Llanelli Town AFC 

LLANELLI TOWN 2 ABERDARE TOWN 0

The new year began on a positive note for the Reds as they finally overcame dour opponents with goals in either half from Lee Trundle and Joe Clarke on his debut. The visitors owe a large debt of gratitude to goalkeeper Clint Forbes, who pulled off a string of remarkable saves to deny the home side and ensure the final scoreline was kept to a reasonable figure. After the three week hiatus to the league programme, the Reds were able to field a full strength squad, the only absentees through injury being Luke Jones and Callum Silcox. Their opponents were the first to come close to opening the scoring when a rebound fell into the path of Elliott Morris, whose shot beat Craig Morris but came back off the foot of the post.

As the half progressed, the hosts were seemingly finding it difficult to string together any worthwhile passing movements, while far too often conceding possession, allowing Aberdare to mount counter attacks but without really testing Morris unduly. When the Reds broke, Jordan Follows shot narrowly wide of the near post before firing high over the top when Trundle headed down a Sam Wade cross. A good block in the area denied Trundle when he unleashed an attempt, while Clarke was inches away from making contact to a near post ball from Kyle Graves. Forbes made the first of what would turn out to be a number of important saves, getting down quickly to smother Clarke`s effort when he and Trundle combined.

The visitors` keeper then did even better when Trundle was put clear on goal, directing his attempted lob at full stretch for a corner. Richard Lewis was forced off with a hamstring problem on 36 minutes with Robert Thomas coming on in his place, but just two minutes later the stalemate was broken when Clarke played a pass into the feet of Trundle with his back to goal, and he once again demonstrated some great skills in turning and firing past Forbes. Just before the break, he went close again but on this occasion was fractionally wide, while early in the second period, Forbes somehow managed to keep out at point blank range a Ward attempt following a cross by Trundle. The Aberdare keeper was being kept fully occupied, blocking with his legs a further strike on target, while Trundle skimmed the crossbar with another snap effort.

Ward and Trundle combined in another foray on the visitors` goal which again was deflected for a corner, before Follows had a great chance of doubling the lead after a reverse pass by Trundle sent him clear, but he could only direct his finish straight at Forbes. Jordan Davies was the next to be denied by the visiting keeper when once again the Ward-Trundle combination set up the opportunity, before Ward was replaced by Liam Samuel after 70 minutes. Within seven minutes of this change, the Reds at last got their reward with Trundle inevitably involved in the build-up, this time sending Clarke on a run which he finished in style with a well struck shot from the edge of the box past Forbes.

The Reds made their final change with Ross Jones replacing Anthony Finselbach, before Forbes excelled himself again, pushing over a goal bound shot from Samuel, while he did even better when his full length save denied Follows whose finish was destined for the bottom corner. At the close, the Reds were worthy winners as they had enjoyed most of the possession and created chances, while Aberdare most certainly have their goalkeeper to thank for an outstanding display.

LLANELLI TOWN;   Morris; Graves; Lewis (R. Thomas, 36); Finselbach (Jones, 79); C. Thomas;
Bevan ©; Clarke; Davies; Follows; Trundle; Wade (Samuel, 70);
Subs. not used; Morgan; McFenton (GK).

ABERDARE TOWN;   Forbes; Hanley (Mouncher, 69); Powell (Collins, 83); Howe; Billings; Phillips;
W. Jones ©; Morris; Daniels (Neville, 48); L. Jones; Blatchford.

SCORERS;       Llanelli Town – Trundle, 38; Clarke, 77.
YELLOW CARDS;    Llanelli Town – Davies. Aberdare Town – L. Jones; Powell.

REFEREE; Garwyn Davies (Morriston).

ATTENDANCE;  314.

The Reds welcome Abergavenny Town to Stebonheath next Saturday in the quarter final of the League Cup, kick off 2 p.m.

 

 

  

CWMAMMAN UNITED 5 LLANELLI TOWN 5

Severely depleted by a combination of injuries and unavailability, the  Reds nevertheless stormed into a 3-0 lead at Grenig Park within the opening half hour, but a comeback by their opponents brought the scores level eight minutes into the second half. From then on, the lead changed hands with bewildering speed with the visitors edging ahead again only to be clawed back once more, and eventually falling behind with just three minutes remaining, before a Lee Trundle penalty, his second of the game, saved the day and ensured a point.

