughlin to tip it wide Taffs pushed forward in the final 10 minutes looking for an equaliser, the brisk sea wind was playing increasing havoc with proceedings with Lido unable to make any distance in their clearances allowing Taffs tom apply more pressure. Coughlin kept a series of set pieces at bay. Patrick Finneral gambled on a defensive error to play Chris Jones through. He unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box which Cael Jones parried and then collected.
A hard fought victory in tough conditions for Lido against a resolute Taffs Well team who couldn’t find an equaliser despite periods of sustained pressure. Link-Jones and Chris Jones’ first half goals sealed the 3 points.