Saints Blast Belgrade
Barry Belgrade 2-5 St Athan
St Athan bounced back from last week’s opening day defeat with a bang to blast Belgrade 5-2 in a clinical display.
Captain marvel Jordan Mortimore notched 4 after veteran forward Craig Howells opened the scoring inside 30 seconds.
Saints saw three changes from last week as the injury bug continued to tear through the squad with Aaron Rogers (groin), Paul Lucas (ankle) and Ryan John (marriage) all ruled out. But along with Howells, Nicky Cox returned just two weeks after life changing surgery and will he/won’t he all rounder Leigh Lewis finally bought a new pair of boots and came into the side.
Saints couldn’t have made a better start after a frustrating afternoon last week, stealing possession from kick off, Kieran Ashton played in Josh Harfoot who fed Mortimore, his low ball across goal was met by Howells at the far post. A perfect start for Saints to stun the home side.
Belgrade tried to regain composure and saw a looping header over the bar minutes later and then a free kick fired well wide.
Belgrade looked to play out from the back but were clearly unsettled by the hustle and bustle of the away team. Centre halves Brad Young and Jamie Robinson were once again I’m fine form repelling anything that came at them if the opposition could get past Joe Laing putting out fires in front of them.
Finally Belgrade got the leveller as a through ball down their left saw their striker advance into the area to fire a low strike past Cox.
Saints looked to hit back right away as Harfoot saw a low strike well held by the keeper.
St Athan soon retook the lead as sleep deprived Tony Pugh burst into life with a probing run from right back, he exchanged a one two with Mortimore and drove into the area where he was bundled over and a penalty awarded. Mortimore dually dispatched and Saints were back in front.
Both sides saw chances wide as the half drew to a close.
The second period saw Belgrade gain foothold in the game and push to equalise again. The game ebbed and flowed, Belgrade saw efforts off target as Saints looked to counter. Pugh and Ashton combined to cross for Howells who headed over.
Saints were on the back foot and needed something to give them some breathing space.
That came in the form of a free kick about twenty five yards out. Mortimore stepped up and there was never any doubt as the skipper fired the set piece into the net.
The stuffing seemed to be knocked out of Belgrade and Saints capitalised. The excellent Pugh burst down the wing, exchanged passes with Karl Steel and then played the ball in from the right flank to Mortimore, who dropped his shoulder and fizzed a low left footed effort passed the keeper for his hat trick.
Belgrade through caution to the wind and for once Sainta switched off defensively and a cross into the box was met by the head of the forward to pull one back.
Belgrade smelt a chance of a comeback with less than ten minutes to go but St Athan extinguished any hope with the final goal of the game. Cox delivered the ball forward into the path of Pugh who surged forward, he laid it off to Ashton and his pinpoint cross found Mortimore who delivered a cushioned header back across goal and it nestled into the net. His fourth of the afternoon.
A big win and response for St Athan, Saints produced a resolute, gritty and clinical performance with Pugh, Young, Robinson, Laing and Mortimore the stand outs.
Saints now have a two week break before they welcome Rhoose to the village.
St Athan: Cox, Pugh, Harfoot, Young, Robinson, Laing, Steel, Ashton, Lewis, Howells, Mortimore.
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