Cowbridge Town 1-4 St Athan
Karl Steel was the hat trick hero as St Athan comprehensively defeated Cowbridge in this west vale derby. Joe Laing added the other with a deadly half volley, as the result keeps Saints top of the league.
Saints came into the game making one change from two weeks as Aaron Rogers came in for the injured Josh Harfoot.
Both sides had chances early with Cowbridge firing over and Leigh Lewis seeing a right footed effort palmed away.
St Athan soon had the lead as Nicky Cox’s ball forward saw Nathan Williams big header cleverly flicked on by Rogers for Steel to race onto and finish calmly. Great vision by Rogers.
Saints saw chances to double their lead come and go as Leigh Lewis and Jake Sutch fired over before Town saw a long range effort over the bar.
St Athan doubled their lead following a back to front move. Bradley Young extinguished a Cowbridge attack and played the ball back to James Andrews in Saints’ goal, Andrews long clearance fell to Steel who in turn pulled the ball back to Leigh Lewis, his looping cross hit the post and rebounded out to Laing who connected with a crisp half volley to see the ball sail into the net, from two yards. A rare and deserved goal for the hard working midfielder.
Town started to come back into the game and it took two exquisite last ditch tackles by Jordan Mortimore to put a halt to any kind of chance.
Cowbridge finally pulled one back before the break as a cross from left was nodded past Andrews despite the keepers best efforts to push the ball out.
Half time arrived with the game perfectly poised.
Saints came out full of energy for the second period and soon restored their two goal cushion.
Great work from Williams in the middle saw the ball break to Steel who produced a divine chip that beat the keeper all ends up for his second of the game.
Saints pushed to kill the game off as Mortimore saw his free kick over and Rogers flashed a shot across goal.
Town rallied but Saints back four restricted them to long range efforts.
St Athan soon finished the game as a contest as a poor defensive clearance fell to Leigh Lewis, his back heel into the path of Reece Lewis saw Reece produce a pin point perfect cross for Steel to clinically side foot volley past the keeper for his hat trick.
Town kept looking to compete and forced Andrews into a smart save to tip over before Andrews then had to palm away a free kick.
Saints controlled the final stages magnificently, Kieran Ashton came on and almost set up the fifth but Craig Howells narrowly hooked over and Williams shot wide from distance moments later.
A fine three points gained by St Athan in a potentially tricky fixture. Next week Saints travel to second place Rhoose.
St Athan : Andrews, Cox, Young, Mortimore, Laing, R.Lewis, Williams, L.Lewis, Sutch, Rogers, Steel. Subs – Ashton, Howells, Reid.
Many thanks to our sponsors Llantwit Car Valet and Kinsale Stone Co (Wales) Ltd.