With Craig Morris, Anthony Finselbach, Ross Jones, Callum Silcox, Liam Samuel and Jordan Follows all absentees, the Reds were forced to play a half-fit Luke Jones from the start, but he lasted just twenty minutes before being replaced by Harrison Davies.

Before this, however, it was Jones who opened the scoring in the first minute when Trundle guided a pass into his path, and he directed his finish over goalkeeper Robert Jones into the top corner. In the absence of Morris, Conah McFenton, signed during the week from Port Talbot Town, took his place in goal, and he did well in the early stages by keeping out an effort at his near post from Ashley Curtis when he connected with a low driven cross.

Having replaced Jones, with almost his first touch Davies extended the lead when Trundle again layed on the chance, finishing well, with a well  placed shot wide of Jones in the 21st minute. When the home side were awarded a free kick, Craig Spring saw his strike deflect narrowly off target, and when the subsequent corner came across, Lee Bevan did well to get in a block as the ball was driven goalwards.

Bevan was then involved again, this time sending Trundle clear, and when he unleashed his shot, Jones did well to divert it for a corner. Trundle had set up the first two goals, and repeated the effort again when he found Richard Lewis wide on the left, who despatched a well struck attempt over the despairing clutches of the home keeper after 28 minutes.

Despite the deficit, the home side were still displaying plenty of effort in their general play and were rewarded when they pulled one back seven minutes from the break following a Ryan Thomas set piece which was met by Gareth Howarth, who guided it past McFenton from close range. Buoyed by this, Thomas directed another free kick over the wall and fractionally wide of the goal, but on the stroke of half time, a sublime piece of skill by Davies left home defender, Jordan Vickers, for dead, and his cross into the middle found Trundle who headed home, only for an offside flag to rule it out.

An early second half chance came Trundle`s way, but on this occasion he was only able to divert it over the top, before two goals by the hosts in the space of three minutes changed the whole complexion  of the contest. A Vickers free kick lofted goalwards in the 50th minutes caused confusion in the Reds` ranks and McFenton was unable to keep it out, and within three minutes of this, he was at fault when in attempting to grasp another high ball allowed it to slip from his grasp, leaving Thomas to fire into the net.

When Trundle was sent clear by Davies and made tracks into the box, he appeared to be impeded, but referee James Sheils waved away the penalty appeals, although he did point to the spot in the 72nd minute when Trundle was fouled, and the ex-Swansea City legend stepped up to smash the kick past Jones to edge the Reds ahead one again.

Their elation was short-lived, as within six minutes their opponents were back on level terms, when for once Bevan failed to clear effectively, allowing Curtis to gain possession before finding the net just inside the near post. If this was bad enough, worse was to follow when for the first time in the match the home side went ahead when another free kick was only partially cleared as far as Curtis, who notched up his brace with a great finish low through a crowd of players after 87 minutes.

To their credit, the visitors hit back, and remarkably were all-square again within two minutes with the award of a second penalty after Trundle was again brought down, allowing him to step up and hammer it past Jones. Five-all at the close of a crazy ninety minutes of football, but at least the Reds can celebrate the fact they are still unbeaten going into the New Year, whilst also being the only club throughout the three Welsh League divisions with this record.

CWMAMMAN UNITED;   Jones; Johns; Vickers; Medwin; Howarth; Spring ©; Thomas; John;  Curtis (Croucher, 90+1); Langley (Morgan, 82); Eames (Saunders, 74); Sub. not used; Lewis.

LLANELLI TOWN;  McFenton; Graves; Lewis; R. Thomas; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Jones (H. Davies, 20);
 J. Davies; Wade (Martin, 78); Trundle; Morgan.

SCORERS;  Cwmamman United – Howarth, 38; Vickers, 50; Thomas, 53;  Curtis, 78, 87.
Llanelli Town – Jones, 1; H. Davies, 21; Lewis, 28; Trundle,72(P); 89 (P).

YELLOW CARDS;  Cwmamman United – Thomas; Medwin; Croucher.
Llanelli Town – R. Thomas; Wade.
REFEREE;  James Sheils (Swansea).

The Reds now take a three week break before their next game scheduled for Saturday, 7th January, when they are at home to Aberdare Town. Kick off 2 p.m.

 

                                             

LLANELLI TOWN 5 YNYSYGERWN 1

 When Mike Evans gave the visitors a 9th minute lead in this JD Welsh Cup third round tie to send the huge travelling  support into raptures, the Reds might have been fearing the dreaded “banana-skin” syndrome, and when they failed  to hit the heights in the first period, their opponents were still well in contention of bringing off a shock result,    before normal service was resumed in the second half.

