Date: Fri 17 Jan 2014

Stalemate in the Port Talbot Sunshine

PORT TALBOT TOWN were unable find a performance worthy of their sunshine-bathed GenQuip Stadium after being held to a goalless draw with Gap Connah’s Quay.

We most definitely deserved the three points out there and it wasn’t our day

The North Walians were forced to defend deep for long periods as Port Talbot were ultimately unable to make the breakthrough, despite their superiority in possession, resulting in the stalemate which left director of football Scott Young frustrated.

“We most definitely deserved the three points out there and it wasn’t our day,” he explained.

“In possession and territory we should have won the game comfortably. We created three or four decent chances which is slightly disappointing with the amount of possession we had, but on any other day we’d have won that game.

“They camped at the edge of their box but fair play to them, they put bodies on the line and worked hard to get the result. We probably should’ve worked harder to get into decent positions but we need to get points on the board.

“I think teams are looking well-organised this year, you can see that from today, Connah’s Quay came out with a game plan and played on the edge of their box but kept a clean sheet, so we need to learn that this year, teams will want to come here to defend and sit-in against us.”
Scott Young named three of his summer signings as the Steelmen sought to quickly erase memories of Saturday’s opening day defeat to The New Saints, as Gethin Jones, Miles John and Rhys Griffiths all started.

An early attempt from Martin Rose forced Terry McCormick into action in just the second minute as Port Talbot enjoyed plenty of possession, as they look to land an early blow.

Town's Martin Rose beats Ryan Edwards of Nomads to the ball (Nik Mesney)

Town's Martin Rose beats Ryan Edwards of Nomads to the ball (Nik Mesney)

But Connah’s Quay’s five-man midfield did stifled Port Talbot, though the Blues were not without their chances. Brooks delivered a corner to the far-post that flew just above the head of Rhys Griffiths.

And Griffiths did well to lead the line despite the game’s low tempo. There were encouraging signs from the Griffiths as the Port Talbot forward made his presence known inside the box.

A David Brooks corner found its way through to the back post and whistled just over the head of Griffiths and the number 26 flicked the ball on for Lee Surman to force a save from McCormick in the top-right corner. Griffiths himself then tested the Nomads goalkeeper with a header that was pushed up over the bar, as the opening-half fizzled out to a close.

Connah’s Quay started the livelier following the restart – Mike Hayes lifted the ball over both Steven Hall and the crossbar before clattering into the Town keeper and the visitors protested furiously when they believed Lee Surman deflected the ball away for corner with his arm.
The 59th-minute introduction of Lee John for his namesake Miles did provide more penetration to Port Talbot and although they were awarded a host of corners, none proved decisive as Connah’s Quay defended resolutely.

In what had largely been a mild-mannered affair, the game took an unexpected twist with just over ten minutes remaining. Paul Mooney was shown a straight red card following a rash challenge on Lewis Harling, allowing Port Talbot to raise their attacking instincts in search of the goal.

Lee John’s deep cross was tipped away whilst Connah’s Quay boldly fancied their chances of snatching something on the break, forcing Surman to make a timely block inside the goal mouth.

And with time whittling down and Connah’s Quay seemingly impenetrable on their 18-yard line base, one final roll of the twice from Port Talbot saw Harling meet Lee John’s flighted cross from the right, only to head straight at the goalkeeper from close range.

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