A Late Winner

A goal deep into stoppage time by Mark Jones saw us win 2-1 against a plucky Pontypridd Town side who belied their bottom of the table position with a display that should have seen them take the spoils but they spurned numerous golden opportunities and paid the price.

Pontypridd kicked off and immediately attacked with the ball going out for a goal kick which many thought was a corner. From the  goal kick Craig Jones found Mark Jones and he shot from outside the box but it was straight at the keeper. On 4 minutes Liam McCreesh played the ball wide to Noah Daley who in trying to beat the full back was pulled back and Lido had a free kick 15 yards out on the left. The ball was played into the area but headed behind for a Lido corner. Lewis Holmes met the corner perfectly but his header hit the crossbar and went out for a goal kick. Pontypridd attacked left and won a throw which was taken quickly and from a good position they fired a shot wide. Liam McCreesh then played the ball wide for Chris Hartland who cut in and shot wide from just outside the box. On 18 minutes Mark Jones forced a diving save out of the Pontypridd keeper It was now Pontypridd’s turn to put pressure on the Lido defence but again their shots were off target. Noah Daley and Liam McCreesh were the victims of some physical challenges but both were able to continue. Another Lido attack saw Sacha Walters get to the byeline but his cross was cut out and the chance was lost. On 42 minutes a missed tackle on the left saw the ball crossed into the area and the header was cleared off the line. In their next attack Pontypridd won a corner which was headed goalwards and appeared to be going in until a Pontypridd player helped the ball on but only succeeded in diverting the ball over the crossbar.

In added time Craig Jones was booked for a foul just outside our area, the resultant free kick hit the wall and was cleared as the half time whistle sounded. Somehow the game was goalless despite numerous good chances for both sides.

We started the second half on the front foot with Craig Jones finding Chris Hartland but his shot from outside the area went wide. Noah Daley then closed down the keeper whose clearance went straight to Liam McCreesh but he was only able to shoot wide. Our passing was certainly improved in the early stages of the second half and on 55 minutes Mark Jones was played into the area but he could only shoot at the keeper. Pontypridd had a couple of throws near the edge of our area and a long ball into the box saw former Lido player Scott Hillman score against a static defence. It was almost two straight from the kick off, we lost possession and Rory McCreesh saved a 1 on 1 with his feet. In the 65th minute a repeat scenario saw Rory again save a 1 on 1. Lewis Holmes got his head to a long throw but it was straight at the keeper. It was beginning to look as if it wasn’t going to be our day, Noah Daley cut in, his shot beat the keeper but a defender cleared it off the line then Jack Hurley played the ball to Chris Hartland and his shot hit the post! We kept pushing forward and Chris Hartland fired a shot over the bar but on 77 minutes we got our reward, Cai Owens who had replaced Sacha Walters on 70 minutes played the ball wide to Chris Hartland, Chris played in a low cross, Mark Jones stepped over the ball allowing the supporting Liam McCreesh to score with a right footed shot.  We now pushed forward looking for a winner and Mark Jones was just unable to get to a Craig Jones through ball. With 5 minutes to go several players were involved in a move which ended with James Parry firing a shot over the bar. Again the Pontypridd keeper held a Lewis Holmes header as we entered added on time, Pontypridd were now conceding free kicks and trying to disrupt play as much as they could. Jack Hurley found space and fired a low shot at goal which again the keeper did well to hold. Just as it looked as though we would have to settle for a point up popped Mark Jones to win it in the 95th minute. Again, Chris Hartland had the ball wide right, he again played in a low cross which found Mark who seemed to take an age before slotting the ball past the keeper. There was still time for another Pontypridd attack which we cleared before the full time whistle sounded.

Rory McCreesh  2 Craig Jones  3 James Parry  4 Alex Gammond  5 Lewis Holmes  6 Jack Hurley  7 Liam McCreesh 8 Noah Daley  9 Mark Jones 10 Chris Hartland  11 Sacha Walters

Subs  12 Cai Owens for Sacha Walters 70 – 14 Jack Underwood – 15 Josh Webber for Noah Daley 78 – 16 Luke Evans 17 Jack Fleming