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Games away from promotion

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Llanelli Town AFC 5

Newport City 0

THE PRESSURE is mounting at Stebonheath as the Reds edge another step closer to promotion and academy status.

Despite winning 5 – 0 against Newport City on Saturday (Feb 18), Red’s manager Andy Hill said he wanted more. Speaking to The Herald after the game Andy said: “It was a convincing win but a bit frustrating that we didn’t get a few more goals. They came to defend and they did that well. It was their game plan from the start. We have a tough match against one of the top clubs next week and we have to win that one.”

The Reds can be confident given that they remain unbeaten in the league and they still have the goal machine Lee Trundle in fine form.

Before the match all players lined up at the centre circle for a minute’s applause for former Reds player Robbie James on the anniversary of his death , and for the father of Reds groundsman , Eddie Donne , who had recently passed away. It was clearly a very emotional moment for Eddie as he lined up with t he Reds.

When the game got underway under the gaze of Welsh legend, former Wales player and manager Terry Yorath , it took a mere 15 minutes before the closely marked Trundle was brought down in the penalty area. Referee Pascal Neale pointed to the spot and Trundle punished the visitors with a pin point strike into the bottom left corner of the net to put Llanelli ahead.

James Loveridge looks like he is beginning to settle in at Stebonheath and he is a force to be reckoned with on the wing. He came close a couple of times hitting the post and crossbar.

The Reds are also fortunate enough to have the diminutive but powerful Jordan Davies in the squad. He can always be relied on to run at the opposition and set up goal scoring opportunities.

It was the Davies and Loveridge combination which netted the second goal