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Valuable win for Ammanford

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IT was all smiles again at Windmill Lane on Saturday (Aug 31) as Ammanford picked up a valuable away win at the home of Llantwit Major.

Manager Gruff Harrison will be well pleased with his team’s performance.

The win was well deserved and I don’t think the most ardent home supporters would disagree.

The game got off to a great start when after 9 minutes, Ammanford striker Lee Trundle broke free and unleashed a rasping shot that beat the outstretched dive of the home Goalkeeper and struck the back of the net with some venom! The home defence could only look on and admire the finish.

Ammanford were in control of the game despite the blustery conditions.

The home side found it difficult to break the shackles of the Ammanford midfield and defence.

Ammanford, with Trundle, Frater, Jones and Martin were always a threat on the counter attack.

The home side’s best chance of an equaliser came ten minutes before the break when a long range shot flashed over the visitors crossbar.

Ammanford played into the wind in the second half and continued to control the pace of the game.

Ricky Martin and Gavin Jones with the support from the Ammanford full backs Mathew Jones and Richard Lewis were causing their opponents problems.

A Craig Frater long range effort almost caught the home Goalkeeper out, but the ball bounced to safety over the crossbar.

Gavin Jones came close as his effort from close range hit the crossbar.

Ammanford midfielders Dale Jones and Ben Soal were finding space away from their markers and in the 63rd minute it was Ben Soal who hit a speculative 35-yard screamer of a shot which dipped and swerved in the blustery wind.

The Llantwit Goalkeeper got right underneath the ball and slightly misjudged the flight and deflected the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and over his goal line. The Assistant Referee raised his flag immediately to signal the goal!

Ammanford were totally in the box seat of this game and seemed to be cruising towards victory.

However in the 68th minute Ammanford’s Centre Back Nick Glendon misjudged his tackle and was adjudged to have brought down his man on the edge of his penalty area.

It was Glendon’s second yellow card of the game and he saw the referee brandish his red card.

Ammanford, now down to ten men, had to regroup and sacrificed forward Craig Frater for defender Nich Arnold.

Further Ammanford substitutes were made with Bruno Forkouh and Tristan Jenkins coming on.

Llantwit Major saw a chink of light and pushed forward looking to get themselves back in the game.

Lee Trundle settled any late nerves in the 80th when he controlled the ball and  pushed it in front of him then rocketed in his second goal of the game.

Llantwit Major to their credit never gave up and forced Ammanford Goalkeeper Craig Morris into making some fine saves.

The home team did eventually get a consolation goal in the 91st minute when a low cross was played across the Ammanford six yard area and was turned into the Ammanford net.

At the final whistle it was a joyous Ammanford team and their travelling support that were celebrating.

Ammanford entertain Cwmbran Celtic at home on Saturday, September 7.

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Sport

Carmarthen sunk by seven-goal Barry blitz

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JD Premier League
Barry Town Utd 7 – Carmarthen Town 1
OUT-THOUGHT, outrun and outclassed – Carmarthen went into this match desperately needing points to lift themselves out of the Cymru Premier League relegation places but they were simply overwhelmed by the slick attacking football that Barry produced.
The Old Gold were handicapped from the start due to the absence of experienced goalkeeper Lee Idzi and this season’s top goal-scorer Luke Bowen, both due to injury which, in Idzi’s case, occurred during the pre-match warm-up.
Carmarthen went close to opening the scoring. Declan Carroll, from near the half-way line, fired a long free-kick into the penalty area where Lee Surman headed the ball on to Liam Thomas who struck a close-range shot that hit the underside of the bar – the ball then rebounded onto the goal-line before a defender cleared it safely away.
Barry responded immediately to that scare by swarming upfield and when a pass was played towards the penalty area there was evident confusion amongst the visitors’ defence which allowed Jack Compton to head the ball across to prolific goal-scorer McLaggon who confidently drove it past Windsor and into the net.
Spurred by that success Barry went on to largely dominate the proceedings with some smart passing and rapid movement as they carved through the Old Gold defence all too often.
On 16 minutes, they increased their lead when Momodou Touray broke clear along the right flank then delivered a dangerous cross into the penalty area where McLaggon, worryingly unchallenged by any defenders, executed a perfect overhead kick to send the ball past Windsor and into the back of the net.
Very soon afterwards Barry extended their lead again when the Town defenders unwisely attempted to pass their way out of their own penalty area with the inevitable dire consequences. Theo Wharton easily robbed Jay Woodford of the ball on the edge of the penalty area and swiftly passed it across to Touray who neatly side-stepped Alaric Jones before firing a rasping drive that flew beyond Windsor’s reach and into the goal.
That three-goal blitz, coupled with Carmarthen’s seeming inability to make any real impression on the home defence, appeared to have settled to the outcome of this match inside the first 30 minutes.
To their credit, the Old Gold remained keenly competitive and in the 35th minute, they were rewarded when Callum Saunders, in his first appearance since recently signing for the Club, struck an impressive 20-yard free-kick over the defensive wall and into the top corner of the net to leave ‘keeper Mike Lewis well-beaten.
Moments later United restored their three-goal advantage. Jack Compton sent a searching corner-kick into the packed goalmouth where Windsor, under pressure from several players, mishandled the ball and Luke Cooper promptly stabbed it into the net.
There was further despair for Town on 41 minutes when Compton dispatched a superb 35-yard free-kick that left Windsor floundering and the net bulging as the ball flew into the top corner of the goal.
In the 70th minute, Barry extended their lead –former Carmarthen player Luke Cummings moved forward along the right-wing before firing the ball to the far side of the goalmouth where Touray headed the ball across to another former Carmarthen player, Clayton Green, who struck a close-range volley into the back of the net.
Barry continued to open up the Old Gold defence all too easily.
It was no surprise that as the match moved into added time Barry scored their seventh goal. Following a corner-kick, Touray released a fierce drive that struck the bar but saw Evan Press react quicker than any defender to claim the rebound and fire the ball into the net to conclude a truly miserable evening for Town supporters.

