On a beautiful sunny afternoon, Treharris Athletic Western entertained Penrhiwceiber Rangers in a 1-1 draw.
Rangers had already beaten the hosts in a cup game earlier this season and Treharris were looking to re-address the balance and were hoping to emerge victorious in the league clash between the two sides.
The first half was under way and it was the visitors who nearly capitalised first on the fifth minute mark, the Treharris number 7 got tangled up with the ball at his feet, Rangers intercepted and surged past the hosts but their attack came to nothing.
12 minutes had passed and in truth neither team had created anything of note in the early exchanges, a defensive back header from Treharris nearly caught the home keeper out but he managed to smother the ball to prevent it going for a corner to the visitors.
The game livened up a few minutes later when a yellow card was shown to the visitors after a heavy tackle near the touchlines, immediately prior to this, the hosts’ Alex Jones missed a great opportunity after some lovely interplay by Treharris. However, Treharris did take the initiative and took the lead after 15 minutes when a powerful drive was parried by the visitors’ keeper only for Alex Jones to follow through and side foot the ball into the goal.
Treharris at this stage seemed to have the momentum with them and forced two corners just before the 25 minute mark, both of which came to nothing and some great defending by the visitors saw the ball cleared on both occasions. The game was then interrupted as the referee appeared to take a blow to his arm, and fall to the ground. It was slightly unclear whether he would be able to continue to referee the game, but after receiving treatment and clutching his arm he bravely carried on and the game was soon back underway.
Penrhiwceiber were doing their best to attack but in truth created very little and the home team were also struggling to create clear openings. On the 30 minute mark there was an audacious effort by the home team with an attempted lob on the keeper narrowly flashing past the crossbar with the keeper back peddling in an attempt to stop the lob. Minutes later, it was to be the visitors who played some superb pass and move football, resulting in a great cross from near the touchline which was met by a glancing header, only for the ball to whizz past the home keeper’s post.
Treharris prior to the interval launched an attack, and some good build up play resulted in a powerful shot by the hosts’ number 9 only to be stopped by the visitors goalkeeper. Suddenly, the ball bounced back to the edge of the box and a Mark Hughes style bicycle kick was attempted but to no avail as the ball flew over the crossbar.
After the break, it was to be the hosts however who started off the brighter and managed to get the ball in the back of the net on the 48 minute mark, only for the referee to disallow the goal for offside. A few minutes later, Treharris broke forward and some good passing and interchanging forced the visitors goalkeeper to come forward and smother a goal mouth opportunity. Penrhiwceiber quickly launched a quick counter attack and were unlucky not to score themselves but a shot was blazed over and the game on the 53rd minute mark remained 1-0 to Treharris.
Penrhiwceiber were now pressing looking for an equaliser, and several minutes later some good pressure resulted in two corners for the visitors. Treharris however defended them both superbly and the corners both resulted in defensive clearances for the hosts.
Both teams had struggled throughout the game to create too many clear opportunities; the wingers on a narrow pitch were cutting back in running into defenders rather than creating space and crossing the ball to the frontmen.
However, it was to be the visitors who grabbed an equaliser with around eight minutes remaining.A superb pullback saw the ball smashed into the back of the net by Rangers’ number 10, it was what the visitors had deserved for their efforts, but the striker was booked minutes later due to the post goal celebrations seeing the player’s shirt removed.
The hosts seemed to be rattled by some of the referees decisions and the final five minutes was a frantic affair with both teams now opening up and trying to grab a late winner.
Despite late pressure from Treharris, the game ended 1-1. The game was marred however by one or two players involved in a scuffle near the tunnel steps and staff and officials had to separate the players and calm the situation down.
As always an enjoyable afternoon at the Athletic ground and a draw seemed to be right result as both teams struggled to create openings.