Talbot jinx strikes again
Talbot's Lee Surman heads clear from Alfie Carter [All photos by Mike Greenslade/www.mikezite.co.uk].
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A BAD day at the office for the Saints as the Port Talbot jinx struck again and they slumped to their first defeat in 20 games.
To make matters worse, they had Chris King and John Leah stretchered-off and sub Gary Brabin sent-off in injury time.
Driving rain and a slippery surface worked in the Steelmens' favour as they unsettled the Saints to gain parity in terms of possession and territory without creating too many clear-cut scoring opportunities.
Matthew Thompson intercepted Alfie Carter's goal-bound effort after seven minutes and Lee Surman was forced to clear a Luke Holden shot from under his own bar.
Both sides hit the woodwork in the first half with debutant ex-Afan Lido skipper Paul Evans seeing his header rebound off the crossbar and Alfie Carter suffering the same fate at the other end with his shot hitting the base of a post following Barry Hogan's through ball.
Steelmen's keeper Kris Rogers had produced a good double save to parry shots from Scott Ruscoe and Carter, while Lee John fired wide of an open goal for Talbot after a mistake by Michael Taylor.
Holden sent a shot just over the frame on 70 minutes but, three minutes later, King and keeper Paul Harrison conspired to hand the Steelmen the vital breakthrough as they failed to clear the danger and gift John a simple tap-in.
To add to their woes, King was carried-off following a collision with a goalpost, Leah following four minutes from time.
And although Saints responded to the goal with purpose, they failed to unhinge a steadfast home defence.