Dinas Powys were the latest team to fall victim to the Vale juggernaut, as they were soundly beaten by the league leaders at Brig y Don. Coming into the game on the back of a 6-2 victory in the cup last week, United made key changes in order to keep players fresh heading into the long winter slog. Out went skipper, Richard Evans, with the effervescent Thomas Hopkin slotting in at right-back, whilst the midfield trio of Dan Hanson, Phil Caseley and Matt Hobbs were all reinstated to the starting eleven after being rested against Barry Saints. The impressive strike force of Jay Tominey, Alex Gregory and Herculean number 9, Nathan Jenkins, were once again given chance to impress after last weekend’s rout.
Following a farcical start to proceedings, in which both teams had kitted up in their luminous orange strips, the away team were forced to wear their black training tops, whilst the referee had no option but to don a pink training vest, much to the amusement of the gathered masses.
After the game finally got underway, it didn’t take long for Vale to hit their straps, the busy Jay Tominey flicking in a delightful header from dead-ball specialist, Matt Hobbs, to give the visitors a deserved 0-1 lead.
Vale’s attacking threat was clear to see, with Nathan Jenkins next to test the home-team, shooting straight at the ‘keeper when, in all honesty, it seemed easier to score. It was one-way traffic up until this point, although Dinas did threaten once on the break, forcing stand-in skipper, Gerwyn Teague, into an important, if routine save, to keep the score at 0-1.
Minutes later, it was 0-2 – a training ground corner routine saw Tominey pick out Englishman Gregory on the edge of the box, the in-form winger lashing home a 1st time half volley to give the score line the look that United’s dominance deserved. The half continued in much the same fashion, United squandering chances galore, through a mixture of rank-bad finishing and inspired goalkeeping from the home team’s giant stopper.
HALF TIME – 0-2
Vale came into the 2nd half looking to build on their impressive 1st half, though a tactical change by Powys saw them able to stifle the regularity of the Vale attacks, though when they did beat the back-line, it was once again bad finishing that kept the scoreline at 0-2. Dinas very rarely threatened the Vale backline which was once again marshalled superbly Steve Harris and Joe Williams, with James Davies and Thomas Hopkin proving a real attacking threat from full-back, whilst also remembering their defensive duties.
As the game wore on, more chances came and went for the unusually profligate visitors, as they missed chance after chance to put the game to bed and improve their already healthy goal difference. As it was, the half-time score line was also the full-time score line, as Vale stretched their winning run to an impressive six league and two cup games.