Pontardawe 3 Under 15s 4

Saturday 31st August 2013

The under 15s had to come from behind three times to win an entertaining match at Pontardawe.

Squad:  Owen Flowers, Rhys Davies, Jacob Owens, Dafydd Williams, Liam Jones, Tim Thomas, Rhys Tiplady, Owen Williams, Rhys Austin, Rory Johns, Dylan Nicholas-Clark, Ciaran Melly, Jack Gilmore-Jones, Sam Morris, Jesse Howell and Aled Evans.

On a difficult pitch, with very long grass, Llan suffered a slow start to the match and were behind just 90 seconds in.  The goal itself was a stroke of luck for the home side as a cross hit the far post and then the front post before going in.

Llan continued to struggle to get their passing game going but slowly grew into the match.  After a lengthy period of pressure in the Pontardawe half, it was Rhys Austin who equalised with a 20 yard effort that found the top corner fifteen minutes in.

After the celebration of scoring a rare goal by Austin, there was an immediate scare for Llan as they conceded a penalty within thirty seconds of the restart.  Liam Jones' short back pass meant that Owen Flowers in goal could only bring down the opportunist striker.  Luckily for Llan, Dafydd Williams recovered into a good position which meant that Flowers stayed on the field and they then received a further boost when the spot kick was fired wide.

The scare of giving away a penalty in such circumstances seemed to spur Llan on as their passing game looked much more assured after that point.  However it was Pontardawe who scored the game's next goal as their right winger burst onto a through ball and produced a powerful finish.

After conceding, Llan kept their nerve and produced some excellent passing moves.  One of these resulted in the equalising goal with Dylan Nicholas-Clark showing his own continued improvement with a header back across the goalkeeper after Rhys Tiplady's cross.

With Llan pressing Ponty into their own half, it was disappointing to concede a break-away goal before half time.  Even more disappointing was the lack of an attempt to stop the player's run that started on the half way line.  Credit to the forward though for producing a fine finish.

At half time a few tweaks were made and Llangennech looked more comfortable as a unit in the second period.  Liam Jones also realised that he had been so slow during the first half that even the local slugs had caught up with him!

The pressure that Llan were putting on Ponty eventually told when Owen Williams equalised with a fine individual effort about fifteen minutes into the second half.  After receiving the ball at the edge of the box, Williams shrugged off four defenders before finding the bottom corner with his left foot shot.

For me, the best goal was saved until last as it involved a number of players in a fast-paced attack.  After winning the ball back at right back, Rory Johns gained posession and sparked the move with a quick ball for Tim Thomas.  After some more neat interplay, Thomas produced a superb cross that was met by the head of Rhys Tiplady who found the back of the net.  A goal worthy of winning a high quality game.

It was a pleasing way to end the run of pre-season matches.  I don't usually worry too much about results in pre-season but a win over a top side like Pontardawe will surely give the players confidence going into the league campaign.