AMMANFORD bowed out of the Nathaniel MG Cup on Saturday (Aug 10) as they were beaten 2-0 by JD Premier side Newtown.
The Club were well supported at Latham Park as the travelling Black and White army certainly made themselves heard throughout the entire game orchestrated by the drumming of Richie Phillips.
Newtown, were wary of their opponents and knew their passage into the next round of the Cup wasn’t going to be an easy ride.
The weather was blustery, showers mixed with a glimpse of blue sky, not the best conditions for both teams. Despite that, the game was never in doubt due to the home team’s 3G pitch.
As the game commenced it was Newtown, nicknamed The Robins, who started the game on the front foot.
As early as the third minute Newtown’s Nicholas Rushton saw his rasping shot shake the Ammanford crossbar and eventually cleared to safety.
A lot of Newtown’s best moves were being created by the midfield play of Sean McAllister who was threading his passes to his front men.
The Ammanford defence was resolute and the entire back four were working in tandem to clear their lines.
However, the deadlock was broken after twenty one minutes when Ammanford Goalkeeper Craig Morris palmed a cross onto his crossbar, but the ball rebounded and fell kindly to Newtown paceman Lifumpa Mwandwe who poked the ball into the net from close range 1-0.
Newtown almost doubled their lead five minutes later but wasted the opportunity when the ball was flashed over the crossbar from two yards out when it seemed easier to convert the chance.
Ammanford responded and probably had their best chance of the first half when the hard working Gavin Jones raced away down the line and rifled a shot which seemed destined to burst the Newtown net but was tipped away by Newtown Goalkeeper David Jones.
The game ebbed and flowed but at the interval it was the home team who held the slender 1-0 lead.
The Second Half saw both sides continue to move the ball around and Newtown saw efforts saved by Morris.
On the hour mark, a Newtown header rattled the Ammanford goal frame from close range and three minutes later the home Supporters were cheering as a fine passing move was tucked away into the Ammanford net only for it to be chalked off for offside.
As the game moved into the last quarter of an hour it was Ammanford who were pushing the home side onto the back foot.
Ammanford ‘s Lee Trundle won himself a free kick on the edge of the Newtown penalty area. Trundle took the free kick but his effort sailed well over the crossbar.
Gavin Jones broke away and fired in a cross come shot that was met by Ammanford substitute Bruno Forkouh who could only manage at full stretch to poke the ball over the Newtown crossbar.
Ammanford’s Ricky Martin must have thought he had got Ammanford back in the game with a powerfully driven low shot that flashed narrowly wide of the Newtown goal.
Then in the 90th minute Ammanford Goalkeeper Craig Morris came out of his area trying to make a clearance but the ball fell nicely to Newtown’s Sean McCallister who cleverly chipped the ball from 30 yards out into the unguarded Ammanford goal to effectively seal the victory.
Ammanford did have time for one last attempt at the Newtown goal when Craig Frater struck a powerful free kick from outside the box that hit the post and deflected onto the opposite post without crossing the Newtown goal line.
The final whistle went and it was the home team that celebrated the Cup Win.
After the game, Ammanford captain Rhys Fisher said: “All the boys were brilliant!! They were a good outfit and not one of our players looked out of their depth. We had a chance at the death which would have made it 1-1 and into penalties and on another day who knows.
“There’s competition for places at the moment which is great for the team and next weeks league fixture can’t come quick enough. The buzz in the dressing room is like no other I have experienced since being with the club.”
Ammanford can take heart and pride from this performance against their Premier League opposition. So it’s Newtown into Round 3 of the Nathaniel MG Cup and for Ammanford it’s JD Cymru South League action away to Taffs Well on Saturday (Aug 17).
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
Static Bike Challenge
Firefighters from Llandelio Fire Station took part in a 22-hour static bike challenge to raise money for Llandilo Rural Fire Brigade who have been tirelessly battling the devastating bush fires in Australia. LLandilo town in Australia was named after Llandelio in Carmarthenshire and the Fire Stations have maintained their connection over the years.
Seeing the efforts and the devastation of the bush fires in Australia and the work and dedication from the Firefighters to ensure their communities are safe, crews from Llandelio decided to raise funds by undertaking a 22 hour cycle on static bikes to represent the time it takes to fly to Australia.
On the 15th February 2020 at 3pm the challenge started! The firefighters were split into two teams of five, with each team taking it in turn to cycle for 30 minutes each throughout the 22 hours. This ensured that they were continually cycling and whilst still being able to provide operational cover. All this took place during Storm Dennis and during the challenge crews were called out to a total of eight incidents, one of which was a property flooding, during which crews rescued 6 adults and 2 dogs from a potentially critical situation.
Watch Manager, John Herman from Llandeilio Fire Station said:
“This entire experience has brought the two fire stations closer together, and after keeping in contact throughout this last few months, we look forward to continuing that connection for years to come!”
Over the two days, crews welcomed many visitors who came to show their support and donate money to the charity. To date the figure stands at £2,500 which is equivalent to almost $4900 AUD, and this figure is still rising with donations coming in from schools, town councils and public donations! Crews would like to give a special thanks to Llandelio CP School and Ysgol Gynradd Ffaifach who raised collectively over £800 for the challenge.
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