AFAN LIDO came away with the points on Friday night (Oct 1) as some late drama saw them beat Ammanford 2-1 at the Recreation Ground.
This latest JD Cymru South league encounter between Ammanford and Afan Lido certainly delivered on all levels.
The game got off to a gentle paced start with Ammanford having the best of the early exchanges.
Ammanford’s midfielders Dale Jones, Leon Britton and Kai Whitmore were creating chances for their front runners Matthew Fisher, Tristan Jenkins and Lee Trundle.
Ammanford were very unlucky not to take an early lead in the game as Matthew Fisher broke free of his markers and took a fierce shot at goal from some 18 yards out only to see his effort rebound of off the goal post with equal force back out into open play.
The ball landed into the path of the oncoming Tristan Jenkins who rifled the ball back towards the goal and saw his effort do exactly the same as the ball thumped against the same goal post. The rebound this time was cleared away by the Lido defence.
Lido were forced into an early substitution as Sam Harrison limped off the pitch.
Ammanford’s Dale Jones picked up the game’s first yellow card and the game became a little more fractious as some strong tackles were being made by both teams.
Referee Ben Williams was kept busy and with ten minutes before half time a tackle on Ammanford’s Matthew Fisher who reacted to it sparked off the underlying tensions in the game.
The referee having consulted with his assistant showed yellow cards to Lido’s Ioan Evans and then Ammanford’s Matthew Fisher and Osian Dillon.
The action continued and five minutes later Ammanford’s Kai Whitmore broke into the edges of Lido’s penalty area and was tripped over in full view of the referee who pointed towards the penalty spot.
Up stepped Ammanford’s Lee Trundle who saw his resulting spot kick saved.
This seemed to spark Lido into action and minutes later into first half added on time Lido were awarded a penalty of their own.
Lido’s Joshua Edwards placed the ball on the penalty spot and converted the spot kick to give the away side the lead in the game 0-1.
Lido pressed forward again deep into first half stoppage time and were unlucky not to double their advantage and a close range header sailed just over the crossbar.
The second half saw the game go to and fro with Ammanford trying to find their way back into the game.
With 68 minutes played, Ammanford finally got an equaliser when from a corner kick Ammanford’s central defender Euros Griffiths rose high above the Lido defence to head the ball powerfully into the back of the Lido goal net.
It seemed Ammanford were back in the game and seeking a winning goal. However the equaliser seemed to spur Lido on and a forward run from Lido’s pacy winger Ioan Evans saw him take a tumble on the edge of the Ammanford penalty area. Referee Ben Williams brandished a yellow card to the winger and a subsequent red card as it was his second yellow of the game.
With twenty plus minutes left in the game Lido were down to ten men and the home crowd were expectant that Ammanford could make the extra man pay dividends in their attacking play.
However the Lido defence had other ideas with Lido’s Captain Jackson Hall leading the way with Lido’s goalkeeper Gareth Couch making some good stops to keep his side in the game.
Lido didn’t sit back and continued to threaten and were unlucky to see an effort on goal hit the inside of the Ammanford goalpost and rebound across the six yard area to safety.
With ten minutes left in the game Lido’s substitute striker Joshua Webber broke through the defensive lines of Ammanford and this time his shot found the inside of the far post goal net to restore his team’s lead.
Ammanford looked deflated and as much as they tried could not find a way back into the game against a resolute Lido team.
Deep into stoppage time referee Ben Williams hadn’t finished his evening’s work as he ended up showing yellow and red cards to Afan Lido’s bench which included head coach Mark Robinson and Trainer Leighton Jones as well as Gary Isaac in a bizarre couple of minutes.
A couple of minutes later the referee blew the final whistle and it was joy for Lido as they celebrated their away win.
Five-star Old Gold sink students
AFTER Carmarthen opened their Cymru South League home programme some 12 days ago with a comprehensive victory over Llantwit Major they improved on even that performance with this crushing demolition of Swansea Uni who were kept deep under pressure in their own half for much of the match.
