Monmouth still stuck in relegation scrap

By Monmouthshire Beacon/Chepstow Beacon in Football

Monmouth Town 2 Goytre 2

ON a wind battered December afternoon at the Sportsground, Monmouth Town welcomed Goytre United. The Kingfishers, who sat 10th in the Welsh League Division One, were looking for a much needed win to push them up the table and out of the relegation battle.

Andrew Smith would make two changes to his side that drew to Penybont, bringing in the experienced Rob Laurie for Mitchell Palmer, as well as bringing Elliot Ford into the side for Jack Hardman. Smith would also hand Cardiff City graduate Callum Porter his home debut. Goytre United, meanwhile, sat third in the league, looking to keep the pressure on Cardiff Met and Goytre.

It was the home team who would start the game brighter, with the first chance coming in the eighth minute. Town striker Richard Greaves received the ball in a short corner and cut on to his right foot, but his shot lacked any conviction and power and fell wide of the post.

The Kingfishers continued to dominate the early stages with right back Ashley Ford playing a lofted pass down the line with his brother Elliot getting on the end of it. Ford found himself one-on-one with ex Swansea goalkeeper Luke Martin, but the Goytre stopper came out on top, pushing Elliot’s shot away. Martin was again called into action with Nick Harrhy putting an inviting ball into the box with Richard Greaves touching it down. The in-form Greaves looked to take the ball around Martin but the keeper impressively dived down to make the ball his.

Still pressing, the Town were soon rewarded for their dominance. Dan Macdonald put an early cross into the box and found Richard Greaves who made no mistake to head home.

Goytre responded well, earning their reward with winger Michael Waters drilling a cross towards the town keeper with the Kingfisher’s keeper diving down and letting it through his hands. On the stroke of half time the Town had a penalty shout with striker Richard Greaves going on a mazy run into the box and being taken down only for the referee to wave play on to keep the half time scores level.

Both sides started the second half positively with the away side having the first chance of the half. Winger Michael Waters continued to trouble the Towns defence, drilling a cross across goal, but his team mate put it over the bar. Despite the visitors’ chances it was the Town who took the lead with full back Alex O’Leary finding Nick Harrhy in the box. The striker turned his man and placed his shot into the top corner. Soon after, the Kingfishers had an opportunity to kill the game off as Harrhy was denied by Luke Martin who impressively tipped his shot round the post.

Andrew Smith then made a substitution, bringing on Mitchell Palmer for O’Leary. The home side kept the pressure on Goytre with the experienced Rob Laurie playing a one-two with Elliot Ford, with Laurie then lofting a ball into Richard Greaves who would cushion the ball down into Elliot Ford’s path, with Elliot beating his man, he would square it across goal but Nick Harry’s shot would be blocked off the line.

Smith would then make his second substitution of the match bringing on Jack Hardman for Elliot Ford. To Smith’s regret, Harman would then loose the ball on the edge of the box with Goytre’s winger passing it across goal for teammate Tim Hicks to hit it first time into the top corner. The Kingfisher’s responded immediately with Jack Hardman winning a free kick on the edge of the box. Dan Macdonald would then drill the free kick, low across goal, and would ricochet out to Jacob Guy who shot, but Goytre keeper Luke Martin would make an impressive diving safe.

In the 90th minute, Goytre had a chance to win it when Michael Waters crossed in and again the Kingfisher’s keeper dropped it and Goytre striker Jordan Edwards headed it goal bound but youngster Mitchell Palmer was there to block it off the line. The full time score was Monmouth Town 2-2 Goytre United.

Manager Andrew Smith said after the game: “I was pleased with the performance but still annoyed we didn’t win the game.

“I felt we were too naive at times, we have to learn to see games out, we just can’t buy a win at the moment”.

The Kingfishers are home to Cambrian and Clydach next week, looking to build on their draw and escape the relegation battle.   

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