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.