J.Emrys Morgan Cup round 4
St Dogmaels 1 Brecon Corries 4
Keeping focused and remaining switched on at key moments are very often what separates winners from losers and there was no better example of this than at the School Field St Dogmaels on Saturday.
The Saints who were runners up in this prestigious tournament last season were undone by three moments of madness with players not concentrating and they were severely punished and at 3-1 it was pretty much game over at the break.
Visitors Brecon Corries arrived with a fine reputation having swept all before them this campaign in the mid Wales South League and scoring in excess of 100 goals and it soon became apparent that they were a tasty outfit with an abundance of ball players and some real pace to boot and they quickly adapted to the very heavy conditions underfoot and the physical approach adopted by the greens.
The Powys side opened the scoring with a soft goal that should never have been allowed to happen when from a hotly disputed corner and with defender Mindha still arguing the toss with the referee, Steve Potter, who was the shortest player on the field headed home unmarked from close range.
St Dogmaels came straight back and within a minute they were level after Louis Harding sneaked in behind the defence to poach a goal, this only the 4th goal the Corries have conceded all season. Hosts midfielder Adam Williams was then presented with a difficult opportunity five minutes later but his powerfully struck shot flew over the bar. This was to prove to be a turning point as very soon after he and his team were 3-1 behind and left chasing the game. If this had gone in who knows?
It was the Corries though who continued to dominate as the home team played into their hands by continually hoofing the ball anywhere with manager Steve Williams screaming at his players from the touchline to lift their heads and play to feet. The only exception being greens midfielder Rhys Jones who was outstanding throughout and Adam and Jason Williams who tried to keep the ball on the deck.
The pressure continued and the Corries scored two goals in as many minutes and both of these came from players just switching off. The first of these was on 19 minutes when Josh Mellor was robbed of possession 30 yards out and visiting striker Mattie Roderick needed no second invitation and the second of these arrived very soon after when experienced player Peter Almond was robbed near the corner flag and the ball was crossed to the far post and steered home by Paul Keddle to make it 3-1 and it looked a long way back for the current league leaders.
On a regular Saturday in the Costcutter league St Dogmaels may have got away with these lapses but a team of this quality will always punish you and the Corries did just that.
Ironically this proved to be a wake up call and the Saints started to knock the ball about confidently and Mellor was unlucky not to score with a decent effort and after the break the Saints could so easily have levelled matters with Harding and inspirational skipper Jason Williams narrowly missing the target.
Brecon Corries were forced to change their goal keeper midway through the half because of a back injury and player manager Damian Daniels was handed the gloves but this did not have much bearing on proceedings as St Dogmaels were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes to go, and soon after things got even worse for them when they conceded a penalty, which Corries captain, Dale Evans, dispatched confidently to seal the win and it would be a major surprise if the Brecon based team do not go on and lift the trophy on Good Friday.
A frustrating afternoon for experienced manager Steve Williams who said he couldn’t fault his teams commitment but was not happy at the way they lost the game and said:” I was very disappointed especially with all the goals we conceded and also the fact that we missed some good chances but we will bounce back.”
Next up for the Saints will be a Boxing Day local derby against title rivals Cardigan Town and an opportunity to make amends for this defeat.