Athletic let a 1-0 lead slip in what was a thrilling local derby against Glyncorrwg Hall at Ynyscorrwg Park on a cold Saturday Afternoon.
First Half Report
Athletic lined up with a fresh looking team, with the revisited 3-5-2 formation making a return. Top goal scorer Nicky Llewellyn was unable to play, which paved the way for a new partnership in the middle of the park.
Geraint Ferguson played in goals once again for Athletic, while Liam Reynolds & Captain Nicky Johnson welcomed back Michael Coates into the back 3 as center half. Kyle Bowen stepped up to the Center of Midfield for the 2nd time this season, with Michael Williams & Josh Thomas partnering each other for the first time in the starting line-up.
Simon Gibbs was a welcomed left winger with Lee Rees playing right Midfield. Nigel Williams & Dewi Hopkins were the surprise partnership strikers for this game.
Croeserw Athletic started strongly with a much younger team compared to the Glyncorrwg Team which had a lot of experienced footballers including Michael Enoch. Athletic showed a lot of energy throughout the first 5 minutes, winning the second ball consistently which they failed to do the week before.
They managed to test the Glyncorrwg Keeper early on many times, but failed to find the back of the net. Glyncorrwg were unable to get past a strong defensive effort with Geraint Ferguson not having much to do.
Athletic found a breakthrough in the 13th minute with Nigel Williams nodding home a cross by brother Michael Williams from 2 yards. A well worked play between Dewi Hopkins, Josh Williams & Michael Williams found enough time for Michael Williams to find his brother free at the back post.
Croeserw continued to pile a pressure on a strong Glyncorrwg back 4, causing problems for them but failing to find a second goal and relieve some pressure which undoubtedly would come at some point in the game.
Glyncorrwg Equalised in the 32nd minute with a freak goal. A free kick given away 10 yards inside the Glyncorrwg Half found its way into the back of the net after Ferguson was spotted off his line. A 60 yard long ball went straight over every player to the shock of the Croeserw players. Glyncorrwg back in the game.
Croeserw Athletic continued to put pressure on the experienced Glyncorrwg side by firing long shots where ever possible. Josh Thomas doing what he does best by trying to shock the keeper with a 30 yard strike but failed to do so. Athletic were the best they’ve been for a while, but failed to turn pressure into goals. The half ended 1-1, with everything to play for.
Second Half Report
Glyncorrwg looked much more composed after the break, and willing to play football for the first time in the game. Athletic were suffering a lot of pressure at the back which forced the wingers further back than they would have liked.
With the pace of Simon Gibbs & Lee Rees, Athletic were able to focus mainly on counter attacking their much slower opposing full backs.
Athletic thought they found a way through in the 65th minute after what many thought should have been a penalty, but the referee ruling a Penalty out and awarding a free kick just outside the area. Athletic players were feeling aggrieved but had to go get on with the game.
The free kick was taken my Kyle Bowen and driven at chest level across the box but all 5 Athletic players inside the area failed to get a touch which would have made it 2-1.
Athletic were soon put under pressure with a counter attack by Glyncorrwg. ‘Corrwg played a few one two’s before finding themselves in front of goal. A ball into the 6 yards box found the defence out of position and Geraint Ferguson nowhere to be soon, only for the Glyncorrwg Striker to hit the ball wide.
Athletic coped well under pressure to a much more experienced Glyncorrwg side, and managed to apply their own pressure in the dying minutes, only to see a cross go straight over every players head in the box, and out for a throwing.
Final Score: Glyncorrwg 1-1 Croeserw Athletic
Man Of The Match: Simon Gibbs