Gwent Amateur County Cup semi-final

Mardy FC 0 Pontymister 1

MARDY FC 1st XI started the week well on Tuesday when a Tom Jenkins goal gave them a 1-0 win at Nantyglo which moved them up to third place in the Gwent Premier Division One table, reports CLIVE HARRY.

Saturday then saw them face Pontymister in the semi-final of the Gwent County Amateur Cup, but their attempt to reach the final for only the second time in their 107-year history was foiled by an organised and determined visiting side.

Mardy started well and could have taken a third-minute lead when a Ben Jones cross found Jenkins, but his header was safely held by visiting keeper Mark Mears.

There was a strong wind behind the home team which didn't help them and caused frequent overhitting of passes.

A Liam Simmonds cross after quarter of an hour caused problems, and Jenkins and Jones had chances but were unable to take advantage of them.

Nevertheless, Pontymister were definitely up for the contest and were competing for every ball resulting in them taking a shock lead on 20 minutes.

The ball had been won in midfield and when Max Bennett was put in the clear down the left wing, he crossed perfectly for Warren Derraven to give keeper Logan Hamer no chance.

The visitors continued to frustrate Mardy after this and could well have increased their lead just before the break when Maxwell was worked clear only for Hamer to block his goal-bound effort with his legs.

The game became rather scrappy after the interval with Mardy struggling to find any rhythym.

But their hopes were given a boost when goalscorer Derraven was shown a red card just after the hour mark.

There was an inevitable increase in possession for the home side as a consequence, but keeper Mears and his back four organised themselves superbly with right back Anthony Twine in particular foiling Mardy time and again.

There were still half chances with Aaron Norman heading inches over from a corner and Jamie Laurent lobbing just over an unguarded net with Mears stranded.

But despite plenty of possession, Mardy huffed and puffed to no effect until the final whistle brought an end to a disappointing afternoon.

The team return to league action this week with a game away to Graig Villa Dino on Wednesday (April 17) followed by a huge game at home this Saturday (April 20) to second-placed Cwmffrwdoer, who are four points ahead of Mardy but have played three games more.

Mardy's second team lost 2-1 away to Crickhowell in midweek in Gwent Central One, Nathan Price scoring their goal, with a virtual must-win game at home to mid-table Forgeside on Tuesday (April 16) in their battle to avoid relegation to GC Two.

Other results on Saturday saw Clydach Wasps draw 2-2 at Lucas Cwmbran in GP Premier thanks to an own goal and a Lewys McCarthy free-kick, but Crickhowell were crunched 6-1 at Cwmcarn and Usk lost 2-0 at home to Ponthir.

Crickhowell 2nds drew the sting of Wasps 2nds winning 3-2 away in GC One on Saturday, while Usk 2nds were 5-0 home winners over Cwmffrwdoer Sports 2nds in GC Two in midweek.

Other grassroots fixtures this week include Monmouth Town v Clydach Wasps, Pontnewydd United v Crickhowell, and Nantyglo v Rhymney on Wednesday (April 17).

Matches on Saturday (April 20) include – AFC Pontymister v Nantyglo, Fairfield Utd Dev v Forgeside 2nds, Usk Town 2nds v Prescoed.