Action from the Match (Port Talbot Town)
RYAN Green, Adam Wright and Miles John were all on target within nine second-half minutes to cancel out a two-goal deficit – but Port Talbot were still forced to settle for a draw against Biggleswade Town on Saturday, writes Matthew Burgess.
The Southern Premier outfit made it three apiece with just five minutes remaining in a topsy-turvy second-half at the Carlsberg Stadium.
Rhys Griffiths was named in the Port Talbot starting eleven for the first time since rejoining the club this summer, where he completed 45 minutes with no reaction to a recent calf strain.
Traffic delays on route to Bedfordshire resulted in a delayed kick-off and after sharpening up to recover from a sloppy opening, the Steelmen dominated proceedings in a goalless first half, playing their increasingly familiar short-passing football.
It was the returning Griffiths who came closest to forging an opener for Port Talbot, when his near-post header was instinctively cleared off the line, following a string of corners.
But it was the hosts who spurned the best chance to take the lead, when a mazy dribble into the box from Sam Reed ended with the forward shooting wide across the goal.
Port Talbot’s hopes of building on their first-half platform were dashed soon after the restart. Half-time substitute Kerry Nicholas’ kick landed straight to winger George Smith, who crossed from the right for Brett Donnelly to head Biggleswade in front.
Worse soon followed when Shebazz Baidoo reacted fastest inside the area to pounce on Alex Witham’s rebounded attempt, as Biggleswade extending their lead.
Port Talbot settled in order to regain control over a contest which had dramatically slipped away from them and Miles John hinted of the drama that was set to unfold, as his curling effort floated beyond the outstretched goalkeeper and narrowly over the top corner.
Ryan Green scored for the Steelmen (Port Talbot Town)
As Port Talbot’s dominance continued to grow in the Biggleswade half, a loose ball inside the area saw Ryan Green strike to pull a goal back. The momentum then continued to tip in the Steelmen’s favour, as Adam Wright cut in off the left, to follow up with precise drive low into the bottom corner, to put Port Talbot all-square.
Wright was again involved when Port Talbot completed the comeback. Wright’s shot found deflected out and found its way to Miles John, who gratefully got himself on the scoresheet for the first-time as a Town player, as Scott Young’s side finally went ahead.
Individual errors continued to haunt both teams as the game wore on and Biggleswade thought they had levelled when Witham’s effort smashed against the post.
But with the five minutes remaining, Biggleswade did manage to reply, with a sixth goal of the afternoon, when Dave Iwediuno nicked the ball off Green before charging down the left-flank, combining with Witham for Jordan Ivy-Ward to stab home a Biggleswade equaliser.
Scott Young was left disappointed with the aspects of his side’s second-half display was encouraged by Port Talbot’s dominance in possession and character.
“There’s still a lot of work still to do but I’m happy with where we are. It’s at a stage where we are looking at the finer detail and we definitely got some of it right in our possession
“We came in from the first-half feeling the opposite from how we felt on Wednesday [against Cardiff]. I was quite happy with our possession though we were a bit sloppy in the first 15-minutes, but that could easily be put down to the travelling and our late arrival.”
“We then came out in the second-half and lost our shape and found ourselves 2-0 down. But to give credit, to go 3-2 ahead and they showed great character to get back on top of the game.
“There’s still a lot of work still to do but I’m happy with where we are. It’s at a stage where we are looking at the finer detail and we definitely got some of it right in our possession.”