Llanelli Town 2
Pontypridd Town 2
THE COMBINATION of torrential rain and extreme body heat made photography conditions difficult at Stebonheath on Friday (Dec 9), as Llanelli Town took on Pontypridd Town in what was to be a repeat of the last niggly match the two clubs played.
There is no love lost between these two teams and before you could say ‘Turkish bath’, the steam had built up to a point where someone had to blow the whistle.
That man was referee Aled Jones and, according to the Reds’ Manager Andy Hill, he cost them the win.
Home support was boosted by the presence of Cor Meibion Llanelli as they belted out ‘Yma o Hyd’ from the covered stand.
Others observed the football through the steamy windows of the media suite, including the one and only Wales, Swansea and Spurs legend Cliff Jones and his family, who were enjoying the festive hospitality profiteroles, nibbles and some local beverages.
The Herald opted to join the Reds TV cameraman up in the media tower, which provided scant cover from the wind and rain, which was blowing in more directions than the abuse the ref was taking from the angry Stebo faithful.
Numerous handballs went unpunished, offside rulings were suspect and the numerous hospital tackles went without cards of any colour for most of the game.
The ferocity of the game itself, the red of Llanelli and the white of Pontypridd took one back to the halcyon days of football and it looked like a Liverpool v Leeds game, complete with a couple of Tommy Smiths and Billy Bremners.
Welsh legend Cliff Jones appeared to be enjoying it anyway and The Herald managed to sneak in an interview with the Swansea and Spurs veteran at half time as well as pocketing a sneaky profiterole and a glass of pop.
It was back up a wet ladder for our cameraman and that profiterole appeared to add vim and vigour to his stealth on the ascent.
Pontypridd had come to play but they had also brought a bucket of glue, the contents of which they applied to at least four men and positioned them around Lee Trundle for the entire game.
There is no doubt that the Ponty plan worked as a frustrated Reds team could not free Trundle from his markers. Luke Morgan got the first goal in the first half when he broke free down the left hand side of the field, sweeping into the box and belting the ball passed the Ponty keeper.
Not long afterwards, Trundle somehow weaved his way out of the grips of his markers and curled a belter into the left hand corner of the Ponty net.
It was Pontypridd who came out playing the better football in the second half and they used the full width of the Stebo field well on at least two occasions when their strikers showed some real pace to skin the Reds defence and secure two great goals.
The Reds continued to try and feed Trundle and Samuel but the long searching balls failed to find them.
It could have been the very slippery surface making the tackles look particularly savage but, even so, the ref reached for his yellow card a number of times and eventually his red as he sent one of the Ponty players off.
It must have been a wondrous sight for Cor Meibion Llanelli – as friendly a group of men you’d ever meet – as they watched 22 grown men pushing and shoving each other soaked to the skin, covered in mud and with steam rising from their bodies. If only they had broken into that Tina Turner number ‘Steamy Windows’, the night would have been complete.
The game ended Llanelli Town 2 – Pontypridd Town 2.
The Reds continue a 19 game unbeaten run.
Reds open with a point
LLANELLI Town manager Andy Hill will probably be relatively pleased with the point earned in their opening home league game in the JD Cymru League Championship South, as they were trailing as early as the 12th minute before levelling matters five minutes prior to the break.
With the Reds having brought in eleven new signings during the close season, five of them were included in Friday’s (Aug 16) opener, with Zac Brown, Jake Parry and Tim Parker starting, with Scott Smith and Nathan Logan named on the bench.
It will take a little while for the new recruits to adapt, but the early signs are promising, and hopefully augur well for a successful season.
The hosts enjoyed most of the early possession, and when a Liam Samuel cross was helped on by Jordan Davies to Parker, his effort deflected off a visitors` defender for a corner.
This set the pattern for the opening stages, with the home side forcing a number of flag kicks, but completely against the run of play it was the visitors who struck first when a clearance upfield by keeper Morgan Davies did not seem to pose any real threat, but was pursued by striker Luke Gullick who then caught Reds` right back Luke Morgan in possession, and he came away with the ball before making inroads into the box and rifling his finish low into the bottom corner on 12 minutes.
At the other end, a Parker delivery across the face of goal failed to pick out anyone, while a Davies shot lacked any power when presented with a chance, and the keeper made an easy save.
A James Loveridge free kick for the Reds from distance was arrowed towards the top corner before being diverted over the bar by Davies, and the same player had a couple of efforts sail well off target when he gained possession.
With the interval approaching it seemed as if the home side would go in at half time trailing by the solitary goal, but on 40 minutes they levelled matters when Parker notched up his first goal for the club, glancing home a header just inside the near post following good build-up play involving both Loveridge and Davies to set up the chance.
After the restart, the Reds again seized the initiative, with Samuel meeting a Brown free kick on the edge of the box to volley narrowly over the goal.
A Loveridge foray down the left culminated in Parker meeting his driven ball into the middle, but a potential success was blocked by a defender at the expense of a corner.
The first substitution of the contest saw Logan replacing Morgan after 59 minutes, before it took a saving tackle by Reds` captain Lee Bevan on Gullick on the edge of the area to prevent the striker a route on goal.
Gullick was involved again shortly after, when he was put clear on a run into home territory, but he failed to make the most of a promising situation and the ball finally ran harmlessly out of play.
The home side were then dealt a devastating blow with the dismissal of Loveridge in the 71st minute by referee Alex McInch for a two-footed lunge on Louis Gerrard, and he will now face an automatic three match ban.
Despite the numerical disadvantage up to the close, the Reds were not unduly troubled by their opponents, and both sides rung the changes prior to the final whistle, with Parker being replaced by Smith, while the visitors brought on Joshua Maksemovic and Kareen Leigh for Aiden Lewis and Vaughan Fowler respectively.
In stoppage time, the home goal did survive a narrow escape when a header by Gerrard from a free kick into the box drifted just wide, but overall a point apiece was probably a fair reflection of the overall performance by both sides.
The Reds` next fixture sees them travel to Glenhafod Park on Saturday to take on Goytre United, kick off 2.30pm, while on Tuesday, August 27, they welcome Briton Ferry Llansawel to Stebonheath, with a 7.30pm start.
Williams-duo sink Porthcawl
LLANELLI Seconds earned victory on Saturday (Aug 10) as they beat Porthcawl by 42 runs.
Porthcawl won the toss and elected to field and they were able to bowl Llanelli out for 170.
Rhys Westcott and Lewis Jones got Llanelli off to a steady start before Westcott was caught by Steffan Flood off the bowling of Nicholas Morgan on a score of 19.
Morgan then also caught and bowled Daniel Lewis before Dafydd Daniel supported Jones with a score of 17.
Daniel also fell to the bowling of Morgan who then claimed his second caught and bowled of the match when he caught Jordan Evans.
Morgan wasn’t done there as he had Richard Williams caught by Anthony Dixon.
Jones had made his way to a score of 85 but he was then caught by Isaak Cronje off the bowling of Stephen Richmond.
Spencer Morgan then claimed the final two wickets to leave Llanelli all out on 170 after 43 overs.
Richard Williams struck early on as he had Nicholas Morgan caught by Dafydd Daniel.
Richard then also had Mark Lewis caught by Harri Rees before Joshua Williams had Steven Doherty stumped by Morgan Jones.
Richard then had Chris Richards caught by Daniel to reduce Porthcawl to 45-4.
Anthony Dixon had made his way to a score of 30 but he was caught by Daniel Lewis off the bowling of Joshua Williams.
That left the visitors on 49-5 and it soon became 60-6 as Joshua had Steffan Flood caught by Harri Rees.
Joshua then also claimed the wicket of Spencer Williams before Isaak Cronje was run out by Daniel.
Joshua then bowled Matthew Pugh as Porthcawl were staring at a heavy defeat on 77-9.
Stephen Richmond and Mark Bevan did their best to keep the score ticking over with Richmond reaching a score of 44.
He was eventually caught by Owain Baxter off the bowling of Lewis Jones and although Llanelli gave away 21 runs in extras, Porthcawl were all out for 128.
It was just a second win of the season for Llanelli seconds who will now look to finish the season on a high.
On Saturday (Aug 17), they travel to Dyffryn.
Felinfoel see off Drefach
FELINFOEL earned their eighth win of the season on Saturday (Aug 10) as they beat Drefach by four wickets.
The game was reduced to 48 overs-a-side after earlier rain and the toss was won by Felinfoel who elected to field.
Rob Seymour got Drefach going with four fours in his score of 16 from 12 balls but he was then caught by Andrew Thomas off the bowling of Julian Griffiths.
Soon after, Griffiths had Ben Mitchell caught by Rohan Nangalia.
Anthony Mathias then bowled James Carter and trapped Neil Harris leg before as Drefach slipped to 40-4.
Dafydd Humprheys and Billy McBryde then shared 44 runs for the fifth wicket before McBryde, who hit four fours and a six in his score of 29, was caught by Nangalia off the bowling of Matthias.
Humprheys and Ciaran Llewellyn then shared 57 runs for the sixth wicket as they continued to put runs on the board.
Llewelyn hit six fours in his score of 31 but he was then caught by Rhys Jones off the bowling of Tom Jones.
Humphreys then reached his half century but then saw Leigh Davies caught by Nangalia off the bowling of Craig Richards.
Richards then also Roy Llewelyn before before Chris Bowen bowled Elis Jones.
That left Humphreys not out on 63 which included four fours and a six.
Set 182 to win, Felinfoel lost Andrew Thomas early on when he was bowled by Ben Mitchell.
Craig Richards and Rhys Jones then shared an excellent second-wicket stand worth 106 runs.
Jones hit five fours on his way to a score of 43 before he was stumped by Neil Harris off the bowling of Leigh Davies.
Three balls later, Roy Llewelyn bowled Richards on a score of 73 that included 11 fours.
Drefach then picked up a third wicket as Davies bowled Julian Griffiths for a duck to reduce Felinfoel to 124-4.
Tom Jones also fell to the bowling of Llewelyn as Drefach looked to keep the pressure on.
Rhys Harries hit three fours in a score of 16 but he was then bowled by James Carter as Felinfoel were further reduced to 155-6.
Chris Bowen and Rohan Nangalia had other ideas though as they guided their side to their target.
Bowen finished not out on 16 while Nangalia was not out on 19 from 12 balls after hitting three fours.
On Saturday (Aug 17), Drefach travel to play fourth placed Aberdare while Felinfoel are away to second placed Skewen.
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