 A Luke Jones equaliser just before the half hour eased the nerves somewhat, and no doubt after some strong words  in the confines of the dressing room during the interval had the desired effect, with a far more assured performance  in the second half, culminating in further four goals from Liam Samuel, Luke Morgan, Richard Lewis and, inevitably,  Lee Trundle easing them safely through to the fourth round of the competition.

 An attendance of 708 witnessed a thoroughly entertaining clash between the division two leaders and the third tier  visitors who, on this evidence, are destined for a positive life in the Welsh League and could well be playing at a  higher level in the not too distant future. For the home side, Jordan Davies again caught the eye with another fine  midfield display, while it was good to see Samuel recapture the form which made him such a prospect prior to his  horrific injury a couple of seasons ago, causing problems on the wide right whenever in possession.

 It was he who set up the first Reds` chance, laying the ball into the path of Trundle whose shot was parried by Ynys  keeper, Liam Sheehy, only as far as Chris Thomas who then found the net only to be denied by an offside flag. A run  by Lewis which took him into the box from a Trundle assist saw him go down under a challenge, but referee Tom  Bevan waved play on. Following these early sorties, the hosts were then caught with a sucker punch following a  corner by Adam Davies into the middle which led to a scramble in front of goal, and eventually Evans found space to  steer the ball home at the far post, much to the delight of the Ynys fans. When the Reds pushed forward, Trundle found Samuel who in turn directed a pass to Lewis, but his finish soared over the top.

Jones could then only direct his finish into the hands of Sheehy when Trundle set him up, and when Samuel got clear down the right and into the area, his final ball went across goal and just past the back post. When the visitors were awarded a free kick, it required a timely intervention by Thomas to prevent Davies from making contact and a possible shot on target, before the home side levelled matters on 29 minutes with Samuel again involved, crossing low into the goalmouth where Jones was on hand to divert the chance past the keeper.

Samuel himself then went close with a sweetly struck 25 yarder which sailed inches wide when Trundle provided the opportunity, and Sheehy was called into early second half action, pushing away a shot from distance by Trundle. The Reds made an early change with Luke Morgan replacing Robert Thomas after 54 minutes, and within two minutes of this they took the lead through Samuel who did well to accept a ball from Trundle before cutting inside and firing past Sheehy.

Four minutes later, the lead was extended with Samuel and Trundle involved in the initial build-up, allowing Morgan to apply the finish with a crisp shot past the keeper. Ynys were now visibly wilting with their opponents firmly in charge of proceedings, and a fourth success arrived in the 67th minute when a deep cross by Morgan was met on the volley by Lewis who smashed it past the helpless Sheehy. Callum Silcox came on to take the place of Lewis with 20 minutes remaining, and four minutes later Jordan Follows took over from Kyle Graves. With the tie won, the Reds still were far from finished, and six minutes from the final whistle, Follows played in Trundle who kept up his goal-a-game ratio, hammering his effort past the keeper. Just before the end, Trundle was put clear down the middle by Anthony Finselbach and made ground into the box before being challenged by Sheehy and ending up in a heap, but again referee Bevan was not interested in the award of a penalty.

At the close, despite the early scare, the Reds were worthy winners and now progress to the fourth round, but Ynysygerwn can take heart from their overall display against opponents in a rich vein of form, riding high on the back of an 18 match unbeaten run.

LLANELLI TOWN;   Morris; Graves (Follows, 74); Lewis (Silcox, 70); Finselbach; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Samuel; J. Davies; Jones; Trundle; R. Thomas (Morgan, 54); Subs. not used; Powell; H. Davies.

YNYSYGERWN; Sheehy; Powell; Sedgemore (Gardner, 70); J. Davies; Morris; Phillips ©  (Tristram, 79); Miller; A. Davies; M. Evans (Jones, 73); Newell; Morgan; Subs. not used; C. Evans; Humphreys.

SCORERS;  Llanelli Town – Jones, 29; Samuel, 56; Morgan, 60; Lewis, 67; Trundle, 84.

Ynysygerwn – M. Evans, 9.

YELLOW CARDS;     Llanelli Town – Jones.

REFEREE; Tom Bevan (Claberston Road).

ATTENDANCE; 708.

Pontypridd Town are the Reds` opponents next Friday evening at Stebonheath in a league game. Kick off 7.30 p.m.

