Llanelli Town AFC 

Super Reds Reach Final

CAERAU (ELY)    1   LLANELLI TOWN    5

Whilst promotion is the main concern for Llanelli Town this season, the prospect of cup silverware would also be welcome, and by seeing off the challenge of first division opponents Caerau Ely at Afan Lido`s Marston Stadium in some style in the League Cup semi-final, only
Bridgend Street now stand in their way of achieving that aim.They comprehensively outplayed the opposition who occupy a respectable sixth place in the table, and could well have added to the final tally if other chances had been accepted.

It was a thoroughly workmanlike all-round team performance with each player contributing,  and while their opening goal after just five minutes was fortunate, coming off the head of Caerau Ely defender Vincent Garcia past his own keeper, Scott James, there was certainly nothing lucky about the other four from Jordan Follows, a brace by Jordan Davies and a Luke Jones effort.
Caerau Ely opened proceedings brightly enough despite the early setback, but their finishing was woeful, with Curtis Hudson wastefully twice spurning decent close range chances, while a good tackle on him by Davies in the box prevented another potential threat.The Reds themselves went close when a Liam Samuel corner was cleared out of the goalmouth only as far as Follows, and his strike on target was turned around by James.

The diminutive striker had better luck on 32 minutes when he got the second, heading home
when Samuel and Davies were involved in the build-up to send the large travelling support into raptures. Their opponents were already looking a beaten side, and it took a clearance off the line by Lewis Hydes to prevent Follows from adding to the lead when he chipped his finish over James.
The nearest Caerau Ely came to a goal threat arose from a corner which saw an attempt being hacked away by Kurtis March to relieve the danger.
Comfortably ahead at the break, the Reds were quickly into their stride after the restart, and three further goals arrived within a nine minute spell.

When they were awarded a free kick, Davies stepped up to arrow it past the defensive wall and beyond James who remained rooted to the spot after 56 minutes, while three minutes later he struck again, this time directing a header from a great chip by Follows into the net.Four to the good and with their opponents now praying  for the final whistle, Jones got in on the act which was no more than he deserved following a quality display by him, latching on to a ball spilled by James from a Samuel set piece on 65 minutes to turn it home from close range.

He was then denied possibly another success when a last ditch tackle halted him in his tracks as he burst into the box, while a further attempt by James Loveridge, who had replaced Follows, was just kept out by the Caerau Ely keeper. A consolation goal arrived for the Reds` opponents in the 77th minute through Rameer Outlaw who got free up the right before finding the net inside the far post, with Craig Morris off his line in an attempt to narrow the angle. This was scant satisfaction for either him or his side who on the night were distinctly second best in all departments and comprehensively outplayed by a rampant Reds` outfit.

CAERAU ELY;   James; Maynard ©; Hydes (Pika, 84); Garcia; P.Quick; Shepard; Corne; Hudson;Smith (Cauley, 78); Roberts (C. Quick, 60); Outlaw; Subs. not used; Bridgeman; Short.LLANELLI TOWN;    Morris; Graves; March; Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Samuel; Davies; L. Jones (Morgan, 74); Follows (Loveridge, 67); R. Thomas (R. Jones, 70). SCORERS;    Caerau Ely – Outlaw, 77.

Llanelli Town – OG (Garcia), 5; Follows, 32; Davies, 56, 59; L. Jones, 65.
Llanelli Town – R. Thomas.

 

 REFEREE; Teifion Cook (Clydach).

 

LLANELLI TOWN 2 CROESYCEILIOG 2

Could have won it – could have lost it. An uninspiring Reds` performance ultimately ended with them earning a point, but they were well below their best, perhaps summed up by a missed Lee Trundle penalty – a rare event in his book. Their opponents, as with most visiting sides, arrived with a game plan – play one lone striker and flood the midfield and defence, making it almost impossible to find a way through on goal.

However, the home side also seem particularly vulnerable to set pieces whether they be corners or free kicks, and both the Croesy goals came from their inability to deals with such situations. The visitors also spurned a couple of other gilt-edged opportunities which, if taken, could well have seen them claim a famous win, with an early chance coming the way of Rhys Williams from a Ryan Hayward assist, but with the target in his sights, he took too long over his shot and was eventually closed down by the covering defence.

