Llanelli Town AFC 

LLANELLI TOWN 1 ABERBARGOED BUDS 0

LLANELLI TOWN   1   ABERBARGOED BUDS   0

With promotion to the first division done and dusted for the Reds and with the visit by opponents not yet clear of the threat of relegation, everything seemed set for a stress free afternoon with a comfortable win at its conclusion.  The reality turned out to be somewhat different, as an uninspiring home display led to an error-riddled performance with far too much possession being conceded, combined with hardly any worthwhile efforts on the visitors` goal, and the winner came just five minutes from time.

In fact, the Buds could well have pulled off an unexpected win, but poor finishing proved to be their downfall and the home goal survived. They created an early chance when Anthony Finselbach was caught in possession on the edge of the box, but when the ball was played into the area, the finish was blazed high over the top. Gavin Hegarty in the Buds` goal got down quickly to block an effort by Joe Clarke when James Loveridge played him in, and Luke Jones directed his header from a cross by Loveridge over the bar.

Levi Rees, who was to prove to be a thorn in the Reds` side throughout, then made a break up the left before sending his delivery into the goalmouth which caused problems for Craig Morris with Tom Jameson in close attendance, but Robert Thomas eventually tidied up by clearing the danger

Rees was involved again when his free kick found Kieran Thomas in the box, and his header was narrowly off target. Little had ben seen of the home side as an attacking force, although Liam Samuel did have his shot charged own by a defender when Jones laid on the chance, before the Buds went close again when a Rees corner flashed across the face of the net without any player able to make contact.

A less than enthralling first period drew to a close, but within eight minutes of the restart the potential of an opening goal for the Reds arrived in the shape of a penalty award when Loveridge was clipped in the box, and after a brief hesitation, referee  Aled Jones pointed to the spot. Clarke stepped up to take it, but for the fourth time this season he joined the list of failed attempts with Hegarty getting down to block it on the line, adding to the ones missed by both Lee Trundle and Jordan Davies.

The Reds then made their first change, with Jordan Follows replacing Jones on 57 minutes, and six minutes later Richard Lewis came on in place of Robert Thomas to inject some much needed urgency into their play in his usual exuberant style. A Loveridge attempt into the Buds` goalmouth was partially cleared only as far as Samuel, but he in turn saw his effort blocked and Follows directed the rebound over the top.

With five minutes remaining, the home side finally  broke the deadlock when some good approach work by Loveridge led to him floating a cross to the far post where Follows was on hand to direct his header past Hegarty and seal the eventual outcome.Not the most convincing Reds performance by any means, but a win is a win and the unbeaten record remains intact.

LLANELLI TOWN;  Morris; Graves; R. Thomas (Lewis, 63); Finselbach (March, 74); C. Thomas;

Bevan ©; Samuel; Davies; L. Jones (Follows, 57); Clarke; Loveridge;   
Subs. not used; R. Jones; Wade.

ABERBARGOED BUDS;   Hegarty; Vaughan; Rees; Forsyth; Jones; Thomas ©; Morgan (Franklin, 78)
Evans; Jameson; Maisey; Eady; Subs. not used; Costa; Boulter.

SCORER;    Llanelli Town – Follows, 85.

YELLOW CARDS;   Llanelli Town – Loveridge; Graves. Aberbargoed Buds – Forsyth.

REFEREE;  Aled Jones (Llandysul).

ATTENDANCE;  268.

A large crowd is expected at Stebonheath tonight (Wednesday) with the visit of AFC Llwydcoed for the Reds` final home league game of the season, when a win will see them clinch the second division title which will be presented on the night. Kick off is at 7.30 p.m.

Next Saturday, they travel to meet Dinas Powys, kick off 2.30 p.m.

 

 

GARDEN VILLAGE 0 LLANELLI TOWN 1

Having achieved their main aim of promotion and seemingly destined to be crowned league champions, the Reds have probably only one more ambition before the end of the season – to go through the campaign undefeated, a total of 41 league and cup matches. If they can do so, it will be the icing on the cake to a marvellous season and a fitting tribute to the hard work of the management team of Andy Hill, Mark Dickeson and Andrew Mumford, together with the talented squad of players at their disposal.

They all fully deserve the plaudits, and hopefully can carry on the good work in the Welsh League first division next season. A league and cup double too is on the cards, with  Bridgend Street the sole obstacle in their way of clinching the Welsh League Cup on Friday, 12th May.

