Pontardawe Town 2, Dinas Powys 1
by Peter King, Dinas Powys FC
Once again Dinas had their keeper James Curtin to thank for keeping them in the game in a somewhat lack-lustre first half where the hosts beat the offside trap on several occasions for one on one situations with Curtin but he pulled off some remarkable saves.
The hosts' Rhodri Dykes got an early cross in from the left which Curtin gathered and he also took a dangerous looking corner high in the air.
Dinas began to settle and young right back Rhys Harlin was feeding some good balls down the line for Luke Swaffield. King Junior Mwedzo was played through but was adjudged just offside. The visitors did win a couple of corners, taken by Nicky Bruce, the second of which hit the near post and was cleared by the defence.
Robert Shannon and Liam Griffiths were causing the Dinas back four problems with their pace and they both had shots which narrowly missed the target. Curtin then made a fine save from Josh Dorward who looked to be offside but the referee played on. However, on the half hour mark, after some sloppy Dinas defending Kyle Cockings headed home the opener.
Then from a Pontardawe corner Shannon was left one on one with Curtin but he made a fantastic reaction save. Just a few minutes later the Dinas shot stopper made a superb diving save to keep the score at 1-0, this time from Griffiths.
Just a minute from the interval Harlin tripped Dykes in the box, the referee pointing straight to the penalty spot. Mark Jones stepped up to smash the ball into the net for 2-0. At the other end Adam Jones was fouled when well placed, Nicky Bruce taking the kick from some 25 yards but didn't make the most of it, the ball hitting the wall and the first half ended with Dinas not really giving a good account.
After a stern team talk Dinas came out with a lot more purpose and determination. Mwedzo was working really hard down the middle trying to create chances, he layed a fine ball out to Swaffield, but he over-hit the cross which went out for a goal kick.
Manager Lee Saunders sensed there could be something in the game for Dinas, he pushed Rhys Palmer up top to support Mwedzo and made two early substitutions, Harland and Swaffield were replaced by Mamadu Banguraso and Mason Ah-Mun and Dinas began to get on top. The passing and tackling were better and Banguraso was making some good runs down the right wing.
The hosts then made two substitutions, Dan Williams and Josh Roberts taking the field. Pontardawe were still dangerous at times and a tremendous strike by Shannon hit the cross bar, Curtin dropping on the rebound. With 10 minutes remaining the hosts brought on their final sub Steve Hughes. Just a minute later Dinas were awarded a free kick some 22 yards out and central, up stepped 17-year-old Mwedzo to curl a beautiful shot into the top corner for 2-1. Steffan Ross then played a ball through to King he got a shot on target just inside the post but it didn't quite have enough power on it and Steve Reeve made the save at full stretch.
Dinas kept the pressure on forcing two more corners but time ran out and they returned from Pontardawe empty handed.
Dinas squad: 1 James Curtin, 2 Rhys Harlin, 3 Nicky Bruce, 4 Joe Briscombe, 5 James Marr (c), 6 Steffan Ross, 7 Keiron James, 8 Adam Johns, 9 King Junior Mwedzo (1), 10 Rhys Palmer, 11 Luke Swaffield, 12 Mason Ah-Mun, 14 Mamadu Banguraso.
This Saturday, October 17, Dinas entertain West End at The Murch, kick off 2.30pm.