Reds v Cwmamman United by Alan (The Reds) Evans
STILL not firing on all cylinders, Llanelli Town are nevertheless grinding out results, and following the hard-earned win over Undy in their previous match, they left it very late against near neighbours Cwmamman, with a Joe Clarke strike two minutes from time sealing matters in their favour.
Once again they dominated possession, but lacked a cutting edge in the final third, with too many wrong options being taken when the chances arose, while an obdurate visiting defence also played its part in frustrating the home side.
Even the Reds` talisman, Lee Trundle, was kept relatively quiet, also failing to convert from the penalty spot with goalkeeper Chris Curtis bringing off a great save. The visitors, too, created chances, with an early one falling to Ashley Curtis when a Jordan Vickers clearance over the Reds` rearguard sent him clear, but with Scott Coughlan off his line, Curtis delayed his effort, and when the challenge came in he sent his finish over the top.
Stung by this let off, the Reds responded and peppered the Cwm goal, with Trundle heading over from a Chris Jones delivery, while the same two combined with Jones this time firing wide.
Another Trundle effort was just off target when Antonio Facciuto set him up, while a Jordan Davies free kick was easily dealt with by Curtis. There were appeals for a penalty by the visitors when Curtis went down under a challenge, but referee Tom Bevan waved play on. The official was then involved in a controversial decision when Trundle sent Jordan Follows through on a run at goal, and when Curtis came outside his area, he diverted clear the shot with his hand which might have led to his dismissal, but Mr. Bevan chose only to show a yellow card.
A long kick out by Coughlan was expertly controlled by Trundle who then ghosted past two markers before being brought down just outside the box, but again Curtis was equal to Davies`s set piece. The Reds were becoming increasingly frustrated in their attempts to breach the Cwm defence, with Follows seeing his snap shot for once beat the keeper only for it to rebound off the post. Little had been seen of the visitors as an attacking force, but they came close when Curtis broke clear up the left before cutting into the area, forcing Coughlan into a smart save by turning his finish over the bar.
There then occurred a bizarre incident when Tom Blackburn made ground up the Reds` right before his low cross into the goalmouth appeared to be turned into his own net by Chris Thomas, and it appeared as if the visitors had taken the lead. However, the attention of Mr. Bevan was drawn to the upraised flag of the assistant, and after a consultation between the two, the effort was ruled out, with the home side being awarded a kick out.
Ross Jones came off to be replaced by Kurtis March on 38 minutes, before another flag at the other end cancelled out a Lee Bevan header from a Davies corner. Follows then took too many touches when he had a shooting chance from a Trundle assist and was crowded out, while Davies also saw his effort deflect for a corner, and March struck an attempt from distance just wide.
With neither side able to break the deadlock at the interval, the home side continued to create the better opportunities, and were then offered a golden chance with the award of a penalty following a trip on Follows. Trundle stepped up to take the kick, but Curtis threw himself low to his left to keep it out and further frustrate the hosts.
Luke Jones was introduced into proceedings in place of Follows with ten minutes remaining, and attempts on the Cwm goal continued, with Liam Samuel firing across the goalmouth and wide of the far post. When Chris Jones crossed, his namesake, Luke directed his header downwards but Curtis again clutched it on the line. With the final whistle approaching, it seemed as if the contest would end scoreless, but in the 88th minute, another attempt on target was cleared off the Cwm line and met by Clarke, whose finish might have deflected off a defender before nestling in the net. Mr. Bevan added on a nail-biting five minutes of stoppage time before blowing the final whistle, with the Reds hanging on to their slender lead to take them over the finish line and another three precious points.
LLANELLI TOWN; Coughlan; Samuel; Facciuto; R. Jones (March, 38); C. Thomas; Bevan; C. Jones; Davies ; Clarke ©; Trundle; Follows (L. Jones, 80); Subs. not used; R. Thomas; Graves; Morris (GK).
CWMAMMAN UNITED; C. Curtis; Vickers; Jack Medwin; Josh Medwin; Howarth; Spring ©; Thomas; John (Rees, 65); A. Curtis; Harris; Blackburn (Allen, 62);
Subs. not used; Symmonds; Croucher; Jones (GK).
SCORER; Llanelli Town – Clarke, 88.
YELLOW CARDS; Cwmamman United – C. Curtis; Harris; Allen; Thomas.
REFEREE; Tom Bevan (Claberston Road).
Next Saturday, the Reds travel to meet Cardiff based side, Caerau Ely. Kick off 2 p.m.