Island Marine 1-3 St Athan
Top scorer Josh Morgan’s double and skipper Jordan Mortimore’s header secured the points for Saints at Maslin Park in a hard fought encounter.
St Athan came into the game without Gareth Richards, Nicky Cox and Jonathan Ashton from last week. But welcomed back club stalwart Richie Humphreys, Josh Harfoot and Bradley Young.
Island marine enjoyed the better of the early exchanges but were restricted to long range efforts that failed to trouble Deon Garrison in Saints goal.
St Athan finally began to settle and showed some near football but couldn’t carve out an opening.
Marine kept probing and almost reaped rewards as a effort struck the post.
Rewards were reaped, however, moments later as the ball dropped to their number 16 thirty yards out, he was able to flick the ball up and hit a stunning strike to put Marine into the lead.
Marine were buoyed and almost doubled their lead but for a good save from Garrison.
Saints manager Bill Laing made some positional changes within the side and it paid dividends soon after.
Mark Drysdale delivered a teasing cross into the area, collected by Josh Morgan, the home keeper came crashing through him to get the ball but took man first and penalty was awarded. Morgan dispatched the spit kick for his 22nd of the season.
The game was a real battle now with both sides looking to get at each other.
Marine fashioned some good chances but opted for long range efforts that were wide or well held by Garrison.
Saints started to play some football and Drysdale played in Harfoot on the overlap, his centre was fired over by Morgan.
Saints closed the half with Jordan Mortimore clipping the post from a free kick.
St Athan started the second period better than the first and that man Morgan saw an ambitious effort from the right of the area wide.
Morgan continued to cause problems, he ghosted past two defenders into the area but couldn’t quite get the connection and the keeper held it comfortably.
Marine were playing some good football of their own and after some great interplay saw a rasping strike wide of the mark.
Saints once again made some tactical changes as they probed to take the lead now with Reece Lewis and Joe Laing working tirelessly in the middle of the mark to set the stage.
Morgan’s header off Drysdale’s cross was was well held, then after good work from Tony Pugh, his long cross was stabbed narrowly wide by Morgan, before Karl Steel’s long range effort was off target.
Then the breakthrough. Lewis’s corner was half cleared, Steel’s shot was blocked and ricocheted into the air, the home keeper fumbled, Morgan’s effort was cleared off the off line but Mortimore rose to head in rebound on 75 minutes.
Marine responded and won a free kick in a dangerous area, the strike was good but Garrison showed great hands to hold it well.
Saints secured the points with minutes remaining, Tony Charles released Morgan with fine long pass, Morgan took the ball in his stride on the left hand side and produced an excellent finish to loop the ball over the keeper and into the net.
A fine three points for St Athan against a good Island Marine outfit.
Next up for Saints is a tough test at home to Penarth Town.
St Athan : Garrison, Drysdale, Young, Mortimore, Humphreys, Laing, Lewis, Charles, Harfoot, Steel, Morgan. Subs used – Pugh.
We’d like to thank our sponsors Owens Motor Services, Llandow for their tremendous support of the club. Also many thanks to Diving & Marine Engineering, Llantwit Valet & Car Wash and Kinsale Stone Co (Wales) Ltd.