Steelmen strike early to see off Merthyr
August 11, 2013 1 Comment
TOWN LEFT UNPUNISHED TO CLAIM NERVY WIN
PORT TALBOT TOWN claimed a 2-1 win against Merthyr Town at the GenQuip Stadium on Saturday as the Blues brought their pre-season campaign to close.
A blistering start from Town proved enough to see the game through, though in truth, they were on the back-foot for much of the game against a wasteful Merthyr side.
Strike duo Martin Rose and Rhys Griffiths were paired together for the first time in pre-season but it was trialist Ben Swallows who was pivotal to Port Talbot’s fine start, making an immediate impression, as the the Steelmen raced into a two-goal lead.
Swallows put Port Talbot in front when he squeezed a low shot in between the near post and Merthyr goalkeeper Craig Morris in only the second-minute.
And the quick-footed winger turned from scorer to provider soon after, feeding the ball into the path of overlapping full-back James Bloom, who slotted the ball past Morris to extend Port Talbot’s lead with just five minutes on the clock.
Merthyr looked shell-shocked for the first 15 minutes and it took Matthew Harris’ effort straight at Steven Hall for the visitors to register a shot on target – a feat the Martyrs would struggle to repeat for much of the first-half.
Despite an explosive start, Port Talbot lost their grasp midway through the opening half and it was Merthyr who were dominant. The Steelmen’s two-goal lead remained intact at the break thanks only to the poor finishing in front of the Port Talbot goal from the visitors.
Merthyr spurned a string of opportunities and left Port Talbot unpunished with Ian Traylor and former-Blue Kerry Morgan squandering a hat-full of chances, with the 2-0 scoreline at half-time flattering Scott Young’s men.
Merthyr continued to dominate after the break and Morgan came a whisker away from finally replying as his effort crashed against the Port Talbot crossbar.
It wasn’t until the tempo had slowed, with both side’s making changes, did Port Talbot begin to show composure in possession and look like wrestling control away from their opponents.
Substitute goalkeeper Kerry Nicholas was quickly tested by Traylor and was equal to the striker’s half-volley with an acrobatic save to palm the ball away.
Merthyr were finally rewarded for their extended dominance when Ashley Evans handled inside the area, allowing Ryan Prosser to convert from penalty spot with a powerful drive down the middle of the goal.
The Martyrs showed no signs of waning having pulled a goal back, as Port Talbot dug deep to hold onto their slender lead. And with six minutes remaining Prosser could’ve added a second but headed over from six yards as Port Talbot held out to claim an unconvincing win.
Director of Football Scott Young was clearly disappointed as his side’s encouraging pre-season campaign ended with an unconvincing victory.
“Our biggest downside was that we went two goals up too early and that thought it was going to be comfortable. We took our foot of the gas and Merthyr definitely deserved to get something out of the game and probably deserved to win it.”
PORT TALBOT TOWN 2-1 MERTHYR TOWN
Swallows 2’, Bloom 5’, Prosser 74’