IN the first match of the New Year Cwmamman United went down 2-1 to Port Talbot Town in a hard fought but entertaining match which was played in extremely difficult conditions of constant winds and rain from the first whistle to the last.
Under the lights on a Friday night with a crowd of around 140 the atmosphere was excellent particularly with the visiting Port Talbot supporters in good voice adding to the occasion.
Cwm introduced Rhys Griffiths who is just the one of their 5 new signings into the starting line up with the returning Ryan Thomas and Jesse Howell on the bench.
Cwm were fastest out of the blocks and Calem Rees was through to see his shot saved in the second minute while he then had another half chance in the 10th minute. As the game settled Port Talbot’s short passing game seemed to suit the conditions better as they were getting the better of the possession.
Leo Jones a local 16 year old was making his debut in goals for Cwmamman and he was reassured and confident throughout but was not called upon to make a save in that first half.
With chances at a minimum Port Talbot made the breakthrough in the 33rd min when a long ball over the top saw a Cwm defender slip and the speedy Aidan Chappell Smith broke free leaving Jones with no chance. The game continued to be an even affair with both sides tiring slightly in the wet conditions as the match progressed.
Ross Morgan was inspirational for Cwm while Callum Dougal and Grant Rees were solid in the heart of defence and Jones in goal made an excellent save from a long range shot early in the second half.
The killer blow appeared to have been struck when some hesitancy in the Cwm defence from a long cross saw new signing Charlie Farrell from Ynysygerwn poke it home on his debut on the 75th minute for 2-0.
Cwm however with Ryan Thomas and Kyle Ashford coming on and increasing the attacking threat pulled one back immediately when a Thomas shot was parried by Rogers in the Port Talbot goal and the ever dangerous Calem Rees steered it home.
The final 15 mins saw Cwm mount a number of attacks with Cory Saunders coming into his own on the left flank and Port Talbot defended desperately. Cwm supporters thought they had salvaged a draw with the last play of the game when a rocket Leon Croucher header from the final corner flew just over the bar with the defence beaten.
Not to be for Cwm but both sides gave it everything and a good performance by the young skilfull Port Talbot team was just enough to get the points in a great advert for the Ardal League. Cwm remain in 12th while Port Talbot move to 6th in a 16 team league.
This Saturday Cwmamman travel to Cardiff Draconians 2pm in a critical match for both sides.