Tintern Abbey 2 Caldicot Castle A 0
2:46pm Monday 11th March 2013 in Sport
East Gwent Senior League Division
2 Tintern Abbey 2 Caldicot Castle A 0
TWO goals by Geraint Reynolds and a penalty save by Pip Seabury sealed three points for Tintern Abbey against promotion rivals Castle A on Saturday.
Although Tintern had the majority of the chances it wasn’t all one-way traffic and the Castle side had their fair share of chances that, on another day and with a little more luck, might have earned them a share of the points.
With Castle attacking up the slope, three Darren Cleverley corners from the left dropped into the Abbey’s penalty area but good defending denied Castle the opening goal.
A well-judged clearing header from under the crossbar by Sam Hayward came first and then Rich Stevens lunged to head a goal-bound shot away for yet another corner which Cleverley delivered onto the crossbar.
At the other end, Tintern’s forwards were always busy and a constant threat to Castle’s defence but the half came to an end with honours even, although Reynolds missed a chance to open the scoring with a free header that bounced off the far post and into the Castle’s keeper’s grasp.
The deadlock was finally broken on the hour when a free kick, from just inside the Castle’s half, was hoisted deep into the penalty area, by Darren Luff.
Timing his run perfectly, Reynolds stooped to steer the ball past the keeper.
Back came Castle and when they were awarded a penalty, it seemed an equaliser was on the cards.
But Seabury - like all keepers who thrive on clean sheets - dived full-length to his left to deflect the ball around the post.
That spurred Tintern on and they increased their lead when a throw-in on the right caused chaos in the Castle defence and the ball fell for Reynolds to rifle it home.
Abbey manager Martin Woodford was pleased with his team’s performance.
“That was probably the best we’ve played all season,” he said. “We had a plan on how to beat Castle and we stuck to it - and it worked.”
Woodford also praised referee Mark Pring who controlled the game with humour, encouragement and explanations, instead of just ignoring players’ protestations at decisions.
Meanwhile Castle A manager Marcus Jenkins was generous in his summing up of the defeat.
“The best team won,” he admitted. “We just weren’t in it. It’s very disappointing but we’ll bounce back.”
Castle now trail leaders Sudbrook CC by six points but have two games in hand on them.
However, Sudbrook’s goal difference is vastly superior and Jenkins knows his team missed a great opportunity to put extra pressure on them.