Their Easter Monday evening clash at Stafford Common in front of a sizeable crowd with near neighbours, Garden Village, was a close run affair, with a solitary first half strike by Jordan Follows separating the sides at the close. Another landmark was reached by the visitors` Chris Thomas on his 300th appearance for the club, and over the years he has proved to be a vital cog in the overall setup.

Chances were not plentiful for either side, but on 14 minutes Follows struck a well placed volley past Rhys Owen in the home goal after initial good play involving Liam Samuel and Lee Trundle. James Loveridge also got the ball into the Village net when he met a Lee Bevan clearance to just beat Owen to the ball and steer it into a vacant goal, but referee Teifion Cook decided the keeper had been impeded and it was ruled out.

When the hosts were awarded a free kick, Matthew Harding headed it back across goal to the far post where Kieron Richards with a diving header guided it towards the net, but Craig Morris was down quickly to push it around the upright. At the other end, a trademark Trundle chip from the edge of the box was destined for the top corner before Owen, at full stretch, managed to turn it over the bar.

In first half stoppage time, the Reds were given a great opportunity to double the lead when Follows was brought down in the area after Trundle put him through, but the spot kick taken by Trundle was kept out on the line by the keeper – the second time this season the Swansea City legend has failed to convert.

After the restart, there arose a bizarre decision by the officials when Trundle was put clear up the middle by a ball over the top from Jordan Davies and duly lobbed it over Owen into the empty net, and with the players making their way back to the middle, Cook decided to consult his assistant who had not raised his flag, but between them decided Trundle was offside and the score not valid.  Morris was called into action again, doing well to deny Dayle Selvage from close range when he was played in on goal, and the home side went close shortly after with Morris again involved, when his attempted clearance from a ball by Michael Morris rebounded off the oncoming Kurtis Morgan and inches wide of the target.

With the clock running down, the Reds were under pressure from their opponents who are still in a relegation dogfight and desperate for points, and when a Selvage free kick into the goalmouth was fumbled by Morris, it led to an almighty scramble in front of the net before Robert Thomas was able to clear the danger. Just before the final whistle, Owen brought off a great save to keep out a shot from distance by Loveridge, but the visitors hung on to clinch another win and maintain their unbeaten record.

GARDEN VILLAGE;   Owen; Morris; S. Matthews (A. Richards, 59); Harding; Evans; Hyndman;
Morgan ©; Selvage; K. Richards (Leefe, 69); Norman (C. Matthews, 74);
Logan; Subs. not used; Reynolds; Ireland.

LLANELLI TOWN;     Morris; Graves; R. Thomas; Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Samuel (Finselbach, 78); Davies; Follows (L.Jones, 86); Trundle; Loveridge;
Subs. not used; Morgan; Wade; March.

SCORER;  Llanelli Town – Follows, 14.

YELLOW CARDS;     Garden Village – Evans. Llanelli Town – Davies; Trundle; Bevan.

 

REFEREE; Teifion Cook (Craigcefnparc).

WEST END 0 LLANELLI TOWN 3

WEST END   0   LLANELLI TOWN    3

Two teams with vastly different agendas clashed at Pryderi Park with the hosts perilously close to the relegation trapdoor, while their opponents appear to be on course for promotion to the first division of the Welsh League, captained by Lee Bevan who was making his 100th appearance for the club.

Points were therefore vital for both sides, but it was the Reds who emerged the winners to further boost their title credentials, while West End sank deeper into the mire. A first half opener by Lee Trundle and a brace from Jordan Davies in the second sealed a comfortable win, which could have been far greater but for the heroics of Ross Greenwood in the home goal.

He brought off a number of saves to thwart the visitors who were also twice denied by the woodwork, while Davies failed to convert a penalty which would have clinched his hat-trick. An early Trundle header from a Liam Samuel cross flew just wide, while a Davies delivery sailed across the face of goal and narrowly past the far upright.

Jordan Follows laid on a great ball for Trundle to take on, but Greenwood got down at his near post to smother the striker`s finish. He could do little, however, to prevent the former Swansea City star from opening the scoring on 18 minutes, when he accepted a pass from Ross Jones before firing into the bottom corner.

