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Five star TNS sink Old Gold

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Chance: Carmarthen come close to scoring

Carmarthen Town • 0
The New Saints • 5

CARMARTHEN TOWN’S first competitive match on their new 3G pitch ended in disappointment as they were thumped 5-0 by TNS on Saturday (Sept 30).

Any thoughts they might have had about repeating their remarkable victory over The New Saints last February soon began to evaporate on Saturday (Sept 30) after the WPL Champions opened the scoring early in the match and then went on to dominate the proceedings.

If the Old Gold had been more clinical in front of goal or had enjoyed slightly better fortune on several occasions when they created decent scoring chances, they could at least have made the final score-line much more respectable.

Indeed, they managed the first notable chance in the 2nd minute when Lee Surman’s long clearance reached Liam Griffiths who headed the ball forward to Liam Thomas and he slid it across the edge of the penalty area where Lewis Harling hit a weak shot that ‘keeper Paul Harrison easily gathered.

After just ten minutes TNS went ahead when Christian Seargeant, from the left touchline, fired a free-kick into the packed goalmouth and while the ball was initially cleared, it went straight to Blaine Hudson who saw his angled volley fly past ‘keeper Stephen Hall and into the roof of the net.

The visitors soon settled and went in search of more scoring opportunities.

However, Town defended soundly during this particular spell with the back four of established central pairing Lee Surman and Dave Vincent flanked by Luke Cummings and Jordan Knott looking particularly comfortable and competitive under pressure – and they ensured that Hall was not seriously tested.

The Old Gold were still managing occasional counter-attacks utilising the pace and movement of wingers Kyle Williams and Kostya Georgievsky to good effect and on 19 minutes they forged, but spurned, another scoring opportunity – from the right flank Kieran Lewis sent an inviting free-kick into the goalmouth where Vincent rose high above defenders only to direct his close-range header straight at Harrison.

After 32 minutes they again swept upfield – Georgievsky received the ball near the corner of the penalty area and, with dazzling footwork, defeated his marker before driving the ball dangerously across the face of the goalmouth but saw it, remarkably, evade several onrushing forwards and defenders alike.

Carmarthen’s best chance arose on 36 minutes when Williams burst forward along the right wing then drove the ball towards the goalmouth where Thomas, Town’s winning goal-scorer last February, managed to mishit his close-range shot when scoring would have looked easier.
To compound the disappointment of that moment the Saints then went on to score twice (clinically) before half-time, effectively settling the result in their favour.

In the 39th minute Wes Fletcher’s cross-field pass found Seargeant racing forward from the centre-circle completely in the clear with the home defence stretched wide open – then from the edge of the penalty area, as Hall rushed out of his goal, he deftly chipped the ball over the stranded ‘keeper and into the unguarded net.

Moments later Ryan Brobbel made an almost identical unhindered run through the centre channel, again defeating Hall with a neat, lofted shot only to see the ball this time slide narrowly wide of the post.

The visitors’ irresistible late spell was completed on 45 minutes when Fletcher, on the right flank, sent a fine pass forward to Simon Spender who raced free into the penalty area then, as Hall advanced to challenge, he slid the ball across to Seargeant who had the simple task of firing it into the empty net.

After the interval the Old Gold soon fell further behind. In the 50th minute Brobbel surged forward from the half-way line, outpacing Craig Hanford to reach the penalty area and then calmly took the ball around Hall and fired it into the now familiarly vacant net.

To their credit Town soon responded positively to this devastating series of setbacks and on 54 minutes they went close to reducing the deficit.

Cummings, from the left flank, sent a long cross deep into the goalmouth – while the ball was cleared, it fell nicely for Surman, still upfield following a corner-kick, who instantly produced a stunning angled volley that sadly went straight at Harrison, on the goal-line, and bounced safely away.

However, after 67 minutes the hosts’ defence was again under pressure when Fletcher raced into the penalty area in pursuit of a through-ball but fell under a challenge from Hall – the referee immediately awarded a spot-kick which Seargeant easily converted.

With such a commanding lead TNS seemed content simply to retain possession for the remainder of the match. Commendably, the Old Gold still continued to search for goals.

On 82 minutes Dan Sheehan won the ball deep inside his own half then proceeded on a determined run along the left touchline to reach the corner of the Saints’ penalty area before releasing an angled drive that sailed just over the bar. Shortly afterwards Williams twice went close to snatching a late consolation goal.

First, a long cross from Georgievsky into the penalty area was well controlled by the young winger who then from eight yards struck a crisp shot that was blocked by a defender right in front of the goal – he straightaway claimed the rebound and dispatched another promising effort that was scrambled off the goal-line.

With this defeat, their sixth in seven games, Town are now in danger of losing touch with the group of mid-table teams who will be challenging for a coveted top-six finish at the end of the first-phase League fixtures.

