Cambrian comeback seals narrow victory
Cambrian & Clydach Vale 5 v 4 West End
The youth team were back in action four days following their disappointing defeat at league leaders Pontardawe Town, and now faced a stern test against a West End team who had won the previous encounter 3-2.
Cam startedly slowly and in fairness to a youthful looking West End, missing a number of players from the previous fixture, it was they who took the imitative and showed tremendous enthusiasm early on to exert pressure on the home side. Cam looked lacklustre and were second to every ball across the field as time and time again West End cleared every high ball and turned defence into attack quickly.
It was Cambrian who somehow took the lead, somewhat against the run of play. Jacob Matthews in swinging free kick to the far post was met by Jordan Moss who headed into the path of Lewis Jenkins, to tap home his 20th goal of the season.
West End made an instant response, hitting the Top of the post with a thunderous long range effort but were eventually rewarded when the towering, powerful centre forward made room in the box, before miss-hitting his shot that found its was over the goalline. They got in front for the first time on 41 minutes when again the striker made a well timed run in behind and the long pass was powerfully converted.
A change in formation at half time and some movements in personnel were made to try and shift the momentum of the game in Cam's favour. Cambrian were now seeing more of the ball but were still struggling to carve any clear chances as time and time again, West End stifled, harried and cleared any danger, much to their credit.
Cambrian finally found a way through, from another set piece, as Kieran Lewis curled a great ball in for Rhys Thomas to head in to level the game at 2-2.
West End were still not out of the game, and they responded when a mixup between keeper and defender allowed the young centre forward an easy finish in an empty goal before they seemingly secured victory when another bouncing ball caught out the Cambrian defenders allowing another simple tap in.
With 15 remaining, Cambrian looked dead and buried, lacking ideas and creativity. Changes were made and Johnathan Welsh made good ground down the left giving Cambrian to out ball in tight zones. He got forward on two occasions but his crosses were well defended. Hope was restored for Cambrian when Josh Ryall was given to much space in the middle of the park and as he does so often, he drilled a shot that the keeper couldnt keep out to make it 4-3.
With time running out Jacob Matthews was flung forward to try an salvage something from this fixture and it was he who got the equaliser, when Johnathan Welsh made good strides down the left before it was cleared, Chad Nicholas picked up the ball and drove past two players before his cut cross was met by Matthews who finished into the top corner.
There was still time remaining and Josh Ryall thought he'd won it but the keeper tipped his effort onto the post. Matthew Jenkins then arrived at the far post and left with a simple finish, the keeper managed to make a timely save to deny a certain goal. Just as it looked as though the game was done, Lewis Jenkins won a flick and Matthews raced in behind, he shook his defender off out wide before firing a low drive from a tight angle into the far corner to give Cambrian the win.
A remarkable comeback. Although the performance did not meet the expectations of the team, this win shows the character the team has built over recent weeks in a superb turnaround from 9th place, now sitting right in the mix of the top five.