The home keeper then did well to divert for a corner a free kick whipped  into the goalmouth by Trundle, while Davies saw his well struck shot from the edge of the box rebound off the post with Greenwood beaten. Follows was the next Reds` player to threaten, but once again Greenwood was up to the task of denying him a further success, and he came to the rescue again following a Trundle set piece which rebounded off the wall into the path of Samuel, this time by diverting the attempt clear with an outstretched leg.

Somehow, just the one goal to the good at the break, the visitors deservedly doubled the lead eight minutes after the restart, when a powerfully struck Trundle free kick arrowed low into the goal was, for once, fumbled by Greenwood, and Davies, following up, cheekily backheeled the ball over the line. Follows then struck the crossbar when he volleyed a far past delivery by Samuel, and when the latter was replaced by James Loveridge, he soon got in on the act, finding Trundle who in turn set up Davies for a well taken finish across the keeper in the 64th minute.

With the contest virtually won, the visitors made a couple of changes with Luke Jones and Luke Morgan replacing Follows and Ross Jones respectively, and Jones was then involved in the penalty award when he was brought down in the course of pursuing a loose ball following a Trundle free kick. Davies took the kick, but he was denied his treble as it lacked power and Greenwood dived to his right to keep it out, but the miss did not turn out to be too serious, as with the weather becoming distinctly gloomy, referee Ryan Kenny blew up a few minutes early, and the Reds` coasted to another win and a further three precious points.

WEST END;   Greenwood; Templeton; Blackmore ; Poutchadis; Russell; Hole; Eames; Gowen (C)
(Lerwell, 78); Jones (Obong, 55); Parvin; Butt (Begley); Subs. not used; Cullen; Allen.

LLANELLI TOWN;    Morris; Graves; March; R. Thomas; Clarke; Bevan ©; Samuel (Loveridge, 63);
Davies; Follows (L. Jones, 72); Trundle; R. Jones (Morgan, 76);
Subs. not used; C. Thomas; Wade.

SCORERS; Llanelli Town – Trundle, 18; Davies, 53, 64.

YELLOW CARDS; West End – Eames; Blackmore. Llanelli Town – R. Jones; Trundle.

REFEREE; Ryan Kenny (Gorseinon).

AFC PORTH 0 LLANELLI TOWN 0

By no means a classic, but the point earned by Llanelli Town was enough to guarantee they will be playing in the first division of the Welsh League next season, while another three wins will secure the championship.

They are also the first team in the entire three divisions to achieve promotion, but they were made to work hard on a less than pristine playing surface which made flowing one-touch football almost impossible, and both sides realised very early on that route one was the only answer, resulting in a scrappy, disjointed affair with clear-cut chances few and far between. Craig Morris in the visitors` goal, playing his 100th game for the club, dealt comfortably with an early Joel Quine effort, and when a ball by Tom Barry sent Tyrone Topper on a run down the right, Joe Clarke was on hand to divert his driven low cross for a corner.

A first time attempt by Jordan Follows who met a James Loveridge pass went straight at home keeper, David Burnett, while a Lee Trundle shot on the turn sailed across the face of the Porth net before running out of play. The nearest either side came to a breakthrough arose when Riccardo McKenzie took advantage of some lax defending to make inroads into the Reds` box, but Morris was quickly off his line to deny him at the expense of a corner.

At the other end, a Trundle free kick from distance forced Burnett into a save low at his near post to push it around, before the visitors had a lucky escape when a high ball lifted to the edge of the area was met by Quine who directed his header over the onrushing Morris and towards the vacant net, but Kurtis March reacted in the nick of time to clear off the line. Burnett was called into action again, clawing away a well struck shot by Follows when Trundle set him up and when Trundle himself was played in on goal, the keeper somehow managed to keep out an almost certain success from point blank range.

With neither side able to resolve the deadlock, the second period was much the same as the first, with scoring chances at a premium and neither goalkeeper having much to deal with in the way of meaningful saves. Trundle did clip the home bar with a second attempt from a Loveridge corner, before the latter was replaced by Liam Samuel on 63 minutes.

Robert Thomas also came on for Ross Jones in the 71st minute, but although these changes did give the Reds more impetus than their first half showing, they nearest they came to a goal arose from another Trundle free kick which was fractionally off target. Chris Thomas did well to bring off a saving tackle on McKenzie when he got free up the left flank and threatened to make inroads into the box, but the final act of the contest saw Trundle denied a potential score by a great tackle from Dominic Dwyer who just got a foot to the ball after Samuel had sent the Swansea City legend away.

