Llanelli Town AFC 

LLANELLI TOWN 1 PONTARDAWE TOWN 1

Having already recorded a 2-0 victory when the sides met in August at Parc Ynysderw, the Reds were looking to complete an early season double, but events did not go entirely their way and their opponents were full value for the draw at the close. Pontardawe arrived at Stebonheath with an obvious game plan – pack men behind the ball at every opportunity and rely on the occasional counter when afforded the chance. The Reds` talisman, Lee Trundle, was also singled out for special attention, with a couple of defenders on his case whenever the ball reached him, although he did maintain his record of scoring in every game when he put his side into the lead. The opening forty five minutes were akin to shadow-boxing, with both sides seeking to find a way through without ever really offering a creditable goal threat. Richard Lewis did well to win a challenge on Cameron Harris when the visiting player took advantage of a deflection off Robert Thomas and make inroads towards goal, before Trundle sent his finish wide from a Kyle Graves assist. The home side forced three corners in quick succession, but all to no avail, but the best chance fell to Liam Samuel when Trundle played him in with a reverse pass, only for Steve Reeve in the visitors` goal to get down at his near post to turn away his finish. Just before the break, by far the best chance fell to the Reds when a high clearance by Lewis into the Pontardawe half led to a slip by Liam Roberts which allowed Trundle to gain possession, but his attempted lob over Reeve was safely held by the keeper. The visitors were the first to threaten after the restart when Dan Williams, who was a constant threat throughout, forced Craig Morris in the home goal to divert his shot for a corner, while at the other end, a Trundle corner flashed across the face of the net and was somehow kept out by the faintest of touches. There was more action in the opening stages than in all the first period, with Trundle firing narrowly wide when Ross Jones headed down a Jordan Davies cross, before the deadlock was eventually broken on 54 minutes with Davies again involved, finding Trundle who turned sharply before firing low past Reeve into the bottom corner. Pontardawe retaliated through Harris whose fierce drive beat Morris but cannoned out off the base of the upright. An overhead ball by Trundle sent Jordan Follows clear, but his finish was deflected for a corner, and when this was taken by Davies, Samuel drove the ball goalwards where a Follows backheel struck a defender to prevent an almost certain goal.
These near misses proved cruc ial when the scores were levelled in the 67
th minute following defensive failures to clear their lines by the home side, allowing Williams to pick up the loose ball before unleashing a well struck shot past Morris. Even after this setback, the Reds might well have regained the lead but Lee Bevan directed a header off target from a good position following a Lewis free kick. Follows failed to control a superb through ball from Trundle which could well have led to a threat on goal, and he directed a shot wide when he was found in space in the box. With time running out, when the Reds were awarded a free kick just outside the area, Trundle stepped up to send it arrowing towards the top corner, but Reeve pulled off a superb save to divert it away for a throw-in. This signalled any further action at either end, and the visitors celebrated at the final whistle knowing their tactics had earned them a creditable draw, and bring an end to the Reds` hitherto unbeaten record of six successive league wins.

 

LLANELLI TOWN;   Morris; Graves (L. Jones, 90+3); Lewis; R. Jones; C. Thomas; Bevan ©;
Samuel (Silcox, 73); Davies; Follows; Trundle; R. Thomas (Finselbach, 53);
Subs. not used; Forkuoh; Hughes.

 

PONTARDAWE TOWN;   Reeve ©; J. Hughes; Cockings; L. Roberts; Jeffries; Evans; Harris; Rees;
J. Roberts (D. Hughes, 46); Williams (Beer, 78); Dorward (Howells, 62);
Subs. not used; Thomas; Cooze.

 

SCORERS;     Llanelli Town – Trundle, 54.

 

Pontardawe Town – Williams, 67.

 

YELLOW CARDS;    Pontardawe Town – L. Roberts.

 

REFEREE;     David Morgan (Swansea).

 

ATTENDANCE;              415.

 

The Reds begin a sequence of four successive away league and cup games with a visit to Newport City on Saturday, kick off 2.30 p.m.

