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Croeserw Athletic recorded their first ever victory in the Port Talbot & District Premier League with a 4-3 win against Margam YC in dreadful conditions, with 2 goals from Nicky Walton, 1 from Simon Gibbs  & another from Jared Lee.

First Half Report

Croeserw Athletic started with a new 3-5-2 formation, with Geraint Ferguson back in goals. Kyle Bowen, Nicky Johnson & Liam Reynolds were the starting center halves for the first time since last season. Ashley Bamford & Michael Williams played at right & left wing backs while Dewi Hopkins was partnered with Lee Hughes for the first time since their summer signings. Nicky Walton fitted in behind the strikers, while Jared Lee & Simon Gibbs were up top.

Croeserw Athletic started strongly despite the weather conditions, and managed to play the balls out to the wings, avoiding the center of the field which was basically a pool of mud. With a few heavy tackles coming from both sides, the players done well to control themselves.

The Athletic managed to get the ball in the back of the net early on through a well worked play by Dewi Hopkins & Michael Williams. Hopkins played the ball into Williams, who run 3 yards along the line into the box, getting enough space to get a cross to the back post. Jared Lee was unmarked and got the free header into the back of the net, his first of the Season, 1-0 Athletic.

Margam, needing a quick reply to stay in the game managed to score within 3 minutes later. A neat run by the Margam number 8 created space for himself and got the shot away. The ball skidding off the wet surface slipped away from Geraint Ferguson, finding the bottom right hand corner, 1-1 with only 10 minutes played.

Within 10 minutes later, Croeserw Athletic found the back of the net and regained the lead. A 25 yard shot from Nicky Walton went straight to the keeper, but the wet ball slipped out of his hands and through his legs and into the back of the net, Croeserw Athletic now 2-1 up.

Croeserw Athletic kept pushing for the 3rd goal to go into the 2nd half with the advantage, and soon got their wish. The rain kept lashing down causing the field to become more like a lake than a football pitch. A low driven corner by Dewi Hopkins to the front post found Liam Reynolds who’s shot got blocked on the line, followed up by Simon Gibbs who forced the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.

Second Half Report

Start of the 2nd half came with a message from the referee stating that if the Rain persisted, he will have to call the match off and will have to be played at a later date. Luckily the rain held off for the full 45 minutes, and the game went ahead.

 With much of the pressure coming from Margam this half, Croeserw Wing backs Michael Williams & Ashley Bamford were forced further back into their own half covering the wingers. Margam were unable to turn their dominant 2nd half start into goals and it soon come with a price to pay.

 Croeserw Athletic found the back of the net with 60 minutes played once again. Nicky Walton once again was the goal scorer. An easy over the top ball from Dewi Hopkins once again forced the keeper off his line who was unable to collect the ball cleanly. Nicky forced the error between the keeper and defender and managed to slot the ball into the back of the net, his 3rd in 2 games.

 Athletic stepped off the pedal and gave away the ball cheaply to Margam, and gave away a cheap 2nd goal for Margam. Kyle Bowen unable to get the ball from out of his feet inside his own 18 yard box was caught by the Margam Striker, who stripped the ball from him and slotted it into the bottom left hand corner of Geraint Ferguson’s goal, 4-2 with 15 minutes still to play.

Margam kept piling on the pressure and soon paid off. Margam’s 3rd goal came from lack of communication within the back with Croeserw Athletic. A pass slipped through a gap between the defenders enabled to striker to run off his marker and get an easy one on one with Fergsuon. The ball was calmly slotted in to the bottom corner.

Margam were unable to find a 4th goal out of the game which could have gone either way due to the weather conditions. Croeserw Athletics next fixture is home to Inter Grove on Saturday 17th September 2011.

Final Score – Croeserw Athletic 4-3 Margam YC

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