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Trethomas Bluebirds move into fourth place in the Ardal South East league after dismantling Lliswerry AFC 11-0 on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach.
After taking an early lead through Ethan Edwards, Trethomas were threatening to end the tie sooner rather than later. This was confirmed after two red cards in the first half for the visitors, made a comeback impossible.
The hosts killed the game by half-time as they went to the changing room 5-0 up. The second half saw the Bluebirds only increase their goal difference further as they ran out 11-0 winners.
A demolition job by Trethomas, who have their sights set firmly on promotion.
After being held to a 2-2 draw in the reverse leg of this fixture, Trethomas didn’t want to get off to a slow start, especially this late in the season.
The game opened at a decent pace, Lliswerry were set up in a five with captain and left-wing back Lewis Grant pushing up onto Ryan Bolter from the outset, creating a very high line.
This immediately caused the visitors problems when defender Paul Hill shanked one over his own head to the feet of Ethan Edwards.
Edwards shrugged the flailing Hill off before driving at goalkeeper Luca Bullock. Bullock could do nothing when Edwards made the simple five-metre-pass to Tedstone who tapped it into an empty net.
This settled any potential nerves amongst the Bluebirds, who are chasing top spot and promotion.
After five minutes of back-and-forth, the ball went out for a Trethomas throw-in on the far side when the linesman called referee Paul Fisher over for a word.
A quick chat led to Fisher summoning Lliswerry midfielder Ashley Sully before reaching into his top pocket.
Sully was handed his third red card of the season, but nobody was quite sure what for.
The Bluebirds didn’t much care however, a goal up and a man to the good meant the game was theirs to lose.
By the 20-minute mark, Trethomas had full control of the ball and game. Edwards should have had a goal himself after Levi Rees fizzed one across the box to the feet of Edwards who curled the ball over the bar.
Moments after that, a free kick from Trethomas was deflected onto the head of Gwion Pugh-Jones who nodded it onto the Lliswerry bar.
Twenty-three minutes gone and the game was over for the visitors. Captain Grant went straight through the back of Thomas Gameson in midfield and the referee was left with no choice but to show another red card.
The Bluebirds now had all sorts of time. Bolter found himself drifting into the midfield which was creating problems for the nine men of Lliswerry.
It didn’t take too long after that before Trethomas had their second. Rees this time with the finish into another empty net after Edwards chalked up his second assist on the day after driving down the left wing and cutting it across the box for Rees.
The Bluebirds were cruising at this point. Coach Mark Dunford continued to demand more from the side line after a pass went astray; but Lliswerry never really threatened.
Forty minutes in and it was 3-0 to the hosts who now most likely had their goal difference tally in mind.
Edwards getting a deserved goal into an empty after a cross to the back post from Gameson found his teammate.
Captain Tom Rutherford returned to starting line-up after missing the Bluebird’s midweek clash against Risca which ended in a 1-1 draw.
He marked his return on the 42nd minute when he also tapped into an empty net and Edwards secured his third assist.
The game slowed to a walking pace as the half ran out. Lliswerry were out on their feet under the sun with nine men and Trethomas were picking and choosing their passes at will.
The fifth and final goal of the half came after 45 minutes when goalkeeper Bullock spilled the ball to the feet of, you guessed it, Ethan Edwards.
Edwards made no mistake and prodded the ball home from close range to put the hosts 5-0 up at the break.
With the game lost, you could have forgiven Lliswerry for shutting-up-shop and sitting all nine men behind the ball.
They continued, however, to play a relatively high line leaving space in behind.
It took just two minutes for Trethomas’ Tedstone to exploit this space. If the first half belonged to Edwards, then this was to be his.
He found the byline before crossing to substitute Jordan Harding who slotted the ball into an empty net.
The hosts were given a brief warning after Joshua Brown picked up the loose ball in midfield and tried to lob Tomos Bodger from some way out. His effort narrowly drifting wide left.
An hour in and the Bluebirds had their seventh. This time a superb individual effort by Rees, who after initially losing the ball in the opposition’s box, won it back, and found the far corner.
Only three minutes later were Lliswerry picking the ball out of their net again after Bolter grabbed a well-deserved goal. Assist provided by Pugh-Jones.
The next 20 minutes were played at a simmer in comparison to the rest of the match. Fans had the chance to catch their breath as both sides made frequent substitutions.
Eighty minutes in however and Trethomas decided to turn the screw once more. Tedstone grabbed his hattrick of assists. This time a cross back post to Alfie Jones who made the score 9-0.
Tedstone made it double digits on the 88th minute when substitute Adam Raymond squared it to the winger who smashed the ball home for a 10-0 lead.
With Lliswerry now begging for the final whistle, Tedstone put the final nail in the coffin in the 92nd minute with the best goal of the match.
The ball popped up to him on the edge of the area and Tedstone volleyed home into the top corner to wrap up a phenomenal performance by him and the team.
11-0 full time.
Speaking after the game, coach Dunford said: “I didn’t see that coming. We thought it would be a tricky afternoon as Lliswerry are a very tough side to play against.
“I thought we were outstanding in the way we kept the pressure on. It’s easy to fall into bad habits when the game goes like that, but we managed it well.”
When asked what the message at half time was when leading 5-0, Dunford said: “It was tricky because as a team you don’t often find yourself in that position at half time.
“Luckily the boys have a great inner drive, and we have very high standards. It didn’t take much but sometimes you have to reinforce it.”
Trethomas still have eight league games remaining, their next being away to Monmouth Town on Tuesday April 18.
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