DESPITE the time of year being the season of good-will, Llanelli Town did not have to take the occasion quite so literally by allowing their opponents the freedom of the park throughout, leading to seven gift-wrapped goals.
To describe the Reds` defending as akin to schoolboys would be doing the youngsters a disservice, as yet another calamitous display led to further humiliation, a scenario which has become all too prevalent as the season progresses.
They have now shipped a total of 61 goals in 18 matches with a deficit of 43, and unless the squad is strengthened in the new year, the prospect of relegation is almost a certainty, with all the consequences associated with it.
The latest debacle took only 46 seconds to unfold, when the Lakesiders were gifted their opener courtesy of a wayward clearance by Reds` keeper, Oliver Davies, which only found a visiting player, who turned provider for Steven Tames to slot home the gift.
If this was not bad enough, worse was to follow with a further two goals in the space of five minutes, when a cross into the middle was deflected by Joe Clarke into his own net on 8 minutes, while Chris Venables arrived at the far post unmarked to power home his header after 13 minutes.
Three down before fifteen minutes had elapsed, it was obvious the home side were in for another difficult afternoon, and almost conceded another when a short corner between Henry Jones and Tames culminated in the ball being played into the path of Nathan Burke, whose finish flashed fractionally wide.
The visitors were running the show, with their opponents struggling to make any impact on proceedings, but out of the blue, and with about their only strike on target, the Reds pulled one back when Chris Jones, some 30 yards out, decided there was nothing to lose by unleashing a superb shot which left Ashley Morris in the Bala goal grasping thin air as it rocketed past him on the half hour.
This unexpected success only served to spur on the visitors, and they were quickly back on the offensive with Jones being denied by the fingertips of Davies who diverted his finish around the post when he was allowed a free passage towards the goal.
Without any further mishaps prior to the break, the Reds were just about clinging on, but the second period proved to be a replica of the first, with the visitors well on top with two further attempts by Jones being thwarted by Davies and then Kurtis March.
The Lakesiders were looking threatening every time they pushed forward, and it came as little surprise when they extended the lead on 57 minutes through Tames, who was afforded acres of space courtesy of some woeful defending, by sprinting through the middle and slotting his finish past the helpless Davies.
Eight minutes later, Ian Sheridan got in on the act with a glancing header which looped over the Reds` keeper, while Tames completed his treble in the 68th minute when he was again sent clear before coolly finishing past Davies.
With a six goal lead, the visitors surprisingly left it another 18 minutes before heaping more misery on their opponents, with Tames completing a memorable afternoon by getting his fourth when he met a ball driven low by Venables to the far post and find the bottom corner.
The final whistle by referee Dean Johns must have come as a welcome relief to the Reds who had once again been well and truly put to the sword, and with two vital games on the horizon against near neighbours Carmarthen Town at home on Boxing Day and away on New Year`s Day, they will certainly have to up their game if they have any hope of securing some much-needed points.
Kick off for the home fixture is at 12 noon, while the return is scheduled for a 5.30pm start as it is being shown live on S4C.
Wanderers edged out by Gowerton
LLANELLI Wanderers came close to victory against Gowerton on Saturday (Feb 16) but were unable to find a winning score as they were beaten 14-18.
Gowerton had taken the lead early on with a penalty and an unconverted try gave them an 8-0 lead at half time.
The Wanderers hit back in the second half with Sianco Morgan going over for the try and the conversion from Lewis Jones brought them to within a point of their opponents.
They then took the lead as Lloyd Thomas went over and Jones again added the extras to make it 14-8.
Gowerton hit back with a converted try of their own and they were back in the lead by a single point.
They then scored a penalty to make it 14-18 with six minutes to play. Try as they might the Wanderers could not find a way through and they had to settle for a losing bonus point.
The Wanderers are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they travel to Crymych.
Nant hold off Trimsaran
NANTGAREDIG remain unbeaten in League 3 West B after they sealed a narrow 17-18 win away to promotion rivals Trimsaran on Saturday (Feb 16).
The visitors took the lead with an early penalty scored but Trimsaran responded well with a try to take the lead but the conversion was missed and the home side led 5-3.
