AFTER the horror-show of their previous game versus Bala Town just four days previously, Llanelli Town finally came up with a display which proves they are more than capable of raising their game, and they more than matched their near neighbours when they met on Boxing Day.
Some tactical changes by manager Andy Hill were instrumental in ensuring the home side competed with their opponents in every department, and they began on the front foot from the start, with James Loveridge firing just wide when Chris Jones set up the chance.
Another slick move involving a number of players culminated in Michael George curling his finish at the goal, only to be thwarted by Carmarthen keeper Lee Idzi who diverted it around for a corner.
When the Old Gold countered, Oliver Davies in the home goal was forced off his line to push clear from Liam Thomas when he chased down a ball from Lewis Baldwin.
They threatened again shortly after, when a Declan Carroll corner was met at the far post by Greg Walters who in turn found Lee Surman, but he was unable to direct his effort on target.
Both sides continued to probe for the all – important opener, with possession being evenly contested, but at the interval neither goal had been breached, and it was still all to play for in the second half.
The Reds were forced into a change during the interval when Ross Jones, making his first appearance since suffering a serious shoulder injury, was forced to give way to academy player, Jamie Owen, but despite this disruption, they continued to be very much in the contest.
In fact, they were the first to threaten, with George lofting just over the bar from a Joe Clarke assist, before the visitors missed a glorious opportunity of breaking the deadlock with Thomas directing his header wide from close range when he met a cross into the box.
Luke Bowen was also culpable of spurning another good chance for the Old Gold, heading over the top from a Walters delivery, and at this stage, the hosts were coming under some serious pressure, but just about holding out.
Their goal survived another close call when a ball lofted into the goalmouth led to Davies failing to make a clean catch, and it dropped to the feet of Thomas, but again the chance was skied over the bar.
The visitors were made to pay for these costly lapses, when the Reds finally broke the deadlock on 67 minutes, following a break up the left which led to Jordan Davies delivering a great cross into the middle, and George was on hand to meet it with a firm header past Idzi.
Buoyed by this success, the home side took the game to the Old Gold, and when Jones was played in by Chris Thomas in midfield, his well struck shot was fractionally wide.
Seemingly now in control of matters, the Reds were then hit by a sucker punch in the 77th minute, when a clearance upfield left the covering defence exposed, allowing Bowen to take full advantage of a one-to-one situation before rounding the oncoming Davies and rolling his finish into a vacant net.
Even with this setback, the Reds might well still have snatched all three points, but were denied by a great save by Idzi who turned over a point blank Clarke header from a Jones cross.
At the close, a share of the points was probably a fair reflection on the overall play, but both sides remain in the danger zone and in desperate need of a few wins to haul themselves clear of trouble.
After the return at Carmarthen on New Year`s Day, the Reds entertain the league`s basement side, Llandudno, on Saturday, January 5, kick off 2.30pm.
More signings as Cwm build squad
FOLLOWING on from announcing their three new signings last week Cwmamman United have announced a further six this week.
Nathan Davies, who has captained the Carmarthenshire League Select side, joins from Bwlch Rangers while Rob Morgans joins having played with Haverfordwest County and Goodwick United previously.
They also announced the signing of four tremendously talented young players in Oliver Diamond, Korey Palmer, Stevie Evans and Joe Lewis.
“We are really pleased to have these boys on board as we are not only strengthening our first team squad with some really talented players ” said Ryan Stephens, First Team Manager, “but we are also building for the future.”
Ammanford romp to friendly win
AMMANFORD romped away in a goal fest in this pre season friendly beating their plucky opponents Pontarddulais by ten goals to nil on Friday (Jul 12).
Ammanford Manager Gruffydd Harrison will be pleased with his teams workout and even more excited with his forward line finishing prowess.
There were hat tricks for Gavin Jones who showed excellent pace and new signing Tristan Jenkins along with goals from Lee Trundle, Bruno Forkouh, Mathew Fisher and Craig Frater.
Ammanford have another friendly this Friday (Jul 19) when they take on Ynysygerwn.
After that they travel to Pontardawe Town on Tuesday (Jul 23) before a trip to Welsh Premier League neighbours Carmarthen Town on Saturday (Jul 27).
Carmarthenshire cyclist heading to Mont Blanc
WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE in full swing and the World’s best doing battle against each other, there is another big cycling event taking place within the French Alps.
The Tour du Mont Blanc claims to be the Worlds toughest road cycling event and Llangadog based cyclist, Matthew Page will be lining up and attempting to complete the arduous route.
The event is a non-stop, circumnavigation around the alpine peak of Mont Blanc, starting in France alpine resort of Les Saisies and heads through Switzerland and Italy before returning to finish back in Les Saisies.
Covering a total of 330km (205 miles) with 8300 vertical metres (27,300 feet) of climbing it is roughly the equivalent to tackling two of the toughest Tour de France stages, back to back without stopping and takes in well known alpine passes including the Grand Saint Bernard, Petit Saint Bernard, Cormet de Roseland and Col de la Forclaz.
Matthew is a former professional Mountain Biker, who competed internationally and specialised in 24hr solo competitions and also Carmarthenshire Sports Personality winner. Now a cycle event organiser and cycling media journalist he organises major off-road events within the county including Battle on the Beach, Gritfest and in November 2019 will be organising a round of the British Cycling cyclocross national series within Pembrey Country Park.
With less than 50% of starters likely to finish, Matthew is understandably apprehensive about the challenge: “This will undoubtedly be one of the hardest days I will ever encounter on the bike and despite having done 24hr events previously, the extra challenges the Tour du Mont Blanc brings, including lack of a support crew, route navigation, logistics and uncertain weather especially at higher altitudes. The event has been a major focus for me this year and I am looking forward to the challenge”.
The event takes place on Saturday July 20, with the fastest riders expected to finish in under 12 hours.
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