Gwent Premier League Premier Division
Monmouth Town 1 Cwmbran Town 2
MONMOUTH Town`s nine-match unbeaten run came to an end after a disappointing second-half meant Cwmbran Town came from behind to win at the Sportsground, reports DAN KEANE.
The Kingfishers had taken the lead in the first-half through Rob Laurie’s penalty, after Dan Macdonald had been taken out inside the box.
But a spectacular strike from Cwmbran`s Harry Russell equalised for the visitors before Aysa Al-Doori scored nine minutes from time to ensure his side moved six points clear of Monmouth.
The Kingfishers felt devastated by the result and were left to rue several missed chances.
Ashley Ford and Nick Harrhy both hit the woodwork and substitute Josh Maksimovic’s one-on-one was also well saved by Crows keeper Adam Cueto.
The result means that the Kingfishers drop down to sixth position in the Gwent Premier League, seven points behind third-placed Pill AFC.
Monmouth started the brighter of the two teams and maintained possession well in the early stages of the contest, but struggled to break down a defensively robust and compact Cwmbran side.
The first chance came to Monmouth captain Ashley Ford when he received the ball just on the edge of the box and his left-footed shot rattled the cross-bar.
The Kingfishers continued to assert their dominance in the first half, and Macdonald also had a good chance, his effort flying over the bar from close range.
But the deadlock was broken after half an hour when Macdonald was tripped from behind, with Laurie calmly slotting the penalty into the top right corner of the net.
The Crows responded to going behind well and in the latter stages of the first half enjoyed more possession and troubled Monmouth with their direct approach.
The Kingfishers were forced into making a number of blocks and clearances to reach half-time a goal to the good.
But the visitors equalised a few minutes into the second half when Russell picked the ball up and ran at Monmouth`s defence before striking the ball from 20 yards out, with his shot floating over Dan Keane and just under the crossbar.
The Kingfishers responded well after conceding, but Crows keeper Cueto denied them from taking the lead once again, saving Mat Jones’ close range effort with his right foot.
Both teams attacked with great purpose and intent as the match neared its conclusion, but it was the visitors who scored what turned out to be the winner inside the last 10 minutes.
A long throw into the box fell to Thomas Rudderford and his ball across goal was tapped in at the back-post by Al-Doori to leave jubilant Cwmbran celebrations.
Monmouth desperately searched for an equaliser and threw everything at the Crows, and they were unlucky not to score as Harrhy’s curling left-footed strike from outside the box hit the post in stoppage time and a Maksimovic strike was also well saved from close-range by Cueto.
Manager Jack Alderdice described the narrow defeat as “tough to take” and “devastating”.
“I thought we at least deserved a point today and even on another day could have got all three. I didn’t think we played as well today in possession as we did last week against Newport Corries and now have to put today’s setback behind us and go on another strong run of form.”
The Kingfishers next travel to bottom place Newport Civil Service on Saturday (Jan 27) January before hosting Rogerstone AFC on February 3.
Elsewhere Chepstow’s Thornwell R&W fell to a 4-2 home defeat to Marshfield in Gwent Premier 2.
Their 2nds were also hit for six without reply at home to Chepstow Town 3rds in the East Gwent Brian Reed Cup, while Tintern Abbey didn;t have a prayer at home to Underwood, going down 8-0.
Undy Athletic 3rds also lost out, 3-2 at home to Sudbrook CC in the same cup, but Redbrook Rovers 2nds won 6-0 at home to Rank Outsiders 2nds in North Glos 3.
Other matches this Saturday include – Chepstow Town v Newport City, Monmouth Town 2nds v Caldicot Town 3rds, Trinant v Thornwell R&W, Usk Town v Pontnewydd United, Pontnewynydd 2nds v Usk Town 2nds, Caldicot Castle v Undy Athletic 3rds, Sudbrook CC 2nds, v Caldicot Castle 2nds, Thornwell 2nds v Chepstow Town 3rds, Tintern Abbey v Severn Tunnel, Underwood 2nds v Port & Sud 2nds.