Radnor Valley opened their Ardal League North East campaign with a well deserved point in a 2-2 draw with Llanuwchllyn.

At a rain drenched Bypass, The Goats twice came from behind with goals from Joey Price (pen) and Lewis Morris.

The visitors had the better of the opening half hour without creating any real chances and Radnor gradually grew into the game. Price saw a first half penalty saved and overall Radnor did very well against one of the division’s better sides with the return of big players, Ieuan Price and Matt Croose from injury a huge boost to the squad.

The New Radnor club were in optimistic mood going into the match, with Matt Croose and Adam Jones now taking the managerial reigns, after having completed the MMP Central Wales League (South) and Aspidistra Radnorshire Cup double last term. The Goats had manged to retain the services of the majority of the double-winning squad and added a number of new personnel over the course of the close season.

It was the hosts who had the first real sight of goal, in a relatively uneventful opening quarter to the first league fixture, when Joey Price struck his low 25-yard free-kick straight into the arms of Rob Dascalu in the visitor’s goal.

Llanuwchllyn defender Paul Jones was the first name to enter the notebook of referee Michael Pugh after a foul on Ieuan Price in the 18th minute before Radnor Valley were handed the opportunity to take the lead seven minutes later. The referee pointed to the spot after deeming that Ieuan Price’s run was illegally halted but Joey Price saw his spot-kick well saved by Dascalu and the Goats were unable to take advantage of the rebound as the ball was eventually cleared to safety.

Llanuwchllyn’s Meilir Williams was played through on goal approaching the 40-minute mark but fired wide of the near post and that was to be a warning shot for the Goats as they went behind three minutes before the interval. Williams saw his shot on target blocked but Michael Pritchard was on hand to turn the loose ball past Otto Jones to give the Merionethshire men a slender advantage as the teams headed back to the changing rooms.

The Goats looked to hit back straight from the restart and Elliot Morris saw his low shot from the edge of the penalty area fielded by Dascalu in the 56th minute. The Radnorshire outfit were handed the opportunity to level the scores nine minutes later, when Michael Pugh deemed that Dascalu had brought down Joey Price when he drove into the penalty area, and the talisman for the hosts dusted himself down and this time was able to successfully convert from the spot.

The feeling amongst spectators assembled on a dull and dank afternoon was that the Radnorshire men could go on to claim all three points. However, it is often said that a football team is at its weakest position having just scored a goal and that maxim proved to be true on this occasion. Llanuwchllyn were only behind for four minutes before defender Paul Jones eventually forced the ball home from close range when the Radnor defence was unable to clear a corner.

Jones nearly increased his team’s advantage further, within two minutes of the resumption, but saw his close range effort blocked at the far post from another corner.

As the clock ticked down, the Goats equalised for a second time when Elliot Morris saw his low shot from the edge of the penalty area parried by Dascalu and Lewis Morris was in the right place to turn the loose ball into an unguarded net and spark the celebrations amongst his teammates and home supporters.

Radnor Valley v Llanuwchllyn
The hosts celebrate the late equaliser ( Barcud-Coch Photography)