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CUP HEARTBREAK FOR ALL GOLD

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CARMARTHEN TOWN 1 – RHYL FC 2

LOOKING to clinch a semi-final spot in Welsh football’s premier cup competition, Town were handed a boost prior to kick off as injury doubts Cortez Belle and Kyle Bassett were passed fit to play.

Manager Mark Aizlewood responded by giving Welsh Premier League player of the month and usual centre-half Belle, the unfamiliar task of leading the forward line in a bid to take to the game to Rhyl.

With just 3 minutes on the clock the plan appeared to have backfired as Town’s defence was at sixes and sevens as Rhyl launched a slick and clinical attack to open the scoring. A mistake in midfield saw the ball break free to Levi Makin, who’s first time pass freed Mark Cadwallader who found he had the freedom of the right hand side to exploit. He drove forward 25 yards unchallenged before reaching Town’s 18 yard box. From the angle of the area his well struck, but central shot proved too much for goalkeeper Lee Idzi who could only help it into the corner of the net.

The shock of conceding so early on seemed to have a profound effect on Town’s players. For the first 30 minutes they were panicked in possession and failed to find any rhythm in the game. It was a period in which shell shocked Town could have, and perhaps should have found themselves further behind.

Cadwallader was proving himself a menace down the right hand side and after good work in the middle by Carl Lamb, he could’ve made it 2-0, but his shot found the side-netting. David Thompson was also having joy down the left and his shot come cross in the 17th minute was begging to be touched in but went through a crowd of players and out of play to the relief of the home crowd.

The dominance paid off in the 30th minute as the Lilywhites doubled their advantage. More sloppy play by Carmarthen led to a Rhyl corner and the frailties from set pieces shown against Connah’s Quay on Saturday reared their head again.

The elusive Makin drove the ball into the near post area 4 yards from Town’s goal to find an unmarked Ashley Ruane, and the striker gleefully accepted the opportunity to head in the easiest goal he will score this season.  With Carmarthen’s only threat coming in the shape of makeshift centre forward Cortez Belle, Mark Aizlewood was forced into shuffling the pack at half-time. Although it didn’t reap immediate success with Rhyl controlling the early exchanges, Carmarthen did start to grow in the game.  Kyle Bassett and Lewis Harling were starting to enjoy more freedom and this allowed Belle to flourish.

With 25 minutes to play a long ball forward was chased down by Belle and with defenders in attendance, Rhyl’s keeper Alex Ramsay rushed needlessly out of his goal and in the process brought down Belle for a stonewall penalty. Ramsay was also booked for his troubles with the Richmond faithful chanting for red. The resulting spot kick was dispatched with aplomb by Belle who was proving manager Aizlewood’s decision to start him up front to be an inspired one.  It was Rhyl now who were lacking composure and gifting Town long spells of possession.

As they pressed in search of an equaliser Carmarthen became vulnerable to the counter and more strong running by David Thompson saw him find himself with a golden opportunity to put the tie to bed. Just as he was about to strike Jordan Wells appeared from nowhere with the tackle of the game to keep Town in the hunt.  With the 4th official showing 4 minutes added time, Town pressed hard and after Ceri Morgan struck the woodwork with a sublime effort from outside the area, the crowd were anticipating another 30 minutes of play.

This was almost secured by Kyle Bassett but his fine curling effort was safely gathered by Ramsay.  As the final whistle went Carmarthen could reflect on a much improved 2nd half performance in which they had the lion’s share of the possession, but in truth never really tested the Rhyl keeper. Although cup glory can not be achieved this season, Aizlewood’s men will take heart from a good last 30 minutes and hope they can translate this into the remainder of the season and maintain their place in the league.

Teams:  Carmarthen Town – Idzi; Cummings; Hanford; Belle; Wells; Fowler; Harling; Bassett; Morgan; Thomas (White 82’) Walters. SUBS NOT USED Prosser; Williams; Llyr.

Rhyl FC- Ramsay; Halewood; Dawson (Gossett 90’); Stones; Ruane; Astles; Brewerton (Walsh 58’); Makin; Cadwallader; Thompson; Lamb (Kenny 68’). SUBS NOT USED Rowlands; Askew.

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Amman earn first win of the season

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AMMAN United claimed their first win of the season after an opening-day draw, and a cup defeat at Haverfordwest last weekend.

However, you would have been hard pushed to imagine a 50-point final-score when, just before half time, the score remained 0-0.

But two injury time scores had then given Amman an unlikely 12-0 interval lead against the Bulldogs.

A bright opening from United saw centre Gavin Lewis, on yet another comeback, show his trickery with a nice run and offload early on. Hooker George Clark had a fine game and was in the thick of everything, as were fellow forwards Iwan Davies, Dan Jones, Rhydian Jones and captain Alun Lewis.

Bynea suffered a very early blow, losing Corey Butler to an untimely injury, and they were later to also see Jamie Thomas limp off before half time.

These injuries meant a large period of added-time, and the Bulldogs’ valiant defence cracked during the injury-time as Joel Foster and Alun Lewis combined to put in flanker Rhydian Jones for the opening try, which Tom Caddell converted.

A frustrating couple of minutes for the visitors was compounded when a quick tap and go penalty from scrum half Foster saw him smuggle over the try line for a second try on the stroke of half time.

The Reds continued in good heart after the restart, and after some good play,Foster and and Dan Jones were involved before Rhydian Jones slipped a fine offload to skipper Alun Lewis who went under the posts for another converted try.

Another “vet” came on, Adrian Thomas off the bench as the home side largely dominated with their pack in the ascendency, Cian Lewis, Jason Knell and Rhys Phillips having put in a good shift throughout.

The Bulldogs then had a purple patch for a while,centre Jack Mal almost finishing off a fine move, before more calamity struck for them as Jake Sam was sadly stretchered off.

Amman capitalised and grabbed a bonus point try when the excellent George Clarke went over for another score to make it 24-0.

But the dogged visitors were always a threat, and carved out an excellent try for their efforts as wing Nathan Baker finished off a well-worked team move, which outside half Finlay Cook converted.

Amman hit back when the back row combined well before Dan Jones went over the whitewash for a try.

A very young Bynea side battled to the end,and some more excellent play was rewarded with a try for Tom Badger, converted by Cook.

However, the home side had the last word and grabbed a very late injury time try as the industrious Rhydian Jones crossed for the final score of the game.

Amman face a tough trip to Tumble on Saturday, October 1, while Bynea are home against New Dock Stars.

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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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