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[FM17] The Hart Chronicles - Volume II: Adam Hart is 'Yes Man'!

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Season 21: Port Talbot Town

 

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A real season to remember. We had the fantastic run in the Europa League which would've made for a decent season on it's own, but of course with TNS massively slacking in the league it was our chance to take advantage and win it. Afan Lido gave us a real run for it and there were times when I didn't think we'd manage to do it, we did have other sides getting results against them to bail us out, especially towards the end, but it's still a tremendous result and it feels like 4 year so at Port Talbot have culminated in this fantastic achievement. I'm pleased to bring a first ever Welsh Premier League title to the fans and people of Port Talbot. 


Squad

 

I'd probably give Player of the Season to both James Sprudd and Lewis Banks, the CB and GK duo were really strong this season. Carl Pockett and Gavin Fitzpatrick were important up-front of course, with the two of them getting 17 and 16 goals respectively. 

 

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Season     Club                 Division                               Position      Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016/17    Ipswich Wanderers    Eastern Counties Premier League          8th         Eastern Counties League Cup winners
2017/18    Ipswich Wanderers    Eastern Counties Premier League         11th         Left in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18    Coventry Sphinx      Midland Football Premier League         13th         N/A
2018/19    Coventry Sphinx      Midland Football Premier League         10th         Left in December 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19    Carlton Town         United Counties Premier League           8th         United Counties League Cup runners-up. Sacked. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019/20    Basildon United      Essex Senior League                      3rd         Gordan Brasted Memorial Trophy winners
2020/21    Basildon United      Essex Senior League                     17th         Left in November 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21    Lincoln United       Northern Counties East Premier League   11th         N/A
2021/22    Lincoln United       Northern Counties East Premier League   17th         Left in December
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2021/22    Swindon Supermarine  Southern League 1st Division S/W        13th         N/A
2022/23    Swindon Supermarine  Southern League 1st Division S/W        18th         Left in January
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23    Trafford FC          Northern Premier League 1st Division N   7th         N/A
2023/24    Trafford FC          Northern Premier League 1st Division N  11th         Sacked in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2023/24    Hythe Town           Isthmian League 1st Division S          12th         Joined in January
2024/25    Hythe Town           Isthmian League 1st Division S           3rd         Left in March
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
2024/25    Canvey Island        Isthmian League Premier Division        23rd         Relegated 
2025/26    Canvey Island        Isthmian League 1st Division N          23rd         Sacked in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2025/26    Farsley Celtic       Northern Premier League 1st Division N  11th         Joined in January
2026/27    Farsley Celtic       Northern Premier League 1st Division N   5th         Left in March
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2026/27    Stourbridge          Northern League Premier Division        21st         Relegated
2027/28    Stourbridge          Southern League 1st Division C           5th         Promoted via Playoffs 
2028/29    Stourbridge          Southern League Premier Division        15th         Left in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2028/29    Lancaster City       Northern League Premier Division        21st         Relegeted. Sacked. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2029/30    Southport            Northern League Premier Division        14th         N/A
2030/31    Southport            Northern League Premier Division         5th         Left in April 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         3rd         Lost in Playoff Final
2031/32    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         2nd         Lost in Playoff Final
2032/33    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         6th         Left in January 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2032/33    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     8th         N/A
2033/34    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     3rd         Qualified for Europa League via Playoff
2034/35    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     5th         Welsh Cup winners
2035/36    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     2nd         Welsh League Cup winners
2036/37    Port Talbot Town     Welsh Premier League                     1st         Welsh Premier League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

Eastern Counties League Cup    x1 - 2016/17 (Ipswich Wanderers) 
Gordan Brasted Memorial Trophy x1 - 2019/20 (Basildon United) 

Welsh Premier League           x1 - 2036/37 (Port Talbot Town)
Welsh Cup                      x1 - 2034/35 (Port Talbot Town)
Welsh League Cup               x1 - 2035/36 (Port Talbot Town)

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Champions league, your havin a laugh.

 

 

Well done, very suspenseful reading through those posts.

 

Now watch a tier 9 side poach you ;)

Edited by jim owen

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The new deal was quickly offered to me. They actually offered me a fairly decent wage rise to £500 p/w but I want to keep it at the current level as I think that will make it easier for a club to come in for me. I wanted to get the Percentage of Club Compensation Require down a lot lower than the 50 percent it was at, but they would only accept it going down to 40 percent. 

