St Athan 3-2 Island Marine
(20/8/16 @ St Athan Community Centre Field)
St Athan got their season off to a winning start despite a late Island Marine comeback threatening to spoil the day.
Last seasons runners up had raced into a 3-0 first half lead but two second half goals by the away side set up a nervy finish.
Saints started well and found themselves in front quickly. James Austin’s quick throw caught the away defence napping, Jordan Mortimore shrugged off the defender to race away and finish sublimely.
Island Marine looked to take the game to the home side and forced a corner, Nicky Cox in goal for Saints claimed the ball with ease. Cox’s distribution found Austin and his diagonal ball put Josh Morgan in on goal and he finished emphatically into the top right hand corner of the net.
Saints were in command now and looked to further their lead but seemed to take their foot off the gas.
The home side found the spark they needed as Mortimore was onto a flick in midfield, he in turn fed Morgan who cleverly lifted the ball over the keeper and the covering defender on the line. 3-0 with 35 minutes on the clock.
The game looked to be over already but Island Marine wouldn’t lay down. The away side responded with a header wide after a well worked move and then struck the post after more good football.
Saints went in 3-0 up and in firm control.
But then the second half happened and it was as if St Athan dropped into cruise control.
A tame opening fifteen minutes of the second period saw Saints switch off mentally and a fine finish from the away forward pulled one back for Island Marine.
Saints were rattled and Island Marine looked to take advantage of errors by the home side but couldn’t quite force Cox into a meaningful save.
With Island Marine looking to push on Saints attempted to hit them on the counter attack late on to seal the points with Morgan firing wide off Mortimore’s flick.
Then a missed clearance saw the away forward snatch a second back with five minutes to go, could the comeback be completed!?
Island Marine pushed for the late leveller with St Athan hanging on. Saints however held on for the opening day win.
Despite all three points St Athan will know they can perform a lot better and they will have to next week when they visit the impressive Vale United.
St Athan: Cox, Austin, L.Lewis, Charles, Drysdale, Ashton, R.Lewis, Wilkin, Pugh, Morgan, Mortimore. Subs – Young on 55, Laing on 65.
Meanwhile the second team lost 4-1 to Cadoxton Imps, Saints found themselves two goals down despite creating chances. Colin George headed in for a life line but two more for the home side in the second half sealed the win.
St Athan B: Harry, Morgans, Wolfe, Campbell, Cleave, Rogers, Williams, O’Brien, George, Howells, Morgan. Subs – Hughes, Richards, Watson, Pickering.