 

TRETHOMAS BLUEBIRDS 0 LLANELLI TOWN 6

Any giant-killing thoughts harboured by the home side were ruthlessly crushed by opponents who dominated proceedings from the outset, smashing home six goals without reply and even being afforded the luxury of a missed penalty. It was men against boys for the most part, with the Bluebirds desperately attempting to stem the flow of almost constant Reds` attacks, with the first chance for the visitors arriving as early as the third minute with the penalty award.

Lee Trundle was sent clear by a Jordan Davies pass and made ground into the box before being bundled over by Adam Jackson, but when Trundle himself stepped up to take the kick, he placed it too close to former Llanelli keeper, Gareth Williams, who was able to make the save.

As it transpired, this setback did not prove too costly when two goals in just three minutes set the pattern for the rest of the game. A crossfield ball by Trundle found Jordan Follows who in turn rolled it into the path of Robert Thomas, and his first time strike beat Williams via the inside of the post on 12 minutes.

Three minutes later the lead was doubled when another Trundle assist played in Follows who looped his finish over the Bluebirds` keeper. The Reds continued to dictate the play, with Davies in their midfield pulling the strings to great effect, and when he split the home defence with a delightful ball which sent Liam Samuel scurrying away on a run, he took it just too close to Williams who was able to smother the danger at his feet.

A rare home foray into the visitors` half saw Thomas doing well to block a fierce shot from Aaron Colwill, before at the other end, a timely intervention on Samuel just prevented a shot on target. Samuel was involved further, directing his finish from the edge of the box over the bar when Trundle and Thomas combined to set up the chance, but at the break the Reds were comfortably ahead and completely in control.

It did not take them long to stretch the lead further after the resumption, as within three minutes Trundle was brought down by Jamie Morgan outside the area, and he took the kick himself, lashing it low past the static figure of Williams after 48 minutes. Nine minutes later he secured his brace when he met a far post delivery by Follows to force it home and pile more agony on the Bluebirds.

The visitors then made their first change with Bruno Forkuoh replacing Thomas just after the hour, and when Trundle sent another set piece arrowing towards the home goal, Williams brought off a good save to divert it clear. Luke Jones came on in place of Follows, and within four minutes of his introduction got his name on the scoresheet with the Reds` fifth, doing well to win possession before finding the bottom corner with a well placed finish in the 71st minute.

The visitors` made  their final substitution with Samuel coming off and Matthew Hughes on with fifteen minutes remaining, and with the one-way traffic towards the Bluebirds goal unrelenting it took another save by Williams at the feet of Trundle to save the day, with Davies again providing the through ball. Four minutes from time he was beaten again, however, following a Richard Lewis free kick to the back post which was headed down and led to both Forkuoh and Hughes lunging to meet it, with the latter being credited with the final touch and send it over the line.

On a playing surface which the home side share with Bedwas RFC and is probably more suited to the oval shaped ball, the Reds deserve much credit in playing some cultured football, and in the process giving their opponents lessons in the finer arts of the game.

TRETHOMAS BLUEBIRDS;   Williams; Olsen ©; Fishbourne (Griffiths, 73); Jones; Jackson; Davies (Moss, 59); Colwill; Morgan (Gomer, 59); Ashman; Young; S. Edwards; Subs. not used; G. Edwards; Powell.

LLANELLI TOWN;  Morris; Graves; Lewis; R. Jones; C. Thomas; Bevan ©;  Samuel (Hughes, 75); J. Davies; Follows (L. Jones, 67); Trundle; R. Thomas (Forkuoh, 62); Subs. not used; H. Davies; Martin.

SCORERS;  Llanelli Town – R. Thomas, 12; Follows, 15; Trundle, 48, 57;  L. Jones, 71; Hughes, 86.

YELLOW CARDS;  Trethomas Bluebirds;    Gomer. Llanelli Town;  Morris.

REFEREE;  Jonathan Bryant (Aberdare).

ATTENDANCE;  500 (Est).