Merthyr veterans have to settle for hard-fought draw
LLANTRISANT VETERANS ............................... 2 MERTHYR VETERANS 2
LLANTRISANT were quickly into their stride in Sunday’s Over 50s Wales Veterans League clash at Tonyrefail.
Huw Taylor burst through only to fire over the crossbar. Then a powerful run by Paul Jones for Merthyr was halted just outside the penalty area.
Play swung from end to end on a chopped-up and soggy pitch which did not suit Merthyr’s style of passing.
Merthyr should have scored on 15 minutes. Keith Williams found Carl Lewis on the left and the ball went to Paul Otway alone at the far post with the goal at his mercy. But he sliced his shot wide of the post.
Merthyr were having most of the possession and looked comfortable but were jolted by a Llantrisant counter-attack which forced a corner on the right.
Andrew Owen’s drilled-in cross found Taylor unmarked on the six yard box to easily head past Terry Collins in the Merthyr goal.
Taylor almost added to the score but was foiled by a fine save by Collins.
Minutes later Merthyr were denied an equaliser. A Keith Williams’ cross from the right was met firmly by the head of Otway to give goalkeeper Robbie Ryan no chance.
But joy turned to despair when the referee harshly adjudged Otway to have impeded a Llantrisant defender.
The second half followed the same pattern with Merthyr playing possession football, and Llantrisant using long-ball tactics utilising the pace of Pepe Mele and Peter Shilton.
Williams and Otway went close to scoring before an equaliser came midway through the half.
A corner from the right was headed by Otway to Lewis who finished from the six -yard line.
Llantrisant hit back and a long clearance from defence found Pepe unmarked in the Merthyr half but his surging run was halted when he was brought down in the penalty area and Owen powerfully drove home the spotkick.
Merthyr were not to be denied and equalised with another penalty after Otway was brought down. Williams scored by sending the ball into the corner of the net.
The away side continued to press but a resolute Llantrisant defence refused to buckle under heavy pressure. But this was a good point for Merthyr who were missing several key players.
Continental have now won the league title after beating Swansea 55 2-0. Their team include former Cardiff City and Merthyr Tydfil star Roger Gibbins.
Merthyr are in seventh place with two wins, three draws and three losses.