From the start Town launched a series of piercing attacks which the visitors struggled to contain.
On 5 minutes a sweeping move along the right-flank began with Jordan Vickers sprinting upfield and then playing the ball on to Liam Thomas who threaded a fine pass across to Matthew Delaney – from the corner of the penalty area he struck a fierce angled shot that goal-keeper Ben Edwards, at full-stretch, turned aside.
Yet soon afterwards the Old Gold took the lead. After 9 minutes Vickers passed the ball across Jamie Rickard who instantly sent it on to Thomas, inside the penalty area, and Town’s all-time top scorer clinically converted the opportunity.
Then on 12 minutes Delaney, from the right-wing, sent a fine long cross into the goalmouth where Scott Tancock saw his close-range glancing header fly just wide of the goal.
At this stage Town were dominating the game with their pace and movement. On 22 minutes Rickard threaded an excellent pass to Thomas on the edge the penalty area but with defenders nearby his hurried shot went marginally off-target.
In the 25th minute Vickers, a particular constant threat to the opponents’ defenders, fired an inviting cross into the goalmouth where Noah Daley was just unable to reach the ball for a simple tap-in opportunity.
The visitors, during all this time, had managed little in terms of creating a serious attacking threat. However on 30 minutes George Sellick broke clear from the centre-circle and struck a 25 yard volley which Carmarthen ‘keeper Ifan Knott, having raced some way out of his goal, first blocked and then claimed the loose ball.
But that was just a brief interruption to Town’s search for more goals and the certainty of three League points.
On 36 minutes Daley embarked on a remarkable solo run – having taken possession of the ball on the edge of the centre-circle he proceeded to pass 3 defenders and move into the penalty area then dismissively go around Edwards and drive the ball in to the empty net.
Soon afterwards, in the 39th minute, the Old Gold scored again when Thomas, on the half-way line, played a fine pass forward to Bradley Gibbings who raced free towards the penalty area where he neatly side-stepped Edwards, who was bereft of any defensive cover for the second successive time, and slid the ball into the net.
Then, to conclude a most productive 45 minutes a superb long pass out of defence was chased by Jaime Rickard deep into the visitors’ half – as Edwards came well out of his penalty area to challenge him Rickard neatly crossed the ball to Daley who converted an easy tap-in goal.
After the interval, with Carmarthen having such a commanding lead, neither team appeared to show much urgency in the blistering heat of the day. Yet in the 60th minute Town extended their lead with a well-worked move.
Vickers sprinted along the right flank before sending a deep cross to the far side of the goal area where Daley arrived with perfect timing and planted a powerful header past Edwards and into the back of the net.
The Old Gold continued to hold the advantage over the University team, in terms of both possession and territory, but the only further goalmouth action arose after 80 minutes – following a free-kick Rickard struck a promising 20 yard drive that Edwards, at full-stretch, turned around the post.
This was a most welcome result, not only in terms of the quality of the performance but also in that Town have now moved up into 5th place in the League table.
The Old Gold’s League programme now continues with a visit Goytre United on Friday, August 19, k/o 7.30pm.
Wanderers win to keep promotion hopes alive
CARMARTHEN Wanderers earned a big win on Saturday (Aug 13) as they beat Ynysygerwn by 162 runs.
The win keeps them in third place in Division 2 of the South Wales Premier League, 29 points off the top two. However, their next fixture is at home against league leaders Ynystawe.
On Saturday, Ynysygerwn won the toss and chose to field and they saw the Wanderers rack up 262-8 from their 50 overs.
Owen Bailey hit three early boundaries (1 six, 2 fours) before being run out on a score of 16 and Tom Davies reached a score of 25 before falling lbw to Emyr Lawrence.
Owain Binding made 17 before being stumped as the Wanderers were reduced to 82-3.
Gareth Thomas and Robbie Crawford took over and they shared 87 runs for the fourth wicket.
Thomas hit seven fours and two sixes in his score of 63 from 58 balls but he was then caught by Adam Davies off the bowling of Nathan Davies.
