St Athan 1-3 Vale United
Vale United made it twelve wins out of twelve in all competitions as they dumped St Athan out of the Barry Cup and there was certainly fireworks.
United came out on top in the battle of the top two in the Vale league to advance to the semi finals.
A classic cup tie saw both sides go at each other ferociously in a cracker of a game but it was Richard Evans and
Jay Tominey’s double that sealed the win for Vale after Reece Lewis had opened the scoring for Saints.
St Athan lost Mark Drysdale and Joe Laing before kick off so it was returns to the starting line up for Nicky Cox and Josh Harfoot.
Both sides came into the game full of confidence and on good winning runs.
It was the home side who struck first, the supports had barely shuffled in when Reece Lewis’ corner eluded everyone and nestled in the far side of the net to give St Athan the lead.
Saints set pieces were causing havoc and Lewis’ delivery saw Jordan Mortimore head over minutes later.
Vale looked to fire back and their number 10 latched on to defensive error but could only lift his shot inches wide of the goal.
United were level ten minutes in as Saints gave the ball away in midfield, the switch caught the home defence cold and a tangle saw the Vale winger brought down for a penalty. Richard Evans stepped up and not for the first time this season made no mistake.
Saints regrouped and pushed to go back in front, James Austin saw a header off the line from a corner and then after a quick throw by Harfoot, Josh Morgan out paced the Vale back line but the keeper denied the in form forward with a fine save.
The game ebbed and flower and now it was Vale’s turn to apply the pressure and they saw an effort chipped narrowly wide and then a strike from the edge of the area palmed away by Deon Garrison.
Saints saw a well worked Reece Lewis effort saved but then Richie Humphreys hobbled off with a hamstring injury, a major blow for the home team.
United came at Saints to end the half and saw four good chances saved or off target, one in particular found the forward one on one with the keeper only to put the ball wide.
All square at the break.
The second period saw Saints come out of the blocks quickly and Leigh Lewis fired wide.
Karl Steel then turned on the blisters to cruise down the flank, his cross was control by Leigh Lewis onto his right but his looping effort was excellently saved.
It was Leigh Lewis at the centre of things again as he saw a header cleared off the line from a set piece.
Vale came back and saw a header well saved by Garrison as he palmed it onto the bar. United then had the ball in the net but saw it ruled out for offside.
Finally the breakthrough came, a Vale corner was half cleared, the resulting cross dropped invitingly for Tominey and the Vale striker saw his first effort blocked but managed to fire in the rebound from close range.
Then minutes later Saints misery was compounded as a long ball forward was missed and Tominey raced onto it, and finished calmly to give Vale a two goal cushion.
St Athan threw caution to the wind in an attempt to get back into it, a formation change saw Phil Morgan introduced to the forward line.
Tremendous work from Josh Morgan saw him flash a ball across the goal, deflecting off a defender and falling agonisingly wide.
Josh Morgan again carved open a chance but his low shot rebounded off the inside of the post then Phil Morgan saw the rebound superbly blocked.
Saints threw the kitchen sink at it and soon the feeling was that they could have played all night and the ball just would not go in.
Vale looked to pick Saints off on the break but couldn’t convert.
Nicky Cox then saw red late on for a bad challenge and the final whistle arrived to confirm Saints exit from the Cup.
An excellent cup tie between two very good sides, Vale now must be favourites for the cup.
St Athan: Garrison, Cox, Young, Mortimore, Humphreys, Ashton, Austin, R.Lewis, Harfoot, L.Lewis, J.Morgan. Subs – Steel, P.Morgan
We’d like to thank those who came out to support us and our sponsors, Owens Motor Services, Llandow, Diving & Marine Engineering, Green Future Landscaping, Llantwit Valet & Car Wash and The Four Bells in St Athan.