Neath 4-2 Aberystwyth Town 14th August 2011
Sam Roberts reviews the Eagles start to the Season at the Gnoll on Sunday
The new Welsh Premier League season began for Neath FC at the Gnoll with a deserved 4-2 victory over Aberystwyth Town.
One noticeable change for Neath was between the goalposts as Lee Kendall had to sit the game out through injury, instead Neath gave a debut to Chris Doran. The former Airbus keeper brought in to give the Eagles experience in goal whilst Kendall recovers from injury.
The home side opened superbly with attacking motives from the start and it didn’t take long for the Eagles to open their accounts for the season. Kerry Morgan was brought down on the edge of the box, and up stepped skipper Lee Trundle to curl home a superb free kick left footed into the corner. A great start for the home side who had taken the lead inside of three minutes.
The Eagles continued to attack the Aberystwyth defence with Chris Jones making a mazy run from the right and cutting inside, only to find his shot deflected wide for a corner. It was from this corner Neath increased their lead.
Kerry Morgan swinging in a superb corner from the left and after a scramble in the box the ball was deflected onwards off many bodies and found its way into the back of the net with the goal being credited to Paul Fowler. A well deserved second goal for the home side who dominated the opening 15 minutes.
The game wasn’t without controversy and on 18 minutes Sion James of Aberystwyth was dismissed. The defender going through the back of Trundles legs with a rather hard looking tackle that the referee deemed worthy of a straight red. The Seasiders aim for getting back into the game seemed to get a lot harder after this sending off.
However it was not long before the 10 men had something to celebrate after the away side pulled a goal back. Aberystwyth defender James McCarten struck a free kick from 25 yards into the right hand corner and beyond the dive of Doran. A rather superb free kick from the former Everton player.
McCarten’s beautiful strike may have gave the visitors hope of getting something out of the game but the away side’s joy was short lived as Neath regained their two goal advantage three minutes later. Luke Bowen scoring a great goal against his former employers. Bowen ran at the defence with menace and after out pacing the final defender he fired a powerful strike right footed into the far corner of the net. A great goal on Bowen’s Welsh Premier League debut for Neath and one which he can build on.
Neath continued their control of the game and came very close to increasing their lead. Kerry Morgan shot inches wide of the post and just minutes later, Chris Jones saw his curling strike from the left fly just over the goal. Minutes later, Lee Trundle attempted a strike from the half way line that looked as if it was going to dip in, but ended up just over the bar. An incredible display of dominance from the Eagles going into half time.
HALF TIME: Neath FC 3-1 Aberystwyth Town
The second half began with Neath again showing their attacking prowess, a minute into the second half Kerry Morgan, who had been impressing on the left wing all game cut inside on his right foot and struck a curling shot that went just over the Aberystwyth bar. Morgan wasn’t to be denied though and increased the Eagles lead three minutes later.
Superb play in the middle of the pitch by Neath with Adie Harris and Lee Trundle combining to put Morgan through one-on-one with the keeper, it was here that the tricky young forward pulled out a bit of magic as he cheekily lobbed the Aberystwyth keeper Cann to give Neath a 4-1 lead. A great finish by Morgan who looks to be continuing on from his successful pre season.
The game seemed to take a rather unsavoury turn after Neaths 4th goal, the flowing football seemed to die down as tackles came flying in and with them yellow cards started to flow. Three Aberystwyth players were shown yellow cards adding to the red card already shown to Sion James.
Even after the game had become a scrappy affair, the Neath front line looked very dangerous on the counter. Luke Bowen very nearly increasing Neath’s lead with a beautiful drive after a Lee Trundle pass. Bowen struck the ball extremely sweetly and it cannoned off the crossbar and out for a goal kick, the former Aberystwyth striker very unlucky not to score his second of the afternoon against his former side.
The visitors managed to score a second goal on 61 minutes. The home side with some scrappy defending from an Aberystwyth corner lead to James McCarten scoring his second goal for the Seasiders. Finding space at the back post McCarten planted a bullet header past Doran. The defender in all honesty looked to be the most dangerous goal threat on display for the away side on the day with a towering presence from corners and a good striking ability from free kicks.
And Chris Doran was very nearly picking the ball out of the net for the third time of the afternoon soon after, a fantastic strike from Kellaway on the volley from 25 yards out dipped and crashed against the Neath crossbar. A very lucky escape for the home side that were starting to look as if the loss of first choice keeper Kendall had slightly unsettled the defence.
The final few minutes continued to be a scrappy affair; with the game all but over the only major action was the yellow card of Neath substitute Garyn Preen. A final attempt from Luke Bowen to increase the lead flew over the bar and referee Dean John blew the whistle to end the first game of the season at the Gnoll.
FULL TIME – Neath FC 4-2 Aberystwyth Town
Neath FC Starting line up: Chris Doran, Ian Hillier, Jack Lewis, Kristian O’Leary, Kai Edwards, Paul Fowler, (Matty Collins, 70), Adie Harris, Chris Jones (Toby Jones, 80), Lee Trundle(C), Kerry Morgan (Garyn Preen, 72), Luke Bowen.
Subs not used: Kerry Nicholas, Matty Rees, Luke Cummings, Craig Hughes,
Goal scorers: Lee Trundle (3) Paul Fowler (13) Luke Bowen (30) Kerry Morgan (49)
Yellow Cards: Garyn Preen(87)
Red Cards: None
Aberystwyth Town Starting line up: Stephen Cann, Dave Swanick, Moses Barnett, James McCarten, Sion James, Wyn Thomas, Geoff Kellaway, Anthony Finselbach (Aneurin Thomas, 78), Lewis Codling (Krzysztof Nalborski, 71), Ricky Evans, Andy Parkinson.
Subs not used: Richard Morgan, Jonathan Evans, John Marsden, Kristian Jenkins.
Goal scorers: James McCarten (27, 61)
Yellow Cards: Ricky Evans (16), James McCarten(77), Wyn Thomas(90)
Red Cards: Sion James(18)
Referee: Dean John
Next at The Gnoll
Saturday 18 Feb 2012
Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League