The contest between first and second certainly lived up to expectations, with a feisty encounter culminating in eight cautions, a red card and two penalties, and-more importantly for the hosts three points which opens up a six point advantage over their rivals, having played two fewer games. With twelve matches still to play, the Reds are favourites for the title, but anything can happen up to the end of the season, and they just have to maintain their winning streak to ensure promotion. Ferry can consider themselves slightly hard done by, as they were the more dominant side in the first half, with Steve Davey in particular on the right flank causing havoc every time he had possession, proving to be a handful for Reds` left back, Adam Jones.
An early cross by Davey to the far post led to a header by Tom DaSilva which forced Craig Morris to deflect it on to the bar before it was scrambled clear. The same two visiting players were then involved again, with Morris just able to push the ball off the head of DaSilva from another Davey delivery. When the home side broke, it took a timely challenge on Jordan Follows to prevent him homing in on goal after Lee Trundle sent him clear, while at the other end, Morris was again in action, this time clutching the ball on the line when it was chested back to him after a ball by Mark Napieralla just eluded Gareth Jones.
Another Ferry foray forced Morris to push a shot by Steven Hughes around the post, before against the run of play the Reds went ahead on 24 minutes. James Loveridge made a surging run down the right, and with no obvious target to pick out in the middle chanced his luck by striking a great effort from distance over Steve Cann in the Ferry goal.
It was a well taken attempt, albeit out of the blue, but it certainly put some sparkle into the Reds` play, with Trundle sending a shot on the turn just over the top. Things got even better in the 39th minute with the award of a penalty by referee Wayne Neal when Trundle was brought down in the box, and he took the kick himself, driving it past Cann. Despite these setbacks, the visitors continued to pose a threat whenever Davey had the ball, and a combination with a teammate led to his final shot arrowing just wide.
They also went close when two more attempts firstly struck a post, with the rebound being driven inches past the far post. But fortune continued to smile on their opponents, who were awarded a second penalty in first half stoppage time when Loveridge was put clear into the area before being taken out by a two-footed challenge by Cann, which resulted in a red card for the Ferry captain, with Rory Healey taking over goalkeeping duties. His first task was picking the ball out of the net after Trundle completed his brace by smashing the award past him.
Three to the good at the break, the Reds enjoyed far more possession in the second period, but despite the numerical disadvantage their opponents continued to be hard to break down, and in fact pulled one back in the 65th minute with Davey again involved, playing a pass into the path of Ryan Griffiths who had only joined Ferry during the week, and he found the bottom corner despite the despairing dive of Morris.
This success could have made the hosts jittery with still some 25 minutes left, but they gradually asserted themselves with Trundle, for once, failing to find the target from 20 yards when Loveridge set him up. Five minutes from time, the contest was settled beyond doubt with a fourth Reds goal when a superb Trundle assist sent Follows clear, and he maintained his composure before slotting his finish past Sam Baker who had taken over in goal during the interval.
There was still time for a Trundle free kick to be somehow kept out by the legs of Baker who knew little about it, and Follows saw his shot come back off the woodwork.
Another satisfying win for the home side which keeps going their unbeaten run.
LLANELLI TOWN; Morris; Graves; A. Jones; Finselbach (R. Thomas, 50); C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Clarke; Davies (Wade, 90+5); Follows; Trundle; Loveridge (Samuel, 88);
Subs. not used; Morgan; McNab.
BRITON FERRY LLANSAWEL; S. Cann ©; Napieralla (Kostromin, 82); Baker; Healey; Kingdom; Hillier; Da Silva; Hudson; Hughes; Jones (Griffiths, 57); Davey (Brown, 79);
Subs, not used; R. Cann; Midwinter.
SCORERS; Llanelli Town – Loveridge, 24; Trundle, 39(P), 45+5 (P); Follows, 85.
Briton Ferry Llansawel – Griffiths, 65.
YELLOW CARDS; Llanelli Town – Finselbach; Bevan; Trundle.
Briton Ferry Llansawel – Baker; Hillier; S. Cann; Napieralla; Griffiths.
RED CARD; Briton Ferry Llansawel – S. Cann.
REFEREE; Wayne Neal (Cwmamman).