Port Talbot Town in Ireland: Day Two
July 16, 2012
Port Talbot enjoyed a good workout in their final game at the Iveagh Grounds with a comfortable 6-0 victory over a very young Bohemian side, to win the third-place play-off on Sunday.
Three goals either side of the interval confirmed Town as comfortable winners with Rhys Griffiths netting twice, in a game where, in truth, the result was never in doubt.
Griffiths started his second game in two-days, this time alongside Adam Wright. Richards continued in goal and Leigh De-Vulgt and Keiron Coles were brought into the defence with Cortez Belle and James Bloom, who operated at left-back. Carl Payne and Lewis Harlin remained in the Port Talbot midfield, as did Daniel Thomas and David Brooks. Jeff White – scorer in Saturday’s penalty defeat to Ballymena – sat out after picking up a groin strain pre-match.
The young Irish side found themselves under immediate pressure from the Steelmen with Rhys Griffiths forcing an early corner after seeing his shot blocked, and wide-men David Brooks and Daniel Thomas combined well, only for the Bohemian keeper to punch clear Leigh De-Vulgt’s resulting cross.
Port Talbot’s best passages of play continued to come from the flanks – Thomas again tested the opposition defence, this time with a mazy run which saw the number 11 side-step the last defender before firing the ball wide past the post. And Lewis Harling powered a shot from distance off-target as the Blues continued to test Bohemian’s resolve.
In a rare attack of their own, the Irish youngsters flighted a free-kick over from 25-yards out as Craig Richards leaving untested. But moments later, Port Talbot were able to break the deadlock and two goals in two minutes saw Mark Jones’ side take control of the game.
Daniel Thomas delivered the ball into the box from the right for Adam Wright to flick the ball onto the back post where Rhys Griffiths was left to apply the finish – his first since returning to the club, on 18-minutes.
And two-minutes later, Thomas was again the provider, crossing for Griffiths to double the Port Talbot lead.
Adam Wright was denied a chance to extend the Blues’ winning margin, finding himself through against the last Bohemian defender, after an excellent, probing long kick from Craig Richards. Another chance went begging minutes later when Thomas fizzed an inviting diagonal low ball into the opposition box but just beyond the reach of outstretched forwards Griffiths and Wright.
A third goal was certainly in the offing however and duly arrived before half-time – Carl Payne’s effort proved too hot to handle for the Bohemian keeper, allowing Brooks to compose himself and finish as Port Talbot closed the half period with a commanding lead and looking comfortable with the ball for extended periods.
Changes at half-time saw Daniel Sheehan, Paul Keddle, Sacha Walters, Lee John, and Dylan Blain introduced and five minutes after the restart, Walters added Port Talbot’s fourth of the afternoon as the Blues dominated proceedings, with Rhys Griffiths notably dominant in the air.
The introduction of Dwayne Saunders saw Mark Jones revert his side to a 4-3-3 with Saunders playing centrally, supported by Daniel Thomas and Adam Wright either side ahead of the three-man midfield, composed of John, Blain and Walters.
Saunders was able to carry on where Griffiths had left off, using his height advantage to win a series of flick-on’s and right-back Daniel Sheehan drilled home a fifth goal – his first since his switch from Afan Lido – in the 74th-minute, with Daniel Thomas recording his third assist of the game.
Thomas capped off an impressive performance teeing up Cortez Belle late on to head the Town into a convincing 6-0 lead.
Pictures to follow.