South Wales Alliance Premier League promotion favourites Cwm Welfare were the visitors to the Oval to take on newly-promoted Ynyshir Albions this evening.
First blood went to the Welfare, Rhys Williams running onto a through ball from Jacob Whitfield and shooting into the roof of the net after just three minutes to give the away side a 1-0 lead.
The visitors dominance in the early stages saw them double their lead ten minutes later when Williams bagged his second of the game, rounding the home keeper and tapping the ball into the empty net following an under-hit backpass from Daniel Evans.
Williams was a constant thorn in the side of the home defence and was unlucky not to complete his hat-trick mid-way through the half, heading against the post from a Owain Adams free-kick.
The hosts were struggling to get back into the game and were restricted to long range efforts. Their best chance of the first half came when Chris Coles was forced to turn a 35 yard drive from Scott Jones around the post.
From the resulting corner the ball fell to Jamie Rewbury but he couldn’t keep his shot down, blazing high over the bar from nine yards out.
On the stroke of half-time, just as the hosts seemed to be getting a foothold in the game, Welfare added a third, Zak Griffiths scoring with a sublime dipping volley from 25 yards.
The early stages of the second period followed a familiar pattern, Albions were reduced to long range efforts and hopeful balls forward, finding it difficult to create any clear cut chances against a resolute Cwm defence.
Just after the hour mark, the result looked beyond any doubt when Lewis Harries volleyed in from close range following a mistake from home custodian Jason Pritchard to give the visitors a seemingly unassailable 4-0 lead.
To their credit, the hosts never gave up and minutes later missed a glorious chance to reduce the arrears when Huw McGregor shot wide with only Chris Coles to beat.
McGregor soon had the chance to make amends and did so in fine style, connecting with a superb cross-field pass from Callum Westcott and guiding a controlled left foot volley into the far corner of the net.
Three minutes later, McGregor turned provider, heading back across goal intelligently to allow substitute Craig Wells to halve the deficit with a header from six yards.
The home crowd sensed a comeback was on the cards and with 15 minutes left to play, a long punt forward from Sean Jones slipped through Coles’ grasp and into the net to make the score 3-4.
As the home side poured forward looking for the equaliser, Welfare looked dangerous on the break and but for a better final ball could well have extended their lead and extinguished any hopes of an Albions comeback. The Buns were not to be denied however and claimed the equaliser with 10 minutes remaining, Jamie Rewbury smashing home a low free kick to complete the most remarkable of comebacks and send the home faithful into ecstasy.
Now in the ascendancy, the home side pressed forward looking to claim the unlikeliest of three points but that would have been harsh on Cwm and as the final whistle blew, both sides can be proud of the part they played in an incredible 4-4 draw in what was a fantastic advert for the South Wales Alliance.