Nant hit back and got their first try of the game thanks to and the extras were added for a 3-10 lead.
They then extended their lead to 5-15 with an unconverted try and with half time looming, the lead was extended further with another penalty.
Lloyd Williams kicked one conversion and two penalties. Ben Nichols scored a try and Rhydian Evans scored the other.
With the score 18-5 at the break Trimsaran knew they would need to play well in the second half and they very nearly pulled off an excellent comeback.
Trimsaran scored two good tries with the latter try bringing the score to 17-18 setting up a nervy finish for both sides.
However, it was Nantgaredig who showed why they have not lost a game this season as they held on for the win.
They have now won 24 games on the bounce and look favourites for the title and promotion this season.
On Friday (Feb 22), Trimsaran are at home as they take on Penybanc with the game kicking off at 7:15pm.
Nantgaredig are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they host CR Cymry Caerdydd in the quarter final of the WRU Bowl.
Kidwelly come from behind to win thriller
WITH both sides residing in a similar league position in Division 1 and a spot in the Senior Cup Quarter finals up for grabs, all was set for a close encounter between Kidwelly and Felinfoel on Saturday (Feb 16).
Felinfoel had home advantage and, having already beaten their opponents 3-1 earlier in the season, they were favourites to advance to the next round, but nothing is ever that simple in football.
During the first fifteen minutes Felinfoel dominated possession with much of the play happening in and around the Kidwelly box.
Felinfoel took the lead with twenty minutes gone when a dangerous cross was delivered towards the back post which resulted in a well-taken goal.
After the restart Kidwelly showed signs of resurgence with brothers Connor and Jordan Howells linking up well in midfield and creating problems for Felinfoel.
The fightback, however, was short lived as Felinfoel sent a wide free kick into the box and the ball was headed into the back of the net.
There was not much Kidwelly could have done about either goal as the deliveries for each were superb.
With five minutes left of the first half and Kidwelly not threatening much, they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Winger Rob Hammond sent a superb high ball into the box and Kyle Griffiths, former centre-back turned midfielder, flicked the ball over the keeper and into the net to give Kidwelly a glimmer of hope.
The half time whistle went and even though Felinfoel had the better of the half Kidwelly had shown good resilience and were pleased to be only 2-1 down at the break.
The second half started with both sides playing at a high tempo with Kidwelly in a confident mood having scored before the break and having come from behind to win in other games this season.
As the game continued both teams were battling hard with some big tackle flying in. Kidwelly had far more possession in the second half and created numerous good chances.
Kidwelly were playing some good stuff but it wasn’t until the hour mark when Rob Hammond, Kidwelly’s top goal scorer, latched on to a huge goal kick and delivered a clinical finish to make it 2-2.
Not long after that, Hammond again latched on to a forward pass and with a bit of creativity managed to turn the defender and find the bottom corner with a quality finish to put his side into the lead.
Felinfoel looked to get back in the game and Kidwelly manager Gareth Evans introduced fresh legs replacing hardworking Liam Jones with club captain Luc Fitzpatrick who was returning from injury.
This was an attempt to keep Felinfoel at bay but they threw everything they could at the makeshift Kidwelly keeper Danny Coleman, normally a number ten. However, Coleman made some tremendous saves and put his body on the line on numerous occasions.
Kidwelly survived three goal-mouth scrambles and on one occasion had ten players behind the ball trying to keep it out.
Unfortunately for Kidwelly, during one of those scrambles, veteran Chris Cray volleyed his goal keepers arm meaning Coleman would have to go off injured. He was replaced by striker Aled Giley with Daniel Griffiths, who was having an excellent game, having to go between the sticks for the rest of the game.
Both sides battled until the end with more strong tackles flying in but Kidwelly full backs Tom Hughes and Daniel Fitzpatrick had faced quality opposition wingers and came out on top.
Felinfoel played their part in an excellent cup game but Kidwelly, who have recently won five games on the bounce in Division 1, showed great resilience and team spirit to earn a thrilling win.
On Saturday (Feb 23), Kidwelly are at home as they play Pontlliw in the quarter final of the same competition, kick off 1:45pm.
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