Wheeler dealer Billy wings in late to down Bluebirds
A broken-down car on the Severn Bridge couldn’t stop Billy Wheeler from firing a late winner for the Kingfishers at high-flying Trethomas Bluebirds.
Monmouth faced the title chasers away at the impressive Ystrad Mynach ground on Saturday knowing the hosts had not lost a league game since December 4.
A few changes were made after narrowly losing to league leading derby rivals Abergavenny Town 3-2 in midweek, and the broken-down car of striker Laurent Ngunjoh meant he was forced to miss the game.
Passenger defender Wheeler was luckily able to catch a lift but only arrived after the game had started, which meant more tinkering to the starting 11.
The second-placed hosts came racing out of the blocks as they looked to maintain pressure on the table-toppers, and within two minutes a long ball down the channel, and a cross to the back post saw prolific striker Gareth Tedstone head in his 29th of the season.
For the first 20 minutes of the game it was one-way traffic as Monmouth struggled to get hold of the ball and match the Bluebirds energy.
However Iwan Mooney had a great chance to equalise, only to see his shot just miss the goal.
That triggered the Kingfishers as they started to take control of the match.
Midway through the first half an injury to keeper Travis Wood meant captain Ash Ford came off the bench to go in goal.
But that didn’t stop the momentum for the away team however and a deserved equaliser came right on the stroke of half-time after a cross saw Lyndon Jones smash home a volley from the edge of the box for his 12th goal of the season.
The second half started as the first ended with the away team on the front foot.
Bluebirds had a couple of half chances, but struggled to create while Monmouth looked the more dangerous going forward.
And with nine minutes to go, the Kingfishers had their reward when a cut back from Nick Harrhy saw Wheeler hook the ball home from a couple of yards out to make it 2-1.
For the final 10 minutes, Bluebirds tried to find a second but the yellow and blues held out for an impressive win.
Team boss Scott Russell said: “It was a great result considering everything that happened before and during the game.
“After last Tuesday’s game I wanted to rest a couple of players as our games come thick and fast.
“But today we showed what a good squad we have. We just don’t do it for long enough periods but today for 70 minutes we looked like the better team against a very efficient and organised Trethomas team.
“Ash did great in goal, Jake Parella came off the bench and did superbly and the older players stepped up too.
“It gives us great confidence going into Tuesday’s (April 19) game at home to Abergavenny.”
The sixth-placed Kingfishers hosted the league leaders last night after the Beacon went to print, while high-flying Caldicot Town were also in midweek derby action at Chepstow Town.
On Saturday, Caldicot kept their outside chance of landing the title alive with a last-gasp penalty winner from Ben Smith as they downed visitors Llandrindod Wells 2-1 at home following a Richard Sharratt second half leveller, a result which takes them third.
Chepstow also made it three victories on the trot to go ninth with a late winner in a 2-1 triumph at Aberbargoed Buds.
Fixtures this Saturday (April 23) include Rhayader Town v Monmouth Town and Abertillery Bluebirds v Chepstow Town.
Games next Tuesday night (April 26) include Monmouth Town v Caldicot Town and Chepstow Town v Croesyceiliog.
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