Llanelli Town AFC 

LLANELLI TOWN 1 MERTHYR TOWN 3

The absence of seven first team players due to injury and holidays, played a major part in the home defeat by the Reds` at the hands of opponents who play in a league above them and only narrowly missed out on promotion last season. The first half was evenly matched as the hosts were able to field their senior squad, and overall were the better of the two sides in the opening forty five minutes.

In the absence of Lee Trundle, Luke Jones and James Loveridge shared the attacking options, and Jones had an early chance of opening the scoring  when a Loveridge cross was headed back into the middle  by Chris Jones, but Scott Coughlin in the Merthyr goal kept it out with his leg. It was , however, the visitors who struck first through Kerry Morgan who rifled a superb finish into the top corner on 10 minutes which gave Craig Morris no chance of saving.

Despite this setback, the Reds retaliated and were on level terms just seven minutes later through Loveridge who finished off a fine, flowing move down the right with a shot into the bottom corner. This gave them encouragement, and Chris Jones sent his curling effort just wide, while his namesake headed over from a good position when Joe Clarke sent over a cross. Both sides made changes after the restart with Kai Rees taking over from Morris in goal, but he was beaten ten minutes into the second period when an uncharacteristic mix-up at the back allowed Kyle Copp to take full advantage before finding the net.

The constant changes in personnel during the half led to the contest becoming fragmented, with chances at a premium both ends.  Most of the home players were members of the development side, who the Reds` will be hoping to utilise during the season when injuries or other circumstances dictate their selection.  Loveridge went close with a ball to the far post which was somehow scrambled away, before Merthyr struck a decisive third with eight minutes remaining through Miles John who lashed the ball home from on the line after it had been allowed to drift across the face of goal. Despite the loss, the Reds` played well against a well-drilled side, and with the opening game of the season rapidly approaching and with a fully-fit squad, they can look forward with optimism to the forthcoming campaign.

LLANELLI TOWN; Morris; March; Faccuito; Finselbach; C. Thomas; R. Thomas; C. Jones; Davies;
L. Jones; Clarke ©; Loveridge; Subs. Morgan; Wade; Mainwaring; Holding; Evans; Goddard; Howard; Rees (GK).

SCORERS;  Llanelli Town – Loveridge, 17. Merthyr Town – Morgan, 10; Copp, 55; John, 82.

REFEREE;            Teifion Cook (Clydach).

 

ATTENDANCE;  280.