 

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I've reported you for spam on the previous page.

Spoiler

Billedresultat for gi joke

Congratulations with your first league title!

Well be interesting to see, who comes in for you and when they do. Some teams should have taken notice by now.

 

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TNS won the Welsh Cup on penalties, which is good news for them, as well as the Welsh Coefficient as it means they make Europe rather than Connah's Quay. So our Europa League participants will be Afan Lido, TNS and Prestatyn who won the Playoff. We could've probably done with Bala or Airbus winning the Playoff, I think Bala certainly deserved Europe on merit alone for a great season, but the Welsh league doesn't often reward European places on merit. You can come 7th like Prestatyn and still manage it with a few wins at the end of the season! Oh well hopefully they can all do something decent in the Europa League. 

Personally I'm not hugely confident going into the Champions League, TNS' record isn't hugely great: 

 

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Fingers crossed we avoid Molde! Although we do give the Scandinavian sides a good game tbf

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This season marked Jose Mourinho's last year in management, he went out with something of a bang, as his Man United side won a domestic double, including a 3-0 FA Cup win against Man City at Wembley. Mourinho's men couldn't quite seal the treble though, as Jardim's City beat them 2-1 in the Champions League final at the Stade de France, which would ultimately be Mourinho's last ever match. 

What a career he's had nonetheless though, including 9 Champions League wins and 9 Premier League wins: 

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Elsewhere in the Pyramid: 

 

Sunderland pulled off a shock top 6 finish. Swansea have been relegated to League 1 alongside fellow Welsh side Cardiff. Coventry City return to the Championship for the first time since this save game began, Barrow won a League 2 Playoff Final to get up to League 1, with Charlton Athletic winning the Conference Playoff to return to the Football League after a 5 year absence - they beat John Terry's Salford City in the final. Matlock made history as they won the Conference North Playoff to get to the Conference for the fist time in their history, with Bishop's Stortford performing similar feats in the Conference South. 

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The Europa League 1st Round is over. Let's see how the Welsh lot did then, shall we...

 

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Afan Lido lost both legs to Belorussian opposition. They didn't get outclassed by the looks of it but nothing to write home about or to add to the coefficient. 

 

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I thought that TNS might get through against their Bosnian opponents and they looked in a decent position to do so after a 1-1 draw in the first leg, but they had a guy sent off in the away leg which can't have helped. I suppose a draw in 1 of the games is better than 2 losses. 

 

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Prestatyn were actually the surprise package. I expected nothing from them but they got a really good 0-0 draw in Zurich, before unfortunately losing 1-0 in the home leg. 

 

I guess it's down to us to save the Welsh coefficient!

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Our summers are never really that exciting, but this summer certainly had a lot more going on than usual. Chris Cornell wanted to leave for first team football so I let him go to Aber for just over £9K. I wanted to sack off Aaron Goodwin due to him being a complete liability with red cards, thankfully recently promoted to the SPL side Dunfermline took him on for £20K. They also took on Gavin Fitspatrick who kicked up a massive fuss about wanting to move to a bigger club, so he joined them for £50K. Richard Walker's mandatory buy-clause to Oldham kicked in on the 1st of July so off he went for £45K, I wish him all the best with Abou Diaby's League 1 side. Mike Rush joined my old side Ipswich Wanderers on loan, as soon as I offered him out on loan and they were interested I had to give them first priority. 

The main difference with this transfer window was not neccesarily the quality of player we could get in, but more the amount of players we could get in. I had a wage budget increase/gap of around £10K, whereas usually this is £2K max. I suppose to an extent we only signed 3 top quality players to add to our squad, as 2 of the guys we got in were placing Fitzpatrick and Goodwin anyway. But either way I'll show you the players who have joined...

Martin Taggart joins to replace Gavin Fitzpatrick up-front, it's a like for like in the sense they're both strikers and from Northern Ireland. Martin was available having been released by Cliftonville of the Northern Irish PL on a free transfer, despite scoring 8 goals in 24 games last season. He seems a good left footed player with a powerful shot, I'm hoping for good things. Craig McCabe is another Northern Irish teenager, he was released by Ballinamallard United despite featuring in 46 games and getting 17 assists last season - perhaps he only left after refusing to sign a new deal, I don't know. He will replace Goodwin in central midfield though. 