They now have the opportunity to immediately improve that situation in their next fixture when they make the long journey up to Prestatyn, the team just one place and three points above them, on Saturday (Oct 7), k/o 2.30pm.

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Ammanford upset Penybont to reach MG Cup quarter finals

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Report by Ian Parfitt

AMMANFORD produced arguably the shock of the third round in the MG Nathaniel Cup with a 2-1 victory at Penybont, who currently sit third in the Cymru Premier League, on Tuesday night (Sept 20).

Penybont started the game well and looked dangerous with ex Ammanford player Kai Whitmore calling the shots.

Ammanford however were also playing some neat football themselves and this was quickly becoming a competitive contest.

Ammanford took the lead in the 28th minute when Brett Enoch took advantage of a moment of calamity in the Penybont defence to fire home.

As expected Penybont increased the pressure on the Ammanford goal in search of an equaliser but Ammanford held firm to go into the interval ahead.

Kyle Marsh in particular having a fine game in the Ammanford goal. Ammanford fans would have been expecting a long 45 minutes after the break but it only took a minute for Penybont to find the equaliser, Mael Davies scoring with a firm header.

Penybont were hungry for more goals and looked especially dangerous from the flanks. The Ammanford defence, who were superb throughout held firm under a barrage of high balls into the box.

Ammanford were also keen to get a second and looked dangerous on the counter attack, both Jordan Langley and Callum Silcox going agonisingly close to restoring the visitors’ lead.

The Ammanford defence continued to form a formidable wall at the back which Penybont were unable to breach.

This fantastic rearguard action was rewarded in the 81st minute when Callum Thomas scored what turned out to be the winner for Ammanford, running through on goal and producing a composed finish to slot the ball past Penybont keeper Alex Pennock.

Ammanford players continued to put their bodies on the line to preserve the lead, epitomised by Tom Pratt who took one on the head in the six yard box.

Lee Trundle spurned a glorious chance to make the game safe for Ammanford with a couple of minutes remaining but it mattered not as the final whistle produced jubilant scenes in the away camp.

Ammanford progress to the Fourth round on what was a glorious night for the club.

Photos by Lawrence Molloy
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Strong Ammanford performance seals Cup win over Whitland

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AMMANFORD got their Division 1 Cup campaign off to an excellent start on Saturday (Sept 17) as they beat Whitland 42-13.

Ammanford built up a 17-3 lead and increased that further to 8-29 before pulling away in the closing stages.

Geraint Jones scored a penalty for Whitland and unconverted tries from Gino Setaro and Lewis Gibby followed.

Captain Alex Davies was named as Ammanford’s man of the match as he lead his side to a bonus point win.

The scrum half was among the try scorers as were Morgan Plimmer, Rhodri Jones, Liam Smith, Carwyn Richards, Mathew Lemon and Tiaan Evans.

Ryan Williams added four conversions and one penalty for the visitors.

The next round of Cup fixtures is scheduled for October 15. Ammanford host Newcastle Emlyn while Whitland travel to Tondu.

Ammanford return to action in League 1 West Central on Saturday, September 24 as they host Birchgrove.

Whitland are also back in league action in League 1 West as they visit Pembroke.

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Howell’s strike takes the points for Cwm

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CWMAMMAN United earned their first three points of the season with an impressive all round performance as they overcame Cardiff Darconians through a sublime Gwion Howell finish at Grenig park on Saturday (Sept 17).

Cwm started on the front foot and their passing and movement was excellent and they twice came close early with Gwion Howell clipping the outside of the post while Sion Dafydd Williams pounced on a back pass but could just not quite get enough leverage on his attempt.

They then saw a 25th min goal by Williams ruled out for a tight offside. With Charlie Davies and Scott Jewell having strong games in the middle of the park Cwm looked the likeliest to score but there was a real scare when a defensive slip required a superb save from Kai Rees in the Cwm goal to keep it goalless.

Kyle Ashford and Keiran Richards continued to run hard at the Dracs defence causing problems but the first half remained goalless.

The strong second half push back that Cwm expected from the Cardiff side didn’t materialise and Cwm continued to have the better of the play. Grant Rees and Callum Dougal were strong at the heart of the defence while Leon Coucher and the ever threatening Cory Saunders were launching attacks from out wide.

Eventually the goal came when some neat interplay saw Howell with his back to goal and the ball at his feet. A superb turn moved the ball to one side and he then fired it across the keeper to the opposite corner..

Great celebrations before Cwm immediately settled determined to see this one through. With Davies continuing to push his team forward and subs Alex Giardelli and Harrison Thomas stretching the Dracs side Cwm saw it through without too much worry.

An excellent performance of which manager Paul Lewis said: “Great to get that first win with the boys who applied our team plan superbly today and they really deserved that result.”

Cwm now look forward to another challenge as they travel to play near neighbours Garden village on Friday evening (Sept 23).

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