 

 

LLANELLI TOWN 2 PONTYPRIDD TOWN 2

A Christmas cracker first half by the Reds saw them ease into a 2-0 lead, only for a damp squib performance after the break allowed their opponents back into the game, and eventually claw back the deficit to earn a point at the final whistle.

The Dragons hardly mustered a single worthwhile effort on the home goal in the opening forty five minutes, with Craig Morris a virtual spectator, and when they fell behind as early as the fourth minute they seemed to be heading for defeat at the hands of rampant opponents. However, a goal by them in the second minute of the second period transformed the whole complex of the contest, and subsequently the Reds were hanging on for long periods of the play with the visitors dictating matters and looking the more likely to strike again.

They did so with nine minutes left, to earn, in the end, a well deserved draw, although both sides were equally guilty of some wayward finishing which could have seen either clinch the three points. The Reds went ahead when a Lee Trundle free kick rebounded off the defensive wall and conveniently into the path of Jordan Davies, who made no mistake with his finish past goalkeeper Ryan Griffiths. Sam Wade with a surging run through the Dragons` defence set up Davies for another strike, but this time Griffiths got down to safely gather.

Richard Lewis then forced the keeper to push away his effort from distance, and Griffiths was being kept fully occupied, again clutching a finish from Luke Jones low at his near post when Trundle set up the chance. This proved to Jones`s last involvement as he limped off after 23 minutes to be replaced by Liam Samuel, before the Dragons initiated a rare sight of the home goal when Aiden Lewis was found in space on the edge of the box, but he curled his attempt wide from a decent position.

Griffiths needed two attempts to eventually gather a high hanging cross from Trundle to the back post, but was beaten again by the same player on 38 minutes with Wade doing the spadework before finding Trundle who directed his finish into the bottom corner. Another promising build-up by the home side culminated in Trundle sending Samuel on a run, but his shot was inches off target.

The half ended with the Reds comfortably in the ascendancy, but within two minutes of the restart the fight back began when their opponents opened their account through James Hill, who met a ball on the edge of the area and volleyed into the top corner. Spurred by this, the visitors were now a different side, and Morris did well to push clear a shot from Luke Gullick following a run down the right by Hill, and as the half progressed the home side were being subjected to some serious pressure.

In fact, they could well have conceded again when a terrible mix-up involving Morris and Lewis  in attempting to both clear a ball directed towards the goal, collided, leaving the latter pole-axed in the box and Gullick gratefully accepting the chance of a pot shot at a vacant goal, but his finish went across the net and was eventually scrambled clear Following this, Lewis was unable to continue and was replaced by Robert Thomas, and when the visitors also made a substitution with Matthew Hibbs coming on for Adam John, he was to prove to be their match-saver when he netted in the 81st minute with the Reds defence all at sea, leaving Hibbs on his own in the middle to meet a cross from the right.

Even at his late stage, both sides had chances of clinching a result, with Samuel missing a glorious opportunity after being put through by a great reverse ball by Trundle, but he delayed his shot with only Griffiths to beat before taking too many touches and being crowded out.

At the other end, a slip by Chris Thomas at the vital second allowed Tom Rutherford a shot on goal which Morris parried only as far as Levi Rees, but he somehow screwed his finish wide from close range. Griffiths brought off a number of smart stops when the home side threatened, but in stoppage time, a free-for-all involving players on both sides erupted after a challenge involving Davies and Dragons` captain, Scott Hillman, leading to the dismissal by referee  Aled Jones of the visiting player, and a caution for Davies.

The match ended all-square, but the Reds will by mystified as to how they allowed a game which they had originally dominated to slip from their grasp in such dramatic circumstances.

LLANELLI TOWN;   Morris; Graves; Lewis (R. Thomas, 72); Finselbach; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Wade;
J. Davies; L. Jones (Samuel, 23); Trundle; Morgan (R. Jones, 64);  Subs. not used; H. Davies; Dale (GK).

PONTYPRIDD TOWN;   Griffiths; Broad; Hooper; L. McCarthy; Hillman ©; Allen;  Lewis (R. McCarthy, 90+5); Rutherford; Gullick (Rees, 89); John (Hibbs, 74); Hill; Subs. not used; Mercer; Morgan.

SCORERS; Llanelli Town – L Morgan, 4; Trundle, 38. Pontypridd Town – Hill, 47; Hibbs, 81.