Tony Robertson will be our new starting LB, he's a 23 year old Scottish lad who was released by League 2 side Luton after featuring in just 18 games all last season for them. He'll be joined on the left side by Carl Simpson, a 23 year old Northern Irish winger who was released by League 2 side Bristol Rovers after a fairly unsuccessful first and only season for them.

Finally, the last player joining our ranks is Brazilian born, Carlos Eduardo, a 24 year old defensive minded midfielder who can also slot in at CB, he was unemployed after being let go by League 1 side Morecambe where he's been a backup player for the last 2 seasons.  

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Congrats on the title! I just read through this whole thread in the last couple of days. Nice to see a league title under your belt after so many setbacks.

Gotta agree on Taggart, he looks promising. Hopefully he has a bit of room to grow as well.

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Remember to try and start on a new coaching badge course :)

 

Exciting times, hopefully this will be a springboard to improve the team and dominate the league.  

Would be nice to see you at a new club by the end of the season though, back in England. 

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The draw for the Champions League has been made and we will play Olimpija of Slovenia. There were other sides that would have been harder, but this is far from an easy draw, the last time Olimpija failed to make the 3rd Qualifying Phase was 2023/24 when Dundalk knocked them out. 

We will return to the massive Swansea Community Stadium for the first leg where we are 7/2 outsiders to get a win, although it's worth noting against the Europa League sides we're usually given 7/1 at home, so perhaps the league win and slight European run last year has given the club a boost in reputation.

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Due to a couple of injuries we are unable to field our strongest first team, with central midfielder Jonny Moses out for a few more weeks with a lower back stress fracture and the Brazilian CB/CM new signing Carlos Eduardo out for another 6 weeks after tearing a groin muscle in one of his first training sessions. Our striker Chris Pennock would not have started but he too will be absent from the squad, as he has only just recovered from a broken ankle he suffered in April, unfortunately he probably won't be quite there for the return leg in Slovenia either. The two injuries to central midfield players means that long-serving vice-captain Jeremy Mutumbo gets a start in the heart of midfield, alongside new signing Chris McCabe. Tony Robertson at LB, Carl Simpson at LM and Martin Taggart up-front all also get their debuts. 

 

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Our bench is a mix of youth and experience. Joel Foster and Bradley Tucker have been at the club for the entire time I've been here, whilst they've now transitioned into squad players, their experience and versatility is still important to me, although I'd happily let them leave if they wanted like I have with others in their situation. Robert McCreesh is a 19 year old lad from our youth system who has been a back-up choice for a couple of years now, last season he made 6 substitute appearances from the bench in all competitions, he will likely never be a starter here but he could quite easily become a starter for all but the very best sides in the Welsh Premier League one day.

Jonathan Samuel is a 16 year old who came through in our intake last season, he's not quite there yet but he does have very high potential according to my Assistant, who thinks one day he could be a star player in the league, he will be 5th choice CM this season, and could get a surprise debut in the Champions League due to the injuries we have at the moment. James Gardiner has been more or less the entire time I've been here, the Northern Irishman has only ever really been a squad player but he is decent and fairly reliable for 20 minutes here and there. Ken Leonard was our first choice left winger last season and despite doing okay has now been demoted to a substitute, albeit a very good substitute for this level who is capable of playing outwide and up-front which is useful to have, how long we can keep him without first team football is another question though.  Finally, another young lad that we've brought through, 18 year old Liam Pockett, is on the bench due to Chris Pennock being out injured. He's fairly good back-up for this level and whilst he'll likely never start regularly for us, he is a good young player to have around and could quite easily go on to play for one of the better sides outside of the TNS' and Afan Lido's of the league. He spent last season out on loan with Basildon United in the Essex Senior League, where he scored 8 goals in 33 games. 

