Subs: Kristian James, Luke Probert, Alex Brayley, Nicky Mooney, Lloyd Jones
Briton Ferry Llansawel put in one of their best second half displays ever to win a scintillating local derby at Port Talbot by 5-3 on Friday evening.
Reds manager Carl Shaw was again unable to call upon a full strength squad with Ian Hillier(suspended), Keiran Williams(virus) and Ryan Griffiths(knee) unavailable to select.
Port Talbot were also without forward Cortez Belle through suspension but boasted a top drawer forward line of Jonathan Hood, Luke Bowen and Anthony Rawlings. A crowd of over 500 saw referee Ryan Kenny get this first ever league derby between the teams underway on a miserable night at the Genquip stadium and the reds seemed to start slightly better than the hosts in the opening minutes, the potent counter attack threat of the front three for Port Talbot was evident to see though with Hood drifting deep to receive the ball whenever possible.
It was in fact winger Hood who set up the opening goal for the blues within ten minutes after his free kick from out wide found the head of Luke Bowen who rose unmarked to head past Ferry keeper Ashley Elsey.
The reds were looking threatening though and it looked like the home defence were there to be got at with chances for Dai Brown and Gareth Jones failing to test keeper McCreesh.
Port Talbot doubled their advantage though on 25 minutes when a lovely defence splitting past from Rawlings found the perfectly timed run of Bowen, the prolific marksman made no mistake slotting past Elsey for 2-0.
The visitors response was swift to reduce the lead after Steve Davey was upended in the box by McCreesh a penalty was inevitable, but an excellent advantage from referee Kenny allowed midfielder Scott Kenyon to finish for 2-1.
Port Talbot and striker Luke Bowen weren't finished though and the forward sealed his treble just before half time after another cross saw him react quickest to head past Elsey for a 3-1 interval lead.
Although there was a two goal deficit the management would have had some positive words at half time as Sawel had created problems going forward especially from the wide areas with Tom Da Silva and Steve Davey looking very threatening from the off.
Whatever was said in the away changing rooms certainly received a positive response from the players with one of the best second half displays the club has seen, the excellent Davey pulled the first goal back soon after the break after burying an effort into the top left corner from the edge of the box after his initial cross was blocked.
A massive blow then saw defender Dai Brown receive his second yellow card for dissent in the 70th minute, this was then followed shortly after by Luke Bowen for the hosts for what was seen as dangerous play with his elbow.
Kristian James and Nicky Mooney were introduced in place of Sam Baker and Matthew Hughes and the equaliser followed shortly after, a ball into the box wasn't cleared and bounced out to Ferry captain Rory Healey, the midfielder who had been colossal all evening rifled home his effort in front of the delighted and vocal travelling fans for 3-3.
There was only looking like there was going to be one winner all of a sudden with the blues running out of ideas without marksman Bowen and the reds looking more and more threatening as the game went on, they were in fact in front for the first time with ten minutes to go after again the ball was half heartedly cleared this time Davey showed great composure to send his effort from outside the box low past 2 defenders and keeper McCreesh for 4-3.
Four unanswered second half goals and the icing on the cake for Shaw's troops came in none other than leading all time scorer Gareth Jones at the death, the number ten was slotted through by man of the match Steve Davey and he finished with aplomb past McCreesh and he was joined by nearly all his team mates to celebrate in front of the away supporters for what was the final goal of a whirlwind derby match, and a win that could turn around the season for the Old Road outfit.
M.O.M- Steve Davey- The winger has been back to his best form this season and was unplayable, especially second half enjoying two goals and two assists.