YELLOW CARDS;  Llanelli Town – Finselbach; J. Davies; R. Jones.

RED CARD;  Pontypridd Town – Hillman.

REFEREE;  Aled Jones (Llandyssul).

ATTENDANCE; 371.

The Reds make the short journey to meet Cwmamman United next Saturday. Kick off 2 p.m. 

CROESYCEILIOG 0 LLANELLI TOWN 2

Llanelli Town extended their unbeaten run of league and cup matches to seventeen with a physical encounter against their Gwent opponents, with the contest punctuated with a number of flare-ups involving players on both sides, culminating in the hosts being reduced to nine men following two dismissals. The visitors were without Ross Jones and Callum Silcox from the previous 5-0 demolition of Ammanford, with Anthony Finselbach and Liam Samuel starting, but missing  Lee Trundle who was on Swansea City duties.

Jordan Follows turned out to be the Reds` matchwinner with a brace, although he also missed a penalty and failed to convert a number of other chances. The home side began well, forcing their opponents to defend deep  ,with a free kick by Jack Sainsbury finding Zac Osborne whose glancing header flew just wide.

Osborne was involved again, latching on to a ball over the top, but Chris Thomas did well to snuff out the danger at the expense of a throw-in. Having seen off these early threats, the visitors then took the lead on 16 minutes following a Jordan Davies free kick which was headed down by Lee Bevan before being met by Follows, who swept the ball past goalkeeper Giles Cutlan into the net.

They went close again shortly after, when an attempted clearance by Croes`s Luke Jones struck Follows who then made tracks into home territory before finding Samuel steaming in from the right, but his finish went across goal and past the far post. There was a moment of panic then at the other end when a pass by Kyle Graves intended for Craig Morris was pushed past him, allowing Daniel Pritchard to gain possession, but his effort towards the vacant net lacked accuracy and the Reds were off the hook.

There then occurred the first of the ill-tempered jostling which would become a feature of the match, with referee Mark Gardiner showing a yellow card to home keeper Cutlan. Follows was also then cautioned, but redeemed himself somewhat by getting his second on 39 minutes, seizing on a kick out by Morris and displaying some good skills in avoiding a couple of tackles before finding the bottom corner. The home side had barely seen sight of goal, before Morris had to be alert to keep out with an outstretched leg at the expense of a corner an effort by Nicky McGrath when a cross into the box found him in space.

On the stroke of half time, the visitors had a great chance of extending the advantage with the award of a penalty when Davies was brought down, but Follows failed to clinch his hat trick by firing wide of the goal. An early second half sortie on the home goal led to a Richard Lewis corner being diverted  goalwards but cleared off the line, before Samuel and Sainsbury were both carded for yet another altercation. Seemingly, the only faint hope the hosts had of achieving a breakthrough was from set pieces, but the visitors` defence was solid and kept at bay any potential threats.

Samuel sent Follows clear down the middle on a run, and it took a good save by Cutland to deny the striker, and the keeper then grasped a near post shot by Davies, while Samuel sent his effort narrowly wide.

Referee Gardiner finally lost patience with some of the tackles which were being employed, with home central defender, Luke Jones, being sent off seven minutes from time, while the same fate befell Sainsbury in stoppage time for a second yellow. By then, Croesyceiliog were a well beaten outfit, while their opponents maintained their lead at the head of the table, which was increased further when second placed AFC Porth were held to a draw at home by Cwmamman United.

CROESYCEILIOG;   Cutlan; Doidge; Sainsbury; Morris ©; Jones; Harris; Pritchard (Hayward, 65);
Cheedy; Osborne; McGrath (Fielding, 65); Clare; Subs. not used;  Roache, Evans; Church.

LLANELLI TOWN;    Morris; Graves; Lewis; Finselbach (H. Davies); C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Samuel;
J. Davies; L. Jones (Morgan, 77); Follows (Wade, 72); R. Thomas;  Subs. not used; Powell; Hill.

SCORER;   Llanelli Town – Follows, 16, 39.
YELLOW CARDS;    Croesyceiliog – Morris; Sainsbury (2); Hayward.

Llanelli Town – R. Thomas; Follows; Samuel; Finselbach.

RED CARDS;            Croesyceiliog – Jones; Sainsbury.

REFEREE;                 Mark Gardiner (Caldicot).

The Reds welcome third division newcomers Ynysygerwn to Stebonheath on Friday evening in the third round of the JD Welsh Cup. Kick off is at 7.30 p.m.