Sendings off prove costly as Lido snatch derby points
February 11, 2012
Three sendings off proved costly for Port Talbot as the Blues were handed a 2-1 reverse by neighbours Afan Lido in an incident-packed night at the Gen-Quip stadium.
Port Talbot were rewarded for their strong start as Martin Rose fired past Chris Curtis but the Blues were stunned with a double sending off, as Paul Cochlin and David Brooks received their marching orders soon after.
Leon Jeanne headed Lido level moments later and the visitors finally made their numerical advantage count against Mark Jones’ resilient side when Jeanne struck again late on. And Cortez Belle became the third Town player to be shown red, two minutes from time for obstruction.
Port Talbot gave an encouraging start as Dylan Blain, in for the injured Lewis Harlin, and Cortez Belle – playing up alongside Martin Rose in a more adventurous 4-4-2 – having early shots on goal charged down, whilst Afan Lido looked to exploit Danny Thomas’ long throws to test the Blues defence.
Attacking the Burns Road End, Port Talbot fired another warning. David Brooks’ jinked run on the left of the box result in the winger sending a curling effort across goal past the right hand post. And Town broke the deadlock on 17 minutes when Martin Rose shot into the bottom right corner past a flat-footed Chris Curtis.
The derby emotions would soon boil over with Paul Cochlin receiving yellow for an aerial challenge whilst Cochlin was again involved, when his challenge saw tempers fray once more, with Lido’s Andy Hill receiving a caution for his protests.
Port Talbot’s night would soon to a turn for the worse however when Cochlin clashed with Carl Payne in the 28th minute, resulting in the defender picking up a second yellow card and moments later David Brooks was controversially dismissed by Bryn Markhamn-Jones for dissent, with Mark Jones’ game plan in tatters.
Lido replied to their numerical superiority instantaneously with Daniel Sheehan’s whipped cross to the far post finding the head of Leon Jeanne as Andy Dyer’s side level on 30 minutes.
And Port Talbot readapted accordingly with Cortez Belle dropping into central defence behind a three-man midfield, with Afan Lido enjoying the majority of possession as they looked to break the Blues down.
Kristian Rogers was called upon to push out Daniel Sheehan’s stinging shot but as the half came to an end, Afan Lido found themselves unable to break down their stubborn hosts.
Carl Evans became the latest player to be cautioned as tensions showed no signs of cooling after the re-start, whilst Port Talbot continued to the thwart Lido in their attempts to go in front through the opening stages of the second-half. Paul Keddle epitomised Town’s efforts, blocking and clearing Kristian James’ seemingly goal-bound strike.
In a rare foray upfield, ex-Blue Craig Hanford cut out a Leigh De-Vulgt corner, whilst down the other end, a shot from another former Steelman, Krisitan James whistled wide past the post. The game briefly became end-to-end with a growing sense that either side could fashion a second goal but the Lido would strike a killer blow to Port Talbot’s hopes inside the final ten minutes.
Leon Jeanne picked the ball up from just outside the area before drilling a low, left-footed shot, beyond the reach of Kristian Rogers as Afan Lido’s numerical advantage finally paid dividends in the 82nd minute.
Two minutes from the time Cortez Belle added to the Mark Jones’ woes becoming the third player to see red, for obstruction, with Jones himself being sent from the Port Talbot dugout.
PORT TALBOT TOWN 1-2 AFAN LIDO
Leon Jeanne 30’, 82’ Martin Rose 17’
Port Talbot: Kristian Rogers, Nicky Holland, Paul Keddle, Gareth Phillips (Sacha Walters 85′), Leigh De-Vulgt (Aaron Biddescombe 85′), Paul Cochlin, Lee John, Dylan Blain, Martin Rose (Richard Greaves 79′), Cortez Belle, David Brookes
Afan Lido: Chris Curtis, Daniel Sheehan, Kristian James, Craig Hanford, Carl Evans, Anthony Finselbach (Shane Williams 71′), Daniel Thomas (Liam Hancock 90′+3), Carl Payne, Mark Jones (Adam Llewellyn 88′), Andy Hill, Leon Jeanne
Attendance: 285 Referee: Bryn Markham-Jones
All images courtesy of Gareth Elms