AFTER making the longest journey that they will need to undertake for a Cymru South League match this season, Carmarthen’s loyal supporters were able to celebrate their team’s narrow victory over Undy but only after enduring a contest that swung back and forth, with Athletic twice taking the lead and then losing it, before Town secured the winning goal deep into the closing minutes of the match.
In the early stages the play was largely confined to the middle of the field as both sides struggled to penetrate the opposing defences – as a consequence the ball was airborne a lot of the time with no beneficial outcome.
The first notable scoring chance only arose after 11 minutes when United’s Jarman moved in from the left touchline and struck a 20 yard drive but ‘keeper Scott James was well-placed to claim the ball.
However in the 17th minute Tozer was allowed to make a long cross-field run unchallenged and from the corner of the penalty area he released a fierce strike that James, diving at full length, could only block – Jarman reacted quicker than any Town defender to claim the loose ball and fire it into the unguarded net.
Stung by that setback the Old Gold responded positively. On 21 minutes Greg Walters, from the half-way line, launched a free-kick deep into the penalty area – while the ball was cleared by a defender, it landed nicely for Tom Dyson but he wasted the opportunity by driving his 25 yard shot well wide of the goal. That was the visitors’ best scoring chance so far.
Athletic went close to extending their lead after 35 minutes when Gidney’s corner-kick reached Parry at the far post but from close-range he fired the ball just wide of the goal.
However in the 36th minute the Old Gold got back on level terms. A promising shot from Dion Phillips seemed destined for the top corner of the goal until Undy defender blocked the ball with his hand. The referee immediately awarded the inevitable penalty-kick and Ben Steele confidently drove the ball past goal-keeper Smallcombe and into the back of the net.
This led to a welcome period of Carmarthen pressure. On 40 minutes Matthew Delaney sent a fine cross-field pass to Steele on the edge of the penalty area but, with only Smallcombe ahead of him, Town’s in-form striker sent his shot high and wide of the goal.
Then in the 44th minute a well-worked passing move through the midfield created another decent scoring chance for Steele but this time, from 15 yards, he gave Smallcombe an easy save to make.
After the interval the Old Gold quickly resumed their encouraging spell of pressure. On 48 minutes Walters produced a searching cross-field pass that reached Steele on the corner of the penalty area only for the usually reliable striker to squander the opportunity with another weak shot that Smallcombe comfortably gathered.
Soon afterwards Cameron Berry’s well directed free-kick landed in a packed goalmouth where Steele and Phillips both saw close-range shots cleared off the goal-line before the ball was eventually claimed by Smallcombe.
Yet despite this continuing spell of Carmarthen pressure, the home side, with their sharp movement and pace, always remained an attacking threat on the break. And on 56 minutes they went close to retaking the lead when Wright struck a powerful long-range shot that James blocked only for the ball to rebound to Tozer – he straightaway hit a close-range drive that James, recovering with a remarkable reaction save, turned aside.
But shortly afterwards even he was powerless to prevent Undy from regaining the lead. On 65 minutes Jarman raced along the right flank, easily passed Lee Surman and then drove the ball into the goalmouth where Smith fired it past James and into the net.
Town reacted positively to that setback and swarmed upfield with a series of attacks. After 76 minutes Dyson sent his corner-kick into a packed goalmouth where Phillips saw his close-range header blocked on the goal-line by Smallcombe. And moments later Steele, on the right flank, fired an inviting cross into the goalmouth where Surman sent his close-range header narrowly outside of the post.
However Carmarthen’s attacking pressure was eventually rewarded in the 86th minute when Adam John was brought down by an Undy defender in the penalty area – once again Ben Steele, at that moment possibly the most calm and composed person at the ground, clinically drove the ball past Smallcombe and into the back of the net.
Spurred by that recovery the Old Gold swarmed upfield yet again and within barely a minute of the re-start they had taken the lead – Matthew Delaney raced along the right flank then crossed the ball into the penalty area where, despite the presence of several defenders, it reached Bradley Gibbings who instantly struck the ball beyond Smallcombe’s reach and into the net.
After that astonishing turn of events Carmarthen then concentrated on preserving the precious victory that they were now holding, while Undy were left to reflect (too vigorously it seems since they had two players sent off by the referee in the process) on how they managed to lose a game after leading for much of the time until the last few minutes.
Carmarthen’s next fixture is at Richmond Park against The New Saints on Saturday, October 16, k/o 2.30pm for their Welsh Cup Round 4 tie, while the following match is also at home against Briton Ferry on Saturday, October 23, k/o 2.30pm for a Cymru South League match.
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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