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10th minute: Youngjohns has the ball for Port Talbot in his own half, he hits a long ball up to Pockett who has his back to goal about 40 yards out, Pockett glances the header on but there's nobody running onto it and the keeper collects it. He decides to pass it out from defence and gives it to Korosec on the left side, he passes it up to Hvastija, who passes it infield towards the half-way line to Rampre, Rampre passes to his right to Pisek who is just past the half-way line, he makes an absolutely terrific long ball to Arsic who is just outside the centre of our box, he pulls it down after getting to it before our CBs, he knocks it out to the right to Kurez, Kurez's first touch is poor but it's enough to give him the space to put in an awkward but well whipped cross towards Arsic who again beats our CBs to the ball...and Arsic's powerful header puts it past Lewis Banks! PORT TALBOT 0-1 OLIMPIJA just after the 10 minute mark. 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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26th minute: Youngjohns has it here on the right wing for Port Talbot, he gets past the Slovenians' left back and hits in a cross...but it hits a Olimpija defender and goes out for a corner. McCabe with the corner for Port Talbot... it's towards Betsy at the near post but an Olimpija defender gets to it first and he heads it away to the edge of the box...but it's straight to Taggart who hits it first time....AND IT'S IN!!! With an absolutely thunderous strike on his debut, Martin Taggart has Port Talbot level just 15 minutes after going behind. PORT TALBOT 1-1 OLIMPIJA

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39th minute: Lewis Banks with a goal kick here for Port Talbot. He hits it long towards Youngjohns on the right hand side just inside Olimpja's half, but Olimpija's left back gets it first and heads it towards Arsic, he glances it on to Pisek in the middle of the pitch and he plays a wonderful 1-2 with Arsic, who's already sprinting towards the Port Talbot box, his pace is leaving the Port Talbot defence for dead with only Betsy left for him to get past, he gets inside the box and cuts in straight past a helpless Betsy, he strikes it with his left foot towards Banks' near post...but Banks can't keep it out! It goes straight into the top corner and just before half time the visitors have the lead once more and have two away goals to their name. PORT TALBOT 1-2 OLIMPIJA

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42nd minute: Pisek has the ball on the halfway line for Olimpija and Port Talbot need to be strong in defence here as Pisek looks to pass out to his left, but McCabe makes a great interception and steals the ball from him before he gets the chance. McCabe passes it along the floor to Taggart who has drifted back in the middle of the Olimpija half taking one of the CBs with him, he passes it upwards towards Pockett who is in some space, but he's still 40 yards from goal with 3 Olimpija defenders to get past and no Port Talbot shirts ahead or alongside him, Pockett manages to hold it up a bit which gives Taggart time to sprint up on the right hand side and Simpson to catch up on the left, he passes it out to Simpson who only really has Taggart to aim for in the box alongside 3 Olimpija players, it's a really powerful driving low ball into the area... Taggart manages to break the offside trap and get ahead of two of the ball-watching defenders, he hits it first time with his left foot and OHHHHH THAT'S AN UNBELIEVABLE FINISH! A Robin van Persie-esque goal from Taggart and due to some sloppy defending but wonderful play, it's PORT TALBOT 2-2 OLIMPIJA!

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It's half-time at the Swansea Community Stadium and it's PORT TALBOT 2-2 OLIMPIJA. The away side will be pleased to have got 2 crucial away goals, but the Port Talbot faithful are bouncing here having seen their side twice come back from behind to get back into this one. 3,651 fans are here, with 557 of those being travelling Slovenians, that means over 3,000 are here cheering on Port Talbot and they'll be hoping they can keep themselves in the game in the second half!

Edited by PaulHartman71

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48th minute: Pisek's causing problems in the middle again, he passes it out to the right wing but Robertson launches a powerful yet fair tackle into him to get the ball back. He launches a through ball up the wing to Carl Simpson who looks like he might have a good run at Olimpija here... but no...he's brought down by a Olimpija defender who is shown a booking for a clever foul. Port Talbot do have a free kick on the left hand side now though, it's around 50 yards out but they're throwing 6 or 7 players forward into the box, it's Haig who will take the free kick for the home side. It's a decent delivery to the edge of the box and Sprudd is the first to reach it, he heads it on to Pockett but he too can only get a glancing header onto it, but it falls straight to an unmarked Betsy who goes for the bottom of the far corner first time... he's just put enough on it to get it past the keeper!! PORT TALBOT TAKE THE LEAD!!! It's PORT TALBOT 3-2 OLIMPIJA!