Carl Holding was also stumped and Liam Rogers fell on a score of 10 when he was caught and bowled by Nathan Davies.
Crawford then reached his half century as he and Eddie Byng added 34 runs for the seventh wicket but Byng became the third batsman to be stumped.
Ian Hughes was out for a third-ball duck before Crawford and Harry Conick finished unbeaten.
Conick hit a late six to finish not out on 8 while Crawford was unbeaten on 71 after hitting six fours and two sixes.
Ynysygerwn were in trouble early on in their reply as they slipped to 16-3. Ryan Sylvester made a score of 29 before falling lbw to Owen Bailey.
Adam Davies made a score of 15 for the home side but it wasn’t enough as they were bowled out for 100.
Binding was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with 5-22. Chris Turrell, Ian Hughes, Tom Davies and Owen Bailey all picked up a wicket each.
The Wanderers’ game with leaders Ynystawe starts at 12:30pm on Saturday, August 20.
Ammanford seal place in top flight
AMMANFORD sealed their place in next season’s top flight with a thrilling one wicket victory over Bridgend at the Park.
Bridgend won the toss and batted first, losing three quick wickets to the excellent bowling of Matthew Davies (2-20) and Dan Roberts (1-30).
However, captain Tom Baker joined opener Sam Wood at the crease and these two provided Bridgend’s main partnership of 81.
The hard track and fast outfield promised a big score but Ammanford’s bowlers stuck to their task and dismissed the visitors for 199 in their penultimate over.
Xavier Clarke bowled well for his 2 for 31 and Owen Davies cleaned up at the end with 3 for 61.
Ammanford got off to a poor start, losing regular wickets until, at 56 for 4, Rhys-Huw Davies joined opener Kurtis Marsh to provide a steadying half century partnership.
However, with the departure of Marsh for 42, three wickets fell for the addition of a single run, and Ammanford were staring down the barrel of another disappointing defeat.
Enter skipper Alun Evans, coming in at number 9 after recovering from a long afternoon in the field.
Evans and Davies added a quick 21 runs before Davies departed for an invaluable 33.
Ammanford were now well into the tail, 8 wickets down and still 68 runs short of their target. Their two last batsmen faced the daunting task of staying in with their skipper while he tried to knock off the runs.
Which, to their credit, is exactly what they did. First, Owen Davies (18) added 33 priceless runs with his captain while last man Matthew Davies (9no) courageously stuck in until the winning runs were scored. Evans finished a true captain’s innings unbeaten on 49.
Ammanford are now safe in 7th place, 60 points clear of bottom club Clydach whom they welcome to the Park next Saturday.
On Wednesday evening, Ammanford travel to Port Talbot to play the semi-final of the SWCA T20
knockout cup. Wickets pitched at 5.45pm.
Ammanford seconds lose by 67 runs
Ammanford seconds lost by 67 runs to Carmarthen Wanderers at Trinity Fields. Carmarthen batted first and were dismissed for 177 in the 42nd over
Top scorer was skipper Giles Thomas (41), supported by Oliver John (27) and James Connick (24).
Tomos Roach was Ammanford’s top wicket taker with 4 for 20. Cian Roach and Iwan Matthews picked up a couple of wickets each.
In reply, Ammanford’s batsmen just couldn’t stay in long enough to make an impression on the scoreboard. Cian Roach (27) and Steffan Williams (22) did their best but the overall response simply
wasn’t good enough and they were all out for 110 after just 25 overs.
Third XI lose by eight wickets
Ammanford thirds went down by 8 wickets to Llandarcy.
Ammanford reached 150 for 9 in their 40 overs, thanks to opener Steve Hagget (45) and skipper Neville Pritchard (35). Llandarcy’s Jon Pryce took 4 for 18.
Despite losing two early wickets, Llandarcy took just 22 overs to pass the Ammanford total, with unbeaten half centuries from David Noall and Gareth Richards.
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