Another 3 points against a more than useful Taffs Well side. Once again however the referee took centre stage, he failed in the first half to book some over vigorous challenges from Taffs Well but once he brought his cards out anyone was fair game. It culminated with Carl Evans being sent off, always a possibility but he protested about a poor decision on the edge of our area and then went too far and was off. Luckily for us we managed to only concede the one goal while down to 10 men and held on with some terrific defending. Carlos Indjai was unavailable so Cai Owens moved over to centre back with Josh Doyle dropping back to right back.
Taffs started the better and kept the ball well and won a couple of early corners. They took the lead on 11 minutes when a long hopeful ball down the middle saw Steve Cann race out of the area to attempt a clearance with Carl Evans plus a forward running towards the area. If Steve shouted Carl didn’t hear him as he nodded the ball past him and despite a couple of attempts to clear the ball Sam Johnson knocked the ball into the empty net. Liam McCreesh almost equalised a couple of minutes later, Shane Williams went down the left and his cross into the box was met by Liam who guided his header just under the crossbar but Josh Gould in goal leapt to his right to save. A Taffs free kick just outside the area hit the wall and went for a corner which Cai Owens brought clear. He made 50 yards with the ball before finding Elliot Thomas who in turn found Carl Evans who for some reason was wide on the right. Carl got into the penalty area and his shot lacked any power but Gould in the Taffs goal allowed the ball to go between his legs and into the goal. This was against the run of play but we now started to get more into the game. Alex Gammond won the ball in midfield and found Liam McCreesh who made his way into the box but instead of shooting he played the ball square and the Taffs defence cleared it for a corner. Josh Doyle, Sean Hanbury and Sacha Walters then combined well before Sacha was given offside in the area. From the free kick Shane Williams got the ball, went down the left and won another corner which was headed out to Andre Griffiths on the edge of the area but his first time shot went just wide. We were now knocking on the door and Liam McCreesh was inches wide of giving us the lead on 44 minutes when he headed a Sacha Walters cross the wrong side of the post with the Taffs keeper beaten. We took the lead a minute later and again it was down to a goalkeeping error. Firstly, he fumbled a cross giving us a corner, Sacha Walters took it and played it in to the near post. Then he failed to claim the ball and in the confusion the ball ended up in the back of the net with Liam McCreesh claiming the goal to give us what at one point looked an unlikely interval lead.
Jack Todd replaced the injured Josh Doyle with yet more reorganising of the defence taking place with Alex Gammond alongside Carl Evans and Cai Owens moving back to right back. Liam McCreesh picked up a loose ball and found Jack Todd in the area but he was crowded out by the defence. Taffs could have equalised on 55 minutes when a left wing cross was headed just wide. Shane Williams then went down the left and found Sacha Walters in the box, only a first class tackle prevented Sacha from increasing the lead. However on 65 minutes we did get a third and young Jack Todd scored his second in two games. Sean Hanbury played a free kick into the box and Jack got up and his header looped in at the far post to give us a bit of breathing space. Taffs now made a couple of substitutions and they made a big difference to them. Having now had players on both sides booked the ref gave a free kick to Taffs right on the edge of the area. At best it was a disappointing decision and Carl Evans was shown a yellow card for his protest and then a red for abusive language. That meant even more reorganising in the back. The free kick hit the wall and was cleared but Taffs now had their tails up and pushed forward looking to get back into the game. Sam Johnson got his second of the night on 77 minutes and at that point it looked as though their pressure would lead to an equaliser. However some gritty defending and some wayward shooting saw us over the line.
Steve Cann – 2 Josh Doyle – 3 Shane Williams – 4 Carl Evans – 5 Cai Owens – 6 Alex Gammond –
7 Elliot Thomas – 8 Liam McCreesh – 9 Sean Hanbury – 10 Andre Griffiths – 11 Sacha Walters
Subs – 12 Kieran Cullen for Sacha Walters 87 – 14 Jack Todd for Josh Doyle 46 – 15 Azeem Arshad –
16 Jack Fleming – 17 Leigh de Vulgt