He is more used to working on the team’s injuries than their quest for a clean sheet but Duane Saunders deputised competently in the absence of Connor McFenton, who is serving a one match suspension following his red card against Newtown.
And indeed it was the quick reactions of the makeshift goalkeeper that stopped Josh Ryall from making more of the pass that had sent him through one on one. The keeper tackled Ryall in the only real moment of entertainment in a tepid first half hour.
Awoken by the moment of danger at their end, Port Talbot replied through Kurtis March’ rampaging run, culminating in a snap shot that zipped past the post.
In the second half, a catalogue of chances came and went for Cambrian and Clydach as they upped the tempo of their passing and movement. Such misses proved costly minutes later after James Loveridge bypassed his marker and found March in space. His effort was blocked by ubiquitous Jonathan Hood, who followed up instinctively to slot the ball past Steven Hall.
More defensive frailties were evident within five minutes due to a goalmouth scramble which was adjudged to result in a player being updended and a penalty awarded. Stepping up was Jamie Real and the striker did his best Alan Shearer impression with a rifled shot past Saunders.
James Loveridge crossed again from wide and Joe Clarke rose to bullet a header that had Hall making a spectacular reflex save. This was every bit the Roy of the Rovers cup tale that football purists love to see.
Andy Dyer took off Martin Rose and brought on long term midfield absentee, Luke Bowen, following a lengthy injury. He nearly made his mark with an extra time diagonal strike that prompted another smart stop by Hall although there was more to come from Bowen. Running into the box at full pelt and meeting a ball sweetly with his right foot, it looked as though a goal was an inevitability. Hall somehow stopped the initial effort and then blundered by dropping the ball over the line. For the majority of this one he was unbeatable however his own goal proved to be the difference in a brilliantly contested cup tie.