East Gwent Senior League - Mathern FC A 4 Rockfield Rovers 0
THREE first-half goals effectively clinched Mathern A’s home victory over Rockfield Rovers at the weekend.
Now, with one game left – at home to Underwood – Mathern must hope their rivals slip up at least twice in order to retain their league title.
Despite sealing a 4-0 victory with a second-half penalty, Mathern’s goal difference is vastly inferior to Underwood’s so even if the points total were to be identical, Underwood would take the crown.
However, that is incidental to the real prize for Underwood who would almost certainly win promotion to the Gwent County League in the unlikely event of them finishing in second place.
Mathern showed their intent from the start when Dan Taylor drilled the first goal, cutting in from the right and finishing in some style.
Minutes later it was 2-0 when the talented Elliot Powell picked up a pass 25 yards out, before unleashing a dipping half-volley which gave Rovers keeper Dave Seymour little chance of saving.
Rovers, with only one sub on the bench, tried to pull one back but the home defence was outstanding and keeper Josh Carter was rarely troubled.
The result was put beyond doubt when Matt Jackson ran through to meet a right-wing cross and score from six yards with only Seymour to beat.
After the break, Rovers appeared stronger in defence and more resilient, or perhaps Mathern just took their feet off the gas but for whatever reason, the home defence was always in control.
Tyler, who had been a constant thorn in Rovers’ side, made up for a glaring, open-goal miss by stepping up to take a penalty after being upended in the box a few minutes later, sending Seymour the wrong way from the spot.
After the match Mathern boss Lee Baker praised Harry Lewis and Tom Watson for their work in midfield.
“Rockfield are awkward to play against because they play deep and battle hard,” he said.
“We played our football in short triangles and created our own space.
“Perhaps we needed to be more clinical in the final third but we were creating good chances with some very good football.
“The game was won in midfield where we worked very hard to regain the ball when they had it. Harry Lewis and Tom Watson again gave very strong performances.
“This squad is still battling and we will continue to do so right up to last whistle of the final game but more importantly, we are together. We’ve just got to keep going.”