Joe Kenton fired Newtown to a ‘vital’ three points in their crunch clash with Llandudno at Latham Park last night.
With the scores level at 1-1 in the 80th minute, Kenton’s low strike after cutting in from the left flank scythed into the bottom corner to edge the Robins back in front, after Luke Boundford’s first half goal had been cancelled out by Llandudno’s Shaun Cavanagh on the hour mark.
A hardy 92 souls braved sleet and freezing conditions in Newtown, after the game had been switched to a Thursday night to enable TV broadcaster S4C to stream the game live to their facebook page.
“It was a big three points, a massive three points against a team just above us in the league,” said Robins boss Chris Hughes.
“It’s a big win, we ground it out. Were we at our best in terms of possession? No. We did a good job out of possession particularly in the second half. At half time we tweaked a few things tactically and it worked for us on the counter attack.”
Boundford had sent the home side into the dressing room with a half time lead earned somewhat against the run of play after he’d chased down an innocuous looking long ball forward from Jojo Harries, and his deft clip over Llandudno ‘keeper Dave Roberts crept in at the far post.
But just after the hour mark Llandudno levelled through Shaun Cavanagh when the former Bangor man was found in space at the far post by James Joyce’s cross and he fired an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net to level the scores, only for Kenton to seal an unlikely looking three points for Newtown with ten minutes to play with his neat curling strike, to the delight of his manager.
“When you’ve got players like Joe Kenton, impact players who can come off the bench and make an impact that’s what you hope for when you make subs,” added Hughes.
“It comes off for you sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t, but we’ve got two players in Nick (Rushton) and Joe who can probably count themselves a bit unlucky not to be in the starting eleven but they’ve come off and Nick’s set the goal up and Joe’s scored it – that’s what we're trying to create here, a bit of competition, and it bodes well for the future of the team.”
The result takes Newtown up to 8th in the JD Welsh Premier League, three points clear of the bottom two ahead of the weekend’s other fixtures.