St Athan 2-2 Island Marine
Jordan Mortimore and Joe Laing bagged the goals but ten man Saints were held by a resolute Island Marine as Paul Lucas saw red.
St Athan responded well after a poor display last week despite a cup win, with the returning captain Jordan Mortimore, village number one Nicky Cox, Lee Reid and Josh Harfoot. Deon Garrison also came into the midfield.
A cagey opening saw Saints start well with Paul Lucas’ good feet teeing up Craig Howells for a stinging drive well saved.
Chances were few and far between and Marine saw an effort from the right wing narrowly wide.
Finally the breakthrough came as Lucas broke into the area only to see the ball smoothed by the keeper the same time as being scythed down. The referee pointed to the spot. Mortimore stepped up and calmly dispatched the penalty to put Saints in front with his seventh goal of the season.
With Saints in the ascendancy they were brought back down with a bump. A soft free kick given away was whipped to the far post for the Marine forward to head the away side level.
The first half ended perfectly poised in a game that could go either way.
St Athan had the ideal start in the second period as they retook the lead minutes in.
Cox’s pumped ball forward was chased down by Lucas, who set it back to substitute Karl Steel to whip in a cross, Mortimore looked for an overhead kick but the ball dropped to Joe Laing and he struck low into the bottom corner with a rare goal for the hardworking midfield anchor man.
Both sides saw good chances come and go as Kieran Ashton shot straight at the away keeper before Marine saw a gilt edge chance wide when it looked easier to direct the ball into the net.
Then the turning point in the game as Paul Lucas received his marching orders after a second yellow card, Saints down to ten.
St Athan, however, despite the numerical disadvantage had an excellent chance to put the game to bed as Mortimore saw his effort well saved and Steel then had the rebound cleared off the line.
Leigh Lewis then came off the bench, he was released down the left and the keeper came flying off his line, Lewis beat the keeper on the left touchline and sent the ball goalwards only for the Marine defender to narrowly clear the ball over the bar.
But Island Marine dug in and used the ball well in the middle of the park and finally fashioned an excellent chance as the ball was slipped through for their forward to finish excellently one on one for their second equaliser.
Now it was Marine looking more likely to grab a winner as they passed and moved well and their pace up top caused problems but they couldn’t create a clear cut chance.
Saints saw a corner flash across goal and should have converted late on but the game concluded as a draw.
An entertaining battle of a game with both sides impressing during periods. The point keeps St Athan second after a weather ravaged weekend that only saw one other game played in the three divisions.
St Athan travel to the Buttrills next weekend to play Barry Albion in the Barry Cup second round.
St Athan: Cox, Pugh, Harfoot, Robinson, Reid, Laing, Garrison, Howells, Ashton, Lucas, Mortimore. Subs – Steel, R.Lewis, L.Lewis.
Many thanks to our sponsors Llantwit Car Valet and Kinsale Stone Co (Wales) Ltd. If your company is interested in sponsoring the club contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org