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Thomas strikes to earn win for Old Gold

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AFTER a decidedly disappointing start to the season in both the League Cup and Cymru South League with goals and League points near impossible to secure, the turnaround in Carmarthen’s performances over the last five matches has been so significant that supporters now have genuine reason to believe that even better times are ahead.

And that was clearly evident against Risca. Town made a positive start to this match as they swarmed forward in search of an early goal – and they went close to scoring after only 3 minutes when Matthew Delaney threaded a fine pass upfield to reach Liam Thomas.

He then sprinted along the right flank before driving a dangerous cross into the goalmouth but saw Ben Steele just fail to connect for a promising tap-in chance.

Then on 7 minutes Trystan Jones, from near the left touchline, launched a huge cross that reached Thomas on the far side of the penalty area but, under pressure from defenders, Town’s prolific goal-scorer fired the ball into the side-netting.

Moments later Delaney embarked on a surging run, almost the length of the pitch, before crossing the ball into the goalmouth only to see Noah Daley wastefully send his shot high over the bar.

Risca too were enjoying their fair share of possession and the game continued to flow from end to end at a frantic pace.  However, while the Old Gold were frequently stretching the visitors’ defence, the home defenders, well-marshalled by experienced centre-backs Lee Surman and Scott Tancock, were coping comfortably – goalkeeper Scott James was never seriously tested.

In the 12th minute Town twice made promising breaks in quick succession only for Daley and Steele to waste both opportunities with poor shots that Risca ‘keeper Joseph Massaro claimed easily. Then on 19 minutes Cameron Berry raced upfield from the half-way line before crossing the ball into the penalty area where the luckless Daley, from just 8 yards, fired his volley wide of the target.

Carmarthen were largely dominating the play but wasting that effort and advantage due to their failure to convert any of the chances that they were creating.

After 35 minutes the United defenders failed to deal with Delaney’s corner-kick and the loose ball fell nicely for Surman who, sadly, saw his close-range volley fly just over the bar.  Then, in the closing stages of the first-half, Thomas sprinted along the right-flank and into the corner of the penalty area before striking a fierce angled drive that Massaro turned aside.         

By contrast, James in Town’s goal had been needed only rarely in the first-half and nothing had arisen which was too challenging for the experienced ‘keeper.

After the interval the Old Gold immediately returned to the fast attacking football that had exemplified their first-half performance.  On 48 minutes Berry embarked on a determined sprint from the half-way line, then from the corner of the penalty area he released a fierce drive that Massaro turned aside with an impressive, full-length save.

Then after 65 minutes Bradley Gibbings took the ball to the by-line and then crossed to the near post where Thomas, under pressure from a defender, saw his glancing shot slide narrowly wide.

However, Carmarthen’s all-time top goal-scorer was not to be denied in the 77th minute. From the wide edge of the penalty area Delaney fired his free-kick into the packed goalmouth where Thomas was quickest to react and arrived with perfect timing then from 10 yards drove the ball into the back of the net.

From there on Risca poured forward in search of a late equaliser but the Old Gold defence, despite being under significant pressure, remained well-organised and resolute while James was never seriously tested.

This current run of promising results has lifted the Old Gold closely in reach of a number of mid-table teams, several having played one game more – the prospect of better things to come is a reality.

Carmarthen’s next fixture is away against Newtown for a Welsh Cup (Round 3) tie on Saturday, September 25, k/o 2.00pm and then the following fixture is away against Goytre United on Friday, October 1, k/o 7.30pm for a Cymru South League match.

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Cambrian edge Ammanford in seven-goal thriller

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CAMBRIAN and Clydach manager Scott Young was delighted to see his side come away from Ammanford with a thrilling 4-3 on Friday night (Oct 22).

In contrast the home side and their support will be very disappointed at least not to have come away with something from this game.

Ammanford got off to the perfect start after nine minutes when Ammanford’s midfielder Kai Whitmore broke free of his markers and slotted the ball wide of Cambrian & Clydach’s goalkeeper Jack Jenkins to give his team an early 1-0 lead.

The visitors responded well and started to pass the ball around the park and were causing problems for the home defence.

With twenty-nine minutes played, the visitors’ pressure on the Ammanford defence paid dividends and it was Cambrian & Clydach’s tall centre forward Ryan Prosser who rifled his powerful low shot into the Ammanford net despite a desperate diving attempt from Ammanford’s goalkeeper Craig Morris.

