Penrhiwceiber Rangers 1, Dinas Powys 2
by Peter King, Dinas Powys FC
With the majority of fixtures played on grass pitches falling foul of the weather Dinas travelled to Penrhiwceiber half expecting the referee to call the game off but, despite driving rain and a very heavy pitch the match went ahead.
The hosts settled first and won an early corner which was cleared and they continued to press for the first 10 minutes, the closest they came to scoring being a good through ball to Neil Evans but he shot wide.
Dinas began to settle and a ball out to Ryan Garland saw him close in on goal but he got underneath his shot which cleared the cross bar by some distance. Good work by Rhys Palmer put Adam Johns in on goal but he was crowded out by the Ceiber defence before he could get a shot away.
On the 15 minute mark Dinas were awarded a free kick just inside the Ceiber half, Nicky Bruce stepped up and hit a superb shot giving the Ceiber keeper Alex Bailey no chance, to open the scoring.
The hosts stepped up their work rate and had Dinas under pressure, forcing two corners which James Curtin, the Dinas keeper dealt with.
The visitors weathered the pressure and a superb through ball from Nathan Donnelly found Rhys Palmer who used his pace to get within striking distance but his effort was just wide of the left upright.
However Ceiber were looking dangerous at times winning two further corners which the Dinas defence dealt with. However on the 32 minute mark Brandon Davies received the ball on the edge of the Dinas area, side-stepped a tackle and hit a superb shot into the top corner of the net for the equaliser.
Dinas were dealt a further blow 5 minutes before the interval when Mason Ah-Mun pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Luke Swaffield and the half ended all square at 1-1 with Ceiber shading the possession.
Whatever the Dinas management team of Lee Saunders and Rob Bloxham said in their half time team talk certainly worked wonders as, apart from the first few minutes of the second half, Dinas got more and more on top creating numerous scoring opportunities as the pitch began to cut up and their superior fitness began to show.
James Marr had the first chance hitting a hard low shot just wide from 30 yards, and it was Marr again who hit the left upright a few minutes later and the Ceiber defence managed to scramble the ball away.
Then good link up play down the left wing and a good ball in to Adam Johns looked promising but he fluffed his shot in the atrocious conditions.
Dinas sensed the win was there for the taking and rang the changes, with 20 minutes of the half gone, Tom Edwards replaced Ryan Garland and a few minutes later the hard working Scott Muir made way for Adam Jones.
It was really backs to the wall time for Penrhiwceiber then as they visibly tired, and any time they did manage to play a ball forward, Donnelly and James Bloxham in particular were diving forward to head the ball back into Dinas possession.
Adam Jones soon got into the action for Dinas, squaring a ball to Johns but he was driven wide and his shot from an acute angle was just the wrong side of the right post.
Palmer then looked to have scored when a defender hit a ball against his legs and it rolled towards the goal-line but a defender just managed to hook it away.
With time running out it looked as if a draw was inevitable but, just a minute from time, Johns was chopped down in the box, the referee pointing straight to the penalty spot. Up stepped Bruce to slam the ball high into the net to a tremendous cheer from the travelling supporters, to give Dinas the win that their recent play has warranted.
Dinas squad: 1 James Curtin, 2 Rhys Harlin, 3 Mason Ah-Mun, 4 James Bloxham, 5 Nathan Donnelly, 6 James Marr (c), 7 Ryan Garland, 8 Nicky Bruce (2), 9 Scott Muir, 10 Adam Johns, 11 Rhys Palmer, 12 Tom Edwards, 14 Luke Swaffield, 15 Adam Jones, 16 Keiron James.
Next Saturday, 19th December, Croesyceiliog visit the Murch (weather permitting), 2pm kick off.