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Sport

World class Astro Turf pitch in Carmarthen

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A new state of the art Astro Turf pitch has opened at Carmarthen Leisure Centre.

The world class pitch welcomed its first players on Saturday with a hockey match.

It is part of a £1million, two-phase investment in the centre which will enhance current facilities, community provision and offer customers a better experience.

Carmarthenshire County Council is delivering the scheme.

Plans for the second phase will be to replace the current six-lane athletics track with an eight-lane one. This track will be the only one of its kind in West Wales.

Additional parking will also be provided to meet current demand and improvements will be made to ease traffic flow.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, the council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said more people than ever are using the council leisure centres.

He said “What a fantastic transformation. This new pitch is of such a high grade that it will be on par with the best pitches in the world. More people than ever are using the centres to get more active and healthy, so it is critical that we are able to provide them with modern facilities that compete with a busy private sector market. If we don’t invest we face the possibility of losing our customers which would have a long term effect on the viability of our leisure centres. We are pleased we are making this significant investment which will benefit our members and the local community and schools.”

Over £2 million is being ploughed into Carmarthen and Ammanford centres to ensure sport facilities are fit for the future.

Cllr Hughes-Griffiths added: “There will be some temporary upheaval whilst these works are underway, and we thank regular users for their patience whilst we await these brand new facilities.”

Pic: Andrew Sellick, Actif facilities manager, and Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, with QE High School pupils, testing out the new 2G pitch at Carmarthen Leisure Centre.

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Sport

Old Gold snatch vital draw

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JD Cymru Premier League
Penybont 1 – Carmarthen Town 1

AFTER an impressive performance to defeat Penybont at Richmond Park on Boxing Day, expectations among the Town supporters who travelled along the M4 for this Cymru Premier League return fixture. Glad tidings of great joy were, however, in short supply this time around.

An uneventful opening period saw play confined to the pitch’s middle third, neither side threatening much in the way of attacking threat.
In the 11th minute, Penybont carved open the Old Gold defence in clinical fashion.

Nathan Wood fired a dangerous cross towards the far post where Daniel Griffiths rose high above Alaric Jones to head the ball back into the goalmouth. Kostya Georgievsky reacted quicker than any defender and planted his close-range header past ‘keeper Lee Idzi and into the net.

As Town appeared laboured and uncertain, on 31 minutes Penybont went close to stretching their lead when Wood released a fierce long-range drive that Idzi, with a flying full-length dive, turned narrowly wide of the post.

Carmarthen’s only significant goal threat during the entire first-half came in the 36th minute when a rasping effort from Luke Bowen was well-parried by home keeper Rhys Wilson.

The second half’s opening was no better than the quality of play in much of the first period. Both sides gave the ball away too easily, with careless misplaced passes a constant feature of their exchanges.

Midway through the second-half, Town gradually began to exert notable pressure on the Penybont defence.

On 77 minutes Declan Carroll fired a free-kick into the crowded penalty area where Jay Woodford, from 15 yards, curled a delightful shot over several defenders but saw Wilson produce a smart save to claim the ball.

Penybont defended deep in their own half while the Old Gold turned on the afterburners in search of an equaliser. Several powerful attempts on the Penybont goal were saved by the impressive Wilson. Against the run of play, Penybont squandered a late opportunity to make the game safe.

Having survived that scare, the Old Gold resumed their sustained assault on the Penybont goal – and they were duly rewarded.

Three minutes into added time Carroll sent a searching corner-kick into the packed goalmouth where Bowen saw his close-range header blocked on the goal-line by Wilson – but the experienced striker reacted immediately and positively by driving the loose ball past the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

Once the Carmarthen players’ delirious celebrations had subsided the game restarted and then very soon afterwards the referee blew the final whistle, probably much to the relief of Town’s supporters!

Town’s next fixture, against Airbus UK at Richmond Park on Saturday, January 11 (k/o 2.30 pm) will be an important fixture if the Old Gold are to retain their Premier League status

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