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50th minute: Pisek has the ball in the middle of pitch, Olimpija are looking to regroup here and launch another attack, he passes to his left but McGabe makes another important interception! He smashes it upfield to Pockett just outside the box but the Olimpija defender has dealt with it comfortably. Or he has? Was that a push? Yes. The referee has deemed Pockett to be unfairly fouled there and Port Talbot have a free-kick in a good position here!

 

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McCabe has lined this up for a while and will surely have a shot here. There's 5 players in the wall and you'd think McCabe would surely aim for the top right corner as the keeper looks a bit far off it...IT'S MCCABE...AND IT'S IN!!! He's his a thumping strike and the keeper couldn't get there! Would you believe it?! It's PORT TALBOT 4-2 OLIMPIJA!!

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64th minute: It's a double change for Port Talbot. Josh Youngjohns will make way for James Gardiner in a straight swap on the right side of midfield, and it a tiring Jeremy Mutumbo will be replaced in the heart of midfield by the 16 year old making his full debut, Jonathan Samuel, and what a game to get it in! The fans cheer for him as he runs on looking a bit nervous. 

69th minute: Olimpija are really going for it now. They need to get some more goals and they know it. It's Rampre in the middle who passes it to Balazic on the left, Balazic cuts inside and leaves Haig for dead, he whips it into the middle towards Arsic....he hits a stunning first time shot but it's straight at Lewis Banks who makes the save! 

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77th minute: Carl Pockett appears to have picked up a slight knock for Port Talbot here, I think he will be coming off. Yes he's being subbed. Ken Leonard is coming on in what appears to be a like for like change. 

80th minute: Gardiner has the ball here, he passes it to the youngster Samuel in the middle of the pitch, he passes it back to Betsy, Betsy hits a long ball towards Gardiner who is now in some space on the right, but the Olimpija left back is there again and makes a fine tackle to get the ball back, he shoots it upfield to Balazic who is casuing all sorts of problems on the left wing, he puts another cross back in towads Arsic and surely he can't miss here... but his header is caught by Lewis Banks who in the end makes a fairly routine save. 

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83rd minute: Balazic is still causing havoc here for Port Talbot, surely something has to give soon as it's all Olimpija, Balazic drives past Robertson into the box but no...he's on the floor now and was that a foul from Robertson? It was! The referee is pointing to the spot and Olimpija have a penalty here. 

 

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It's Kozar to take it here. Lewis Banks is an imposing figure in that goal and he has a fairly decent record at penalties. Can he be a hero here? It's Kozar to take it...he's gone for the top right corner, Banks goes the right way and...NO. He couldn't quite get there. It's a 3rd all important away goal for Olimpija, it's PORT TALBOT 4-3 OLIMPIJA and can Olimpija get an equaliser on the night with just under 6 minutes plus stoppage time here?!

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93rd minute: Olimpija are still piling men forward here and Port Talbot look dead on their feet. Will Olimpija get one last chance to get an equaliser here? It's Pisek to knock it forward...BUT THAT'S IT. The referee has blown his whistle.

It's full time here and it's Port Talbot 4-3 Olimpija! What a win for Port Talbot! The fans cannot believe it. They'll be having a lovely time tonight!

 

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Congratz! Huge victory, hope you can hold them off at the return leg.

Cheers,
Bitner 

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In terms of team news for this the return leg, we name an unchanged starting 11 and subs bench. Chris Pennock is now back to full training after his injury, but he's not fit enough to play any role in this so he remains out of the squad. 

We line up with the trusty 4-4-2 with our usual defensive mentality. A draw or a win will see us through. It will be a tough ask against the Slovenians away from home, but we'll give it everything and see what happens. Unless we lose 4-3 any loss by 1 goal would see us out due to Olimpija getting 3 away goals.

Edited by PaulHartman71

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21 minutes: Vuk has the ball here on the left wing for Olimpija, he passes it infield to a completely unmarked Pisek who is about 25 yards out. He has Arsik ahead of him to his right, but no it looks like he might shoot first time...OHHH and what a goal that is! He's smashed it right into the bottom left keeper. That caught the keeper completely off guard! The architect in the first leg has taken it upon himself to get some goals in this one, and it's OLIMPIJA (4) 1-0 PORT TALBOT (4). As it stands Port Talbot would be out on away goals.

Edited by PaulHartman71

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