AFTER the excitement of Carmarthen’s remarkable victory over Welsh Premier League side Newtown in the Welsh Cup last week-end their loyal travelling supporters were soon reminded of the harsh realities of life in the Cymru South League by the end of this keenly ‘competitive’ fixture against Goytre United.
From the outset the play switched to and fro at a rapid pace although with both defences performing soundly under that intermittent pressure the action was mostly confined to the midfield area – as a consequence no serious scoring chances arose and neither goal-keeper was tested during those early stages.
However both were involved when the Old Gold took a shock lead in the 17th minute. Scott James launched a huge clearance upfield that reached Ben Steele beyond the half-way line – he then took the ball forward before releasing a stunning long-range volley that flew into the top corner of the goal leaving United ‘keeper Scott Coughlin floundering and the net bulging.
Stung by that setback the home side began to put pressure on the Town defence – their first notable scoring chance arose on 21 minutes when Josef Hopkins struck a 25 yard free-kick that James, with a spectacular flying save, turned over the bar.
The pace of the game noticeably quickened and developed into an entertaining end-to-end affair yet still there were few decent scoring opportunities. For the Old Gold, as so often already this season, the experienced central defensive pairing of Lee Surman and Scott Tancock looked sound and secure, while Matthew Delaney and Trystan Jones gave them valuable support on the flanks.
And ahead of them midfielders Greg Walters, Tom Dyson and Cameron Berry, with their industry and vision, eagerly provided a further layer of defensive cover whenever necessary, while always alert to any opportunity for breaking forward and launching an attack.
However towards the end of the first-half United were creating several openings and on 29 minutes they were close to levelling the scores.
Hopkins fired a dangerous long cross into the crowded goalmouth which James, for once, misjudged but thankfully Walters reacted swiftly and cleared the ball away from the open goal.
The Old Gold were also creating occasional scoring opportunities – in the 45th minute Adam John struck a promising long-range drive that Coughlin, with an impressive full-length save, managed to turn past the post.
After the interval Goytre quickly went on the attack and went close to scoring on 49 minutes when James Parry raced along the left touchline then fired an inviting cross into the goalmouth where Hopkins connected with a close-range shot only for defender Jones to swiftly intervene and block the ball then clear it to safety.
Soon, Parry again burst forward along the left flank and sent a fine cross into the goalmouth where Liam Bishop produced a strong close-range header but James, demonstrating remarkable reflexes, turned the ball over the bar.
United continued to dominate this period of play with the Old Gold under pressure and struggling to safeguard their precious single-goal advantage. On 71 minutes Hopkins struck a long-range free-kick that James, once again producing an outstanding save, turned aside.
Carmarthen at this stage were largely overwhelmed and barely able to get the ball beyond the half-way line.
After 73 minutes Parry launched another long-range shot which suffered the, by now, almost predictable outcome of being turned around the post by James with another full-length save.
Yet eventually, even James was powerless to prevent Goytre scoring an equalising goal. In the 79th minute Jay Thomas, from the left-wing, fired a long cross deep into the packed goalmouth where Sean Cronin, at the far post, headed the ball into the roof of the net.
United increased their pressure on the Carmarthen defence in search of a winning goal and on 83 minutes Bishop moved towards the edge of the penalty area and struck a crisp drive that Tancock turned around the post. Then deep into added time Kyran Steadman attempted a long-range shot which, perhaps appropriately in view of his earlier heroics, James gathered comfortably.
Having now played four away matches in the CSL and, worryingly, won none of them it is surely imperative to redress this failing soon – perhaps at the forthcoming fixture at Undy currently second from bottom of the League.
Carmarthen’s next fixture is away at Undy Athletic on Saturday, October 9, k/o 2.30pm for a Cymru South League match while the following fixture is at Richmond Park against The New Saints on Saturday, October 16, k/o 2.30pm for the Welsh Cup Round 4 tie.
Cambrian edge Ammanford in seven-goal thriller
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.
Cwm Reserves share the points
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.
Last minute defeat sinks Cwmamman
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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