At the close, all-in-all a fair result as both sides were well below their best on the day, but the point was enough to clinch the Reds` promotion, and with this now achieved, their next ambition will be to go up as champions with six games remaining to do so.

AFC PORTH;   Burnett; Barry; James; Bird; Dwyer; Quine; Ah Munn; Davies ©; McKenzie; Toppar;
Kinnerly (Smith, 84); Subs. not used; Fish; Moses; Case; Biggs.

LLANELLI TOWN;  Morris; Graves; March; Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; R. Jones (R. Thomas, 71);

Davies; Follows; Trundle; Loveridge (Samuel, 63); Subs. not used; Morgan; Wade; L. Jones.

YELLOW CARDS; AFC  Porth – Bird. Llanelli Town – Clarke.

REFEREE; Kris Hames (Aberdare).

The Reds wind-up their home league programme with the visit of Aberbargoed Buds next Saturday, kick off 2.30 p.m.,while  AFC Llwydcoed provide the opposition on Wednesday, 26th at Stebonheath, with a 7.30 p.m. start.

 

 

 

                                           

PONTYPRIDD TOWN 3 LLANELLI TOWN 3

PONTYPRIDD TOWN   3   LLANELLI TOWN   3

Trailing 3-1 with only two minutes of normal time remaining, a couple of dramatic  late goals by Jordan Follows and captain Lee Bevan ensured the Reds` clung on to their unbeaten status at Ynysangharad Park, a result which leaves them within touching distance of promotion.

Joe Clarke had given them the lead after 16 minutes when a James Loveridge cross caused havoc in the Dragons` box, allowing Clarke to net from close range. Lee Trundle came close to increasing the advantage with some trademark free kicks, but Ryan Griffiths in the home goal was just about able to keep them out.

Neither side offered any real goal threat, and with half time approaching it appeared as if the visitors would cling on to their narrow advantage, but two goals in the space of six minutes by their opponents changed the whole scenario. Luke Gullick, who was a thorn in the Reds` side all evening, was the recipient, his first coming in the 37th minute when he chested down a teasing cross by James Hill before rifling a low drive beyond Craig Morris into the bottom corner.

Six minutes later, he repeated the effort, picking up the ball wide on the right flank and getting past Kurtis March before netting with an angled drive at the near post. Rocked at these setbacks, the Reds` plight worsened eight minutes after the restart when they conceded again, with Hill meeting a well-worked corner from Robert Briars at the far post to bundle it over the line.

The visitors were not  completely finished, however, and displayed their intentions of making a fist of things with Follows volleying just over, and when a Jordan Davies corner dropped into the box it led to an almighty scramble with Trundle going down under a challenge, but referee Wayne Tregonning was unmoved.

Ross Jones did well to win possession before sending Trundle clear on a run, and his powerful strike on target brought out a decent save from Griffiths. With the clock ticking down and just two minutes remaining came the late drama as the Reds` inherent never-say-die spirit kicked in, and they were back in the contest on 88 minutes through Follows who arrived at the far post to steer home his finish. Two minutes later the comeback was completed when a great floated cross by Clarke found the head of Bevan who beat Griffiths to the ball before looping it into the vacant net.

Even then they could have won the game with Liam Samuel seeing the keeper save his attempt, but the point earned places them back at the head of the table as league leaders ahead of Briton Ferry Llansawel on goal difference, but with four games in hand.

PONTYPRIDD TOWN;  Griffiths; L. McCarthy; Hillman ©; Lewis; Allen; Briars (Rutherford, 69);
R. McCarthy; Hooper; Gullick; Johns (Hibbs, 85); Hill;
Subs. not used; Meyer; Cordle; Wheeler.

LLANELLI TOWN;      Morris; Graves; March; Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; R. Jones; Davies; Follows;
Trundle;  Loveridge (Samuel, 61); Subs. not used; R. Thomas; Morgan; Wade.

SCORERS;  Pontypridd Town – Gullick, 37, 43; Hill, 53.
Llanelli Town – Clarke, 16; Follows, 88; Bevan, 90.

YELLOW CARDS;     Llanelli town – Bevan; Davies; Trundle.

REFEREE;  Wayne Tregonning (Merthyr).

ATTENDANCE;  250 (Est.).

The Reds are on the road again next Saturday with a trip to AFC Porth, while on Easter Monday, 17th April, they have a re-arranged game at Garden Village, kick off 7.30 p.m.