Cambrian & Clydach continued to press high but there were no further goals in the first half.

The second half saw Gruffydd Harrison Ammanford’s Manager make an early substitution by bringing on Brett Enoch in place of midfielder Dale Jones.

With an hour gone Cambrian & Clydach’s impressive wide-man Liam Reed beat the Ammanford defence and gave his team the lead by scoring a well-taken goal.

Ammanford’s response was almost immediate, in fact just four minutes later, as sub Enoch got himself free wide on the left hand side close to the visitors byline and took the ball into the eighteen-yard box and unleashed a low drive which sped into the bottom corner at the far post of the visitors net to restore parity at 2-2.

The home side were now looking to press on but the visitors were also not settling for a point and continued to press Ammanford as both their full backs Joe Thomas and Jay Woodford kept a high line and attacked at every opportunity.

After seventy-six minutes played a scramble in the Ammanford area saw Cambrian & Clydach’s centre back Connor Young score from close range as the ball seem to take a couple of deflections on its way into the Ammanford net.

Ammanford were left chasing the game and with three added minutes after the ninety, Ammanford were awarded a free kick some twenty four yards out from goal.

Lee Trundle stood over the ball as the visitors’ wall lined up to stop his attempt at goal. Trundle took aim and his low powerful shot went directly under the defensive wall and sped past keeper Jack Jenkins hitting the back of the net.

Trundle whirling himself around and made his way to the Ammanford dugout to celebrate with his manager as it seemed he had rescued a point from the game.

The drama, however, was not over as two minutes later Cambrian & Clydach’s Finn Jones found himself in front of the Ammanford goal with not a defender in sight and he calmly stroked the ball past Morris to restore his team’s lead at 3-4.

The atmosphere of the home team and support turned from joy to more solemn as the referee blew his final whistle.

A fine performance from the visiting team but a very disappointing ending for the home side.

Ammanford are at home again on Friday, October 29, against Trefelin.

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Cwm Reserves share the points

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CWMAMMAN came away with a point from a hard fought draw with visiting Goytre Utd on Saturday (Oct 16) continuing the pattern of extremely close matches for them in the FAW Reserve League.

Both sides looked to attack from the outset and Goytre took the lead in the 28th min through Lewis Taylor.

Cwm kept probing and Rhydian Jones equalised in the 40th minute.

The game became a little stop start with a number of injuries and substitutions and Brandon Sackey gave Goytre the lead in the 65th min.

Cwm kept battling and Kian Evans converted a ball from Jones for the equaliser in the 76th minute.

Both sides looked for the winner but it ended all square. William Jones, Paul Doorbar and Josh Jones stood out for Cwm while Ashley Twigg and Rhydian Jones caused regular problems for the opposition.

Cwmamman now sit 7th just above Goytre with Carmarthen Town next due to visit Grenig Park.

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Last minute defeat sinks Cwmamman

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CWMAMMAN United’s players trudged off the field at the final whistle in disbelief having conceded two goals in the last 3 mins against Ynyshir Albion on Saturday (Oct 16).

The game-winning goal came in the last move of the game as Cwm came away from Ynyshir Albion with nothing when it had looked that their organised and pacy performance had secured the 3 points.

It had been an entertaining match with two differing styles where Ynyshir played to a more structured physical approach Cwm relied on quick movement of possession and releasing their pacy wingers Kyle Ashford and Ryan Hurlow.

It was Ashford who opened the scoring in the 8th minute and shortly afterwards had a golden opportunity to double the lead but his shot flew over the bar.

This encouraged the Buns and they equalised in the 20th min through Carn Thomas. Cwm then suffered a major blow losing player manager Ryan Thomas to a nasty injury.

Ynyshir subsequently increased the pressure and just before half time Liam Eason gave them the lead.

Cwm continued with their attacking mind-set with Ross Morgan influential and Calem Rees continued his good goal scoring form making it 2-2 in the 71st min.

Shortly afterwards Ashford gave Cwm the lead to make it 3-2 and then just failed to convert a great chance for his hat trick.

Cwm seemed reasonably comfortable but disaster struck in the final minutes when Alex Rees headed home in the 88th min followed by Liam Eason converting another header with the last touch of the game to seal an astonishing win for Ynyshir.

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