A goal in either half ensured Ammanford won the battle of the Black and Whites for the second time this season.
Tom Pratt’s (Pictured) header set Ammanford on their way with a header early in the first half. In a second half dominated by penalty kicks, Lewis Reed converted his before Ryan Kostromin did the same for Pontardawe to set up an exciting finish. Despite Mark Jones missing a last minute effort from the spot, Gruff Harrison’s men held firm to secure a deserved win on a wet evening in SA18.
After observing a minute silence in memory of the late secretary of Taffs Well Norma Samuel, Ammanford made the perfect start and were ahead in under ten minutes. Ellis Williams’ corner found Pratt inside the area and midfielder powered home his header.
Tristan Jenkins and visiting keeper Filip Lisczyk were in constant battle throughout the proceedings and the first of these chances came after a quarter of an hour. After breaking through the visiting defence, Jenkins saw his effort saved well by the feet of the Polish stopper.
Gary Taylor’s men were enjoying the majority of possession but were struggling to break down a resolute and well organised Town defence. In a half of few chances, it took until the interval for any clear sight of goal. Lisczyk prevented Jenkins from doubling the lead with a pair of saves before Reed’s reactive effort was well saved to keep the lead to one at the break.
Ammanford were finding Lisczyk a stubborn problem to deal with as the keeper, who’d just returned to the starting lineup in last weekend’s defeat against Caerau Ely, was doing his utmost to keep the visitors in the game. Jenkins reignited his battle with the keeper by seeing a chipped shot held before a one on one chance brilliantly saved at the netminder’s feet.
With the gap at just one, the chance of Pontardawe getting back into the game lingered over the Ammanford players and management, and those fears nearly came true when Artiom Legavec hit the crossbar from the right flank.
It looked like being a frustrating night in front of goal for Town when Adam John’s header was superbly cleared off the line but with twenty minutes left, referee Ben Williams offered Town a wonderful chances to put those frustrations to bed as he pointed to the spot after a challenge in the area.
Having missed his last spot kick against Llantwit, Reed hammered the ball into the top corner of the net, leaving Liczyk no chance of keeping the effort out.
With that effort against his former club, it looked like Reed had secured the three points but just minutes later, Pontardawe were offered a lifeline when referee Williams awarded a penalty after a challenge from Nich Arnold. Kostromin sent Luke Martin the wrong way to set up a grandstand finish.
But Ammanford stayed strong in the final ten minutes and even had two glorious chances to restore their two goal advantage. Williams awarded a third spot kick of the night which was saved before Dan John, making his league debut, was thwarted by a stunning last ditch challenge.
But the three points stayed in Carmarthenshire and with fellow county rivals Llanelli and Carmarthen dropping points, Ammanford head into next week’s fixture away at Goytre with a fantastic opportunity to climb the table.