Penybont FC manager Rhys Griffiths. Pic: Penybont FC.

Rhys, Lee And Kevin On Different Football Career Paths

Rhys Griffiths is on a Welsh League title mission at Penybont, while former Cardiff City goalkeeper Lee Kendall has started a survival battle with Pontypridd.

Kevin Richards, meanwhile, has stepped down from his role as Ton Pentre manager.

This was Richards second spell in charge at Ynys Park, having led the Rhondda Bulldogs to five Welsh League titles plus two Challenge Cup triumphs.

He stepped down from his managerial role this week with Ton Pentre lying bottom of Welsh League Division One.

Richards made his decision following  2-0 home defeat against fellow strugglers Taffs Well and a club statement said: “By mutual consent, Kevin Richards has stepped down from his position as manager of Ton Pentre AFC with immediate effect.”

He took over from former Cardiff City defender Lee Phillips 16 months ago.

Kevin Richards pictured during his first spell in charge at Ton Pentre when the Rhondda Bulldogs won the Welsh League title five times.

The Bulldogs travel to play Llantwit Major in the Nathaniel Car Sales Welsh League at Windmill Lane this weekend.

Former Llanelli and Plymouth Argyle striker Griffiths has his heart set on leading Penybont to the Welsh League title.

The Bridgend-based club are top of the table and defeated Haverfordwest County, one of their closest rivals, 3-0 away.

County, nicknamed the Bluebirds, have been rocked by the loss of ex-Swansea striker Lee Trundle to Trefelin GBC and teenage forward Danny Williams to Cardiff City.

Williams, a 19-year-old who had netted 18 goals for Haverfordwest this season, is now in the Cardiff under-23 squad and has made two appearances.

Cullen Kinsella (2) and Kostya Georgievsky scored Penybont’s goals at Haverfordwest and Griffiths warned: “It was an important game, but, how important we don’t know yet. 

Pontypridd Town manager Lee Kendall during his playing days. Pic: Getty Images.

“If you’re not eight or nine out of 10, you won’t win the game. We were nine or ten out of ten in terms of effort and commitment, but perhaps not so good with the ball.

“There is, though, a desire and a commitment in the group. The reason why we are on a run is not because of anything Martyn Giles or I are doing, but because the players never give up. 

“Their resolve is unbelievable. There have been games where we should have lost this season perhaps, but didn’t because the players never give in.

“There is a long, long way to go. It’s not insurmountable for Haverfordwest, Cambrian or even Afan Lido. We have some tough games ahead, a difficult game on Saturday against Undy.”

Kendall, the son of former Cardiff and Wales goalkeeper Mark, has been appointed Pontypridd manager and made his mark immediately with a 5-0 win against Ammanford.

Ponty have won only three of their 19 matches this season and were bottom of Division One, but moved up thanks to that win against Ammanford. Kendall, aged 38, has taken over from Gavin Beddard, who is staying with the club as a player.

He has been a coach with Welsh Premier League Barry Town United plus goalkeeper coach at The New Saints.

TNS manager Scott Ruscoe.

“I worked under two excellent managers and learned a lot from Scott (Ruscoe) because we’re of a similar age.

“How he deals with his players, how they deal with things on a full-time basis. I’d like to take things out of that. We’re in a position where we’re semi-professional.

“Gav (Gavin Chesterfield) is a really good friend. He was excellent in the process of me taking the Pontypridd job. I’d like to thank him for that, he’s given me some great advice.”

Luke Gullick, aged 32, scored a hat-trick for Pontypridd against Ammanford and took his goals tally for the club to 101 in five seasons. Substitute Kareem Leigh scored Ponty’s other two goals.

They are now third from bottom and Kendall is preparing the team for a match at home against Briton Ferry Llansawel this weekend.

Barry Town United manager Gavin Chesterfield.

Pontypridd Town are aiming to play home fixtures at Aberdare Town’s Aberaman Park for the rest of this season.

The Dragons had been playing their home games at the Cardiff International Sports Arena, but are moving back to Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Pontypridd need the go-ahead from Welsh League officials to make the move to Aberaman Park.

Welsh League results:

Division One: Briton Ferry 1, Llantwit Major 1; Cambrian and Clydach 2, Cwmbran Celtic 0; Goytre FC 1, Port Talbot FC 1; Haverfordwest County 2, Goytre United 0; Penybont 2, Andy Athletic 1; Pontypridd Town 5, Ammanford 0; Ton Pentre 0, Taffs Well 2; Afan Lido 2, Cwmamman United 4.

Welsh League fixtures: 

Friday, February 22: Cambrian and Clydach v Cwmamman United (7.30pm); Penybont v Goytre United (7.30pm); Taffs Well v Afan Lido (7.30pm).

Saturday, February 23: Ammanford v Undy Athletic (2pm); Cwmbran Celtic v Goytre FC (2pm); LLantwit Major v Ton Pentre (2pm); Pontypridd Town v Briton Ferry Llansawel (2pm); Port Talbot Town v Haverfordwest County (2pm).

Welsh League Division One 2018-2019

1 Penybont 17 14 3 0 45 15 45
2 Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC 19 12 4 3 35 16 40
3 Haverfordwest County 17 12 1 4 48 17 37
4 Afan Lido 20 10 3 7 41 38 33
5 Goytre United 19 9 4 6 30 19 31
6 Cwmamman United 16 8 5 3 29 22 29
7 Llantwit Major 19 8 4 7 26 24 28
8 Cwmbran Celtic 20 8 3 9 31 38 27
9 Ammanford 19 7 5 7 37 37 26
10 Undy Athletic 16 5 4 7 35 34 19
11 Briton Ferry Llansawel 16 5 4 7 21 26 19
12 Port Talbot Town 19 4 7 8 26 33 19
13 Taffs Well 18 5 2 11 22 34 17
14 Pontypridd Town 20 4 3 13 28 51 15
15 Goytre 19 4 2 13 20 39 14
16 Ton Pentre 20 4 2 14 17 48 14

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