This proved to be his last involvement in proceedings as an injury forced him off to be replaced by Lewis Clare after 19 minutes, but despite the change,Croesy continued to match the Reds for effort and were well in the contest. Sam Ward saw his strike deflect for a corner when Trundle found him, before Craig Morris was forced off his line to just beat Nick McGrath to a ball over the top of the home rearguard.

Somewhat against the run of play, the home side took the lead on 33 minutes after Jordan Davies played a pass into the feet of Trundle, who with minimal back lift found the bottom corner past goalkeeper Nick Church. The Reds` euphoria  lasted barely two minutes with their opponents drawing level when a driven low delivery by McGrath across the goalmouth led to Dan Pritchard tapping it into the net from close range.

 Buoyed by this success, the visitors pushed forward and created a glorious chance of taking  the lead when McGrath was put though on a one-to-one with Morris, but the keeper blocked his effort, and when the rebound fell to Clare, a timely tackle by Davies prevented any further alarm.

Having survived this scare, the Reds came close themselves when another inspired piece of skill by Trundle saw him turn his marker and send a chip over Church, but it clipped the post and went over  for a goal kick.

The Swansea City legend was again involved when a further attempt deflected for a corner taken by Davies and delivered into the goalmouth, where it bobbled about on the line before being cleared with the Reds appealing that it had gone over, but without success. Three minutes into the second half, the home lead was restored following an initial effort by Liam Samuel which rebounded off the crossbar but was met by Joe Clarke who struck it low into the net.

But just as in the first period, the Reds` joy was short-lived  as within three minutes following a Matthew Sainsbury free kick swung into the goalmouth which  led to an almighty scramble in front of the net, Tom Doidge was accredited with the final touch to send the ball over the line. As the half progressed, the Reds were enjoying plenty of possession but were wasteful in their distribution, gifting it back to their opponents, but they were thrown a lifeline when Trundle was brought down in the area, and on the advice of his assistant, referee Paul Hitchcott eventually pointed to the spot.

Trundle himself took the kick, but for once failed  to find the net, his attempt rebounding off a post before being hacked away. The Reds then made a couple of changes with Luke Jones and Ross Jones replacing James Loveridge and Wade respectively, and both sides went close to another goal, with a further Sainsbury free kick from distance just off target, while a shot on the turn by Trundle suffered a similar fate. With the contest in stoppage time, the hosts were awarded a free kick just outside the box which Trundle drilled low into the goalmouth, but somehow Church managed to keep it out with a foot, although he knew little about it. This proved to be the last telling incident of a game the home side will not look back on with any particular satisfaction, the only consolation being they could well have come unstuck.

LLANELLI TOWN;   Morris; Graves; March; Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Samuel; Davies; Wade (R. Jones, 76); Trundle; Loveridge (L.Jones, 71);
Subs. not used; Jones; R. Thomas; Morgan.

CROESYCEILIOG;    Church; Sainsbury; Edmonds; Morris ©; Doidge; Harris; Williams (Clare, 19); Pritchard (Hill, 88); Hayward; Lygo (Hall, 83); McGrath;
Sub. not used; McKraclan.

SCORERS;   Llanelli Town – Trundle, 33; Clarke, 48.

Croesyceiliog – Pritchard, 35; Doidge, 51.

YELLOW CARDS;   Llanelli Town – Clarke; Davies; Samuel Croesyceiliog – Hayward; Doidge.

REFEREE; Paul Hitchcott (Ammanford).

ATTENDANCE; 308.

The Reds make the short journey to meet Garden Village next Friday evening, kick off 7.30 p.m.

On Wednesday, 5th April, they face first divison side Caerau Ely in the semi-final of the League Cup at Afan Lido`s Marston Stadium, also with a 7.30 p.m. start.

 

ABERBARGOED BUDS 0 LLANELLI TOWN 4

A brace of goals apiece by James Loveridge and Jordan Follows ensured the visitors returned from Ystrad Mynach and the artificial surface with maximum points to maintain their six point lead from Briton Ferry Llansawel at the head of the table. In truth, the final tally could well have been doubled, with Gavin Hegarty performing heroics in the Buds goal, while their opponents were guilty if failing to convert a glut of chances.

The Reds introduced new signing Kurtis March from Aberystwyth Town at right back, and on this showing he is going to be an undoubted asset, making strong runs at every opportunity down the flanks  and generally contributing to another impressive display by the visitors. It was also pleasing to see Luke Jones being named on the bench after his injury lay-off, and he came on for the closing quarter or so and brought his usual enthusiasm to proceedings.

The opening goal took just 7 minutes to arrive with Loveridge making tracks down the left before delivering a ball into the goalmouth which eluded Hegarty before nestling in the net. When the Buds countered, a ball by Ryan Bolter into the box saw Scott Armitage narrowly fail to make contact, before Jordan Davies set up Joe Clarke whose shot from distance whistled just wide of the home goal.

On 20 minutes, the lead was doubled following a delightful chip by Liam Samuel over Jake Forsyth which sent Follows clear, and he finished with a well struck shot into the bottom corner. The Buds, despite these setbacks, were posing the occasional threat, with Armitage meeting a cross into the area before being closed down before he could unleash a shot, while at the other end, Hegarty saved at his near post to keep out a Loveridge effort when Robert Thomas created the chance.

There then came an incredible miss by the Reds when an initial Samuel drive rebounded off the crossbar and fell to the feet of Follows a couple of yards out, but he somehow failed to convert the chance with the goal at his mercy. Craig Morris was called into a rare piece of action, doing well to keep out with an outstretched leg a shot by Levi Rees when he was put through on goal, while Samuel was denied by Hegarty  who saved his goal  bound attempt, and when Davies homed in on the rebound, he too was unable to take advantage with the keeper and a defender able to snuff out the danger.

An early second half chance fell to the home side when a misdirected kick out by Morris only found Armitage whose ball into the goalmouth was meant for Tom Ganson, but he was slow to react and the Reds` goal survived.

As the half progressed, the visitors were now running their opponents ragged, and  the game became akin to a training session with the Buds being starved of possession, and Follows should have added to the tally when he met a Samuel cross but sent his finish too close to Hegarty who was able to divert it around the post. The ceaseless pressure was inevitably going to pay off, and a third goal duly arrived in the 68th minute when a good build-up involving March and Davies culminated in them setting up Loveridge who drilled his finish past Hegarty.




The Reds made their first change with Sam Wade coming on for Adam Jones, and within three minutes of this the lead was extended further with Loveridge turning provider by sending Follows clear, and this time he made no mistake, smashing his shot powerfully past the home keeper after 73 minutes.

Loveridge, who had another fine game, was replaced by Luke Jones, and the visitors continued to dominate proceedings up to the final whistle, with several potential scoring chances being created. Follows directed a long distance shot inches off target, and when March made a surging run through the middle before picking out Follows who took too long over his attempt, and Hegarty again was able to just about keep it out. The overworked  Buds keeper was called into action again just before the close, denying both Jones and Follows in quick succession to keep the final scoreline down to a reasonable figure.

ABERBARGOED BUDS;   Hegarty; Vaughan; Bolter (Evans, 59); Forsyth (M. Jones, 71); S. Jones; Thomas ©; Armitage; Morgan (Eedy, 46); Ganson; Maisy; Rees; Sub. not used; James.

LLANELLI TOWN;            Morris; March; A. Jones (Wade, 70); Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Samuel; Davies (Finselbach, 80); R. Thomas; Follows; Loveridge  (L. Jones, 74); Subs. not used; Morgan; McFenton (GK).

SCORERS;  Llanelli Town – Loveridge, 7, 68. Follows, 20, 73.

YELLOW CARD;  Aberbargoed Buds -  S. Jones.

REFEREE;  Andrew Wilkins (Pontllanfraith).

 

The Reds will be hoping to keep their winning sequence going when Dinas Powys are the visitors to Stebonheath next Saturday. Kick off 2.30 p.m.

LLANELLI TOWN 5 DINAS POWYS 2

Despite a somewhat below-par performance against mid-table opponents, the Reds still had enough guile to ensure they clinched their sixteenth win of the season to consolidate their lead as league pacesetters.
Dinas, to their credit, made life difficult for the home side, twice coming from behind to level matters before finally capitulating to yet another Lee Trundle hat trick – his seventh of the season- to take his tally to 40 goals, with further contributions from Joe Clarke and James Loveridge.

Early pressure by the hosts led to a Trundle corner being met by a Robert Thomas header at the far post which was deflected for another flag kick, and when Jordan Davies sent this across, it was headed out by a defender from under the crossbar. A ball into Trundle stationed on the edge of the box, culminated in a finish which was just wide of the back upright, while a free kick by him some 35 yards out was parried by goalkeeper Elliott Matthews only as far as Jordan Follows, but his effort lacked power and the danger was scrambled clear.

When the visitors countered through John Young, he sent Brandon Griffiths on a run down the left, and his cross to the far post was cut out by Thomas with Gavin Beddard on hand for any slip up.
A foul on Loveridge  by Paul Caulfield just outside the box led to another Trundle set piece which  produced a good save by Matthews who managed to push it clear but was met by Davies, and his delivery into the middle led to a diving header by Clarke which sailed just over the top.

The Reds were becoming increasingly frustrated with the visitors packing eleven men behind the ball, and clear cut chances were at a premium, before it took another Trundle free kick to break the deadlock on 29 minutes when his initial attempt rebounded off the defensive wall but  back to him, and he made no mistake, driving  his finish over Matthews to send the hosts in at the break with a slender lead. The advantage lasted just eight minutes into the second period, when some sloppy defensive play involving Craig Morris and Reds captain Lee Bevan led to the latter bringing down Beddard in the box, with referee Ian Hollyoake producing a yellow card for Bevan and the award of a penalty, which Beddard drove down the middle past Morris.

Fortunately, the error was rectified within three minutes when the Reds got a second, with Thomas heading a Trundle delivery back into the middle which was met by Clarke to find the net from close range. This success should have signalled an input by the home side to put the game to bed, but instead their opponents levelled matters again when David Shallis set off on a run down the right, getting past Kurtis March before finding the net from a narrow angle, Morris having come off his line to alleviate the danger in the 66th minute.

Stung by this unexpected reverse, the home side finally began to put together some telling passes and dominated the rest of the contest, with Davies being denied by Matthews when put through by Trundle, before the same combination were involved in the Reds` third goal after 79 minutes with the Dinas keeper managing to foil Davies again, only for the loose ball to be picked up by Trundle who sidestepped a couple of challenges before finding the net. Sam Wade came on as a replacement for Thomas, and within a minute of his introduction the lead was further extended with Loveridge making no mistake with a crisp bottom corner finish after Trundle set up the opportunity on 82 minutes.

Now firmly in control, the Reds wrapped up matters in stoppage time with Trundle completing his treble after Wade played him through, smashing his shot past the helpless Matthews. Not a straightforward result by any means, but nevertheless another three points towards the ultimate goal of promotion.

LLANELLI TOWN;  Morris; Graves; March; Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; R. Thomas (Wade, 81);
Davies; Follows (Samuel, 68); Trundle; Loveridge (Morgan, 85);
Subs. not used; L. Jones; A. Jones.

DINAS POWYS;     Matthews; Caulfield; Garland; Penikett; Bloxham; Young; L. Beddard   (Edwards, 83); Fitzgerald; G. Beddard ©; Shallis (Lewis, 89); Griffiths  (Palmer, 76); Sub. not used; Luck.

SCORERS;  Llanelli Town – Trundle, 29, 79, 90+1; Clarke, 56; Loveridge, 82. Dinas Powys – G. Beddard (P), 53; Shallis, 66.

YELLOW CARD;   Llanelli Town – Bevan.

REFEREE;  Ian Hollyoake (Nottage).

ATTENDANCE;  252.

 

The Reds make the short trip to Ammanford next Saturday for a local derby, kick off 2.30 p.m

LLANELLI TOWN 4 BRITON FERRY LLANSAWEL 1

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).

     ATTENDANCE;  604.

 

     The Reds travel to meet Aberbargoed Buds next Saturday, kick off 2.30 p.m.