Match Report - 19 Feb 2005, Ammanford AFC Firsts drew with Pontardawe
League-leaders in wake-up call
NINE-MAN Pontardawe scrambled a draw at Rice Road as superb Ammanford gave the champions-elect an almighty scare.
Having won 18 of their last 20 matches, Ponty entered the match as red-hot favourites.
But Ammanford rose magnificently to the challenge and should have won but for a tremendous effort by Pontardawe's resilient nine men, who were forced to battle out almost the entire second half after a double dismissal following Ammanford's second goal just three minutes into the half.
The match opened with Ammanford keeping Pontardawe penned back in their own half, but against the run of play Ponty scored with a well-taken goal from Jamie Bowen.
Ponty did well to keep their lead up to the 40th minute, when they were put under tremendous pressure from Ammanford's set piece.
The ball was scrambled off the goal line on at least three occasions and Nathan Jones should have scored but he amazingly missed from just five yards out.
However, Ammanford - who had already seen one good penalty appeal turned down - soon had their reward when Paul Hughes was brought down inside the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Hughes picked himself up and confidently converted the spot-kick to haul his side level.
Ammanford added a second direct from a Tristan Lewis corner and to add to Ponty's swift demise, they then had two players sent off - one for a second yellow and the other receiving a straight red.
Ammanford should now have dictated play, but it didn't happen as Ponty threw players forward in attack.
Rather misguidedly Ammanford sat back on their slender lead and allowed Ponty to attack and the visitors deservedly equalised with just five minutes to go when striker Paul Davey converted well under pressure.
Ammanford's tactics after the two dismissals of inviting Ponty forward to attack were extremely questionable and in the end it was this that proved to be their downfall.
They failed to dictate play, despite having a two-man advantage, and must look upon this match as two points lost, not one gained.
While Ponty might have felt that they didn't play well, full credit must go to Ammanford who, although only drawing, should really have won the match.
The seconds lost to Pontardawe reserves and are home to Newcastle Emlyn on Saturday.
Off the field there was some great news for Ammanford when Steven Evans declared himself available after a season-long lay-off.
John Garland is also available and another long-term injury victim, Gavin Porter, is back in training after injury.
The squad was further strengthened this week by the signing of ex-Ammanford player Lee Randall.
On Saturday Ammanford are away to Pontypridd, where they will hope to extend their recent good run.
Ammanford 2 Pontardawe 2
Motaquote Insurance Welsh League Division 2
Ammanford AFC Firsts 2 - 2 Pontardawe ()