When the two sides met in the league back in September, a Lee Trundle hat-trick scored in three minutes of stoppage time edged the Reds to a 5-2 win. Without the charismatic “Magic Daps” when the teams clashed in the quarter-final of the League Cup, the home side struggled to establish any pattern to their play, resulting in a shapeless contest with their opponents not much better, and summed up by the respective goalkeepers earning the plaudits.
Luke Jones came in to the starting line-up in the absence of Trundle, and justified his inclusion by opening the scoring just before the half hour, before Jordan Follows finally wrapped up matters in second half stoppage time. The visitors caused the Reds` rearguard plenty of problems throughout, with Luke Lewis in particular a constant threat, although it was Dane Griffiths who had an initial chance when Dafydd Brewer sent him though the middle and into the area, but he delayed his final effort too long and was eventually crowded out.
Abergavenny keeper, Tom Indge, just beat Jones to the ball when Jordan Davies provided the pass, while at the other end Chris Thomas brought off a saving tackle on Jordan Harford from a Griffiths assist. Indge was fortunate when his attempted clearance only found Richard Lewis, but his shot was deflected for a corner. Lee Bevan did well to quickly affect a vital block when Lewis met a ball in the box, before Craig Morris brought off a brilliant save to divert a shot arrowed towards the bottom corner from Lewis around the post.
The hosts had barely offered a worthwhile threat on their opponents goal, but against the run of play opened the scoring when Jones ghosted into the near post unnoticed to tuck away a ball driven in by Lewis after 29 minutes. Abergavenny were then forced into a change when Griffiths, who had suffered an earlier knock, was replaced by Craig Norman, but despite this disruption, they continued to enjoy the better of the possession but were woefully lacking in the final third, seldom testing Morris to any great extent.
With the home side narrowly ahead going into the second period, both teams made changes, with Jamie Laurent replacing Harford for the visitors, while Jones, still not fully fit, was replaced by Liam Samuel. Norman fired a free kick from just outside the box narrowly off target, before the Reds made another change with Ross Jones coming on for Anthony Finselbach.
A surging run by Robert Thomas from his own half culminated in him firing fractionally wide of the visitors` goal, and when Joe Clarke found Follows wide on the left, his attempted ball across to Samuel was cut out. Clarke was then culpable of allowing a cross from Aaron Norman to reach Brewer, and it again took a great save by Morris to prevent his strike from finding the net.
A similar scenario then occurred at the opposite end with Indge beating clear a fiercely struck Samuel effort. Another chance fell to Follows when Clarke set him up, but he directed his finish straight at the keeper, while shortly after he again failed to take advantage when put through on goal.
With the tie now in stoppage time, Follows made up for his earlier lapses by notching the Reds` second with the Abergavenny defence hopelessly outnumbered, and the visitors` afternoon was compounded when they were reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Brett Anderson by referee Leigh Jones just before the final whistle, to add to the nine yellow cards already shown to both sides.
A far from convincing display by the Reds, but who nevertheless now join Bridgend Street, Caerau Ely and Haverfordwest County in the semi-finals of the competition.
LLANELLI TOWN; Morris; Graves; R. Thomas; Finselbach (R. Jones, 67); C. Thomas; Bevan ©;
Clarke; Davies; L. Jones (Samuel, 55); Follows; Lewis (Silcox, 90+5);
Subs, not used; Morgan; A. Jones.
ABERGAVENNY TOWN; Indge; Anderson; Evans; Brewer ©; Bull; Jones; A. Norman; Harford (Laurent, 52); Griffiths (C. Norman, 31); Lewis; Hitchcock; Subs. not used; Davies; Feeley; Aurelius (GK).
SCORERS; Llanelli Town – L. Jones, 29; Follows, 90+3.
YELLOW CARDS; Llanelli Town – Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan; Davies.
Abergavenny Town – Lewis; C. Norman; Brewer; Indge; Anderson.
RED CARD; Abergavenny Town – Anderson.
REFEREE; Leigh Jones (Treharris).