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.
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.
News2 weeks ago
Tributes paid to ‘kind natured’ man who was killed by falling tree
News2 weeks ago
Vote of no confidence to be tabled
News1 week ago
Plaid Cymru MP campaigns against martial law
News1 day ago
Care home told staff not to speak Welsh
Farming2 weeks ago
Big Farmland Bird Count returns
Sport4 days ago
Kidwelly come from behind to win thriller
Sport2 weeks ago
Llanelli earn much needed win
News3 days ago
Plans to partially re-open Cwmduad road following landslide