Welsh League Division Two
Llanelli Town 1
West End 3
FOLLOWING on from their grim showing at Pontardawe Town seven days previously, the Reds compounded that with yet another abysmal defensive showing against opponents they had swatted aside 5-0 in the away fixture at Pryderi Park in October.
On this evidence, there is little hope of achieving the club`s aim of promotion to Division One, and on this showing could well turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
The chances created by both sides probably ran into double figures, but some incredible misses meant the scoreline remained at a reasonable level throughout.
The Reds made a number of changes to the starting line-up with Ian Evans and Bruno Forkuoh unavailable, with Robert Thomas filling in at right back and Jandir Zola making his first start.
West End keeper Luke Fleming was called into early action, just managing to keep out a Lee Bevan header when he connected with a Richard Lewis free kick, before the visitors countered with Alex Ramsay in the Reds’ goal doing well to block a fierce effort on target by Richard Brain when Delano Tortortella set up the chance.
A Thomas cross to the far post led to Fleming saving low down from Declan John, and when Nathan Logan broke clear up the right, he got to the line but screwed his finish harmlessly over for a goal kick.
The visitors were then afforded a great chance of taking the lead when the ball deflected off Jamie Evans into the path of Tortortella but Ramsay comfortably held his weak finish.
At the other end, Logan was equally guilty of spurning a gilt-edged chance when a Bevan clearance was helped on by to him by Luke Jones, but he dragged his finish wide with only the keeper to beat.
Play continued to fluctuate from end to end, with Ramsay again denying Tortortella when Ryan Thomas set him up, and the visiting striker again failed to convert with a header from close range following a cross into the goalmouth.
Against the run of play, the Reds eventually broke the deadlock on 32 minutes with Jones being given the opportunity to run on to a ball through the middle, and on this occasion the finish gave Fleming no chance into the bottom corner.
Despite this setback, West End were still well in the contest continuing to pose plenty of problems for their opponents, and when a ball over the top led to Thomas making tracks towards goal, Ramsay was forced off his line and brought down the player, leading to a caution and perhaps lucky not to have seen red.
Jones volleyed over the visitor’s bar from a promising position when a John corner was only partially cleared, but on the stroke of half time the equaliser that had been on the cards arrived when a free kick into the goalmouth found Chris Hole who was unchallenged to head home from close range.
All square at the interval, the home side were the first to offer a threat with a Lewis free kick forcing Fleming to turn it over, and a saving tackle by Gareth Howarth prevented Jones homing in on goal.
Zola was replaced by Osian Harries and Anton Owens came on for Matthew Hughes as the Reds searched for a second success, and within minutes of his arrival Owens was presented with two glorious chances of doing this but shot wide on both occasions with the goal gaping and only Fleming to beat.
These misses were to come back to haunt the hosts as West End struck twice within the space of eight minutes, with Tortortella eventually making up for his earlier failures by getting both.
In the 70th minute he was played through a porous rear-guard before slotting past Ramsay, and got on the scoresheet again after 78 minutes, being allowed far too much time to turn before beating the Reds` keeper from the edge of the box.
With the two-goal cushion, the visitors easily saw out the remainder of the time to leave their opponents a dispirited outfit with plenty to ponder over where it all went wrong. The Reds are on the road next Friday evening when they travel to meet Llanwern with a 7.45 p.m. kick off.
Llanelli Town: Ramsay; Thomas; Lewis; Zola (Harries, 58); J. Evans; Bevan; Wade; John; Logan (Martin, 85); Jones; Hughes (Owens, 62). Sub Not Used: Berry.
West End: Fleming; Poutchadis; Whitelock; Hole; O`Brien (Davies, 62); Howarth; Eames (Gowen, 79); Thomas; Tortortella; Brain; Smith; Sub Not Used: Griffiths.
Felinfoel win comfortably
FELINFOEL continued their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday (Oct 5) as they beat Gowerton 23-0.
In a game played in difficult conditions both sides contributed to an open match with Felinfoel finally ending up comfortable winners.
Felinfoel took an early lead with a try from left wing Jordan Dunne converted by full back Aled Roberts.
Roberts added a further two penalties before the break making the score at half time 13 – nil.
The weather conditions deteriorated in the second half and it was not until the 20th minute that Felinfoel increased their lead with a further penalty from Roberts.
As Felinfoel added further pressure, live wire wing Dunne went in for his second try again well converted from wide out by Roberts.
Gowerton came close to scoring at the end, but strong defence by Felinfoel prevented them from scoring.
Felinfoel now look forward to round two of the WRU Plate competition when they entertain Skewen on Saturday (Oct 12).
Cherries hold off Penygroes
Furnace United 18-9 Penygroes
FURNACE United welcomed Penygroes to Cae Castell on Saturday (Oct 5) and after two attritional battles last season this game was highly anticipated.
The field conditions were excellent even though there was a little drizzle throughout.
The game started at a frantic pace with Furnace taking the early initiative resulting in a try from second row Andrew Evans after five minutes. Daf Green slotted the conversion from out wide to make it 7-0 to the home side.
Five minutes later, from subsequent Penygroes pressure, they were able to score their first points of the game as the trusted boot of number 10 Christopher Powell slotted a penalty between the sticks.
Straight from the restart Furnace gained good field position and were awarded a penalty in front of the sticks.
Green added the three points to make it 10-3 to the home side.
The rest of the first half saw Penygroes put pressure on the Furnace line but to no avail.
The first 25 minutes of the second half saw the visitors throw the kitchen sink at the Furnace line.
However, although some stern defence meant they weren’t able to cross the line, they did manage two further penalties from the boot of Powell to bring the score to 10-9.
Having defended for much of the half, Furnace looked to increase their lead and they marched up the field before Daf Green slotted a drop goal to make it 13-9 to the Cherries.
The last ten minutes saw Penygroes pressing again but without reward.
From the last play of the game, Furnace intercepted a loose pass and Centre Scott Davies galloped 60 metres down the paddock to cross and put the game to bed.
The conversion was missed but it mattered little as the Cherries earned an 18-9 victory.
On Saturday (Oct 12), both sides take a break from league action as they take part in the second round of the WRU Bowl.
Furnace are away to Cefn Cribbwr while Penygroes are at home to Abercarn.
Burry Port stay in touch
Burry Port Res 3-0 Evans & Williams Res
BURRY Port Reserves kept themselves in touch with the top two as they beat Evans and Williams Reserves 3-0 on Saturday (Oct 5).
A very even first half ended with Jamie Phillips heading home from a corner to make it 1-0 to Burry Port.
In the second half the home side played much better and were on top from the start going 2-0 up through Sam Saer.
They dominated for a spell but Evans and Williams came back strong and looked as if they might get one back.
Eventually the home side got their third through Ryan Owens to seal the win and all but end any hopes Evans and Williams had of getting back into the game.
Burry Port remain level on points with the top two with all three having won four of their five games so far this season.
On Saturday (Oct 12), Evans and Williams will look to bounce back when they take on Gorseinon Reserves.
The reserves do not have a game but Burry Port’s first team are in action in the first round of the West Wales Cup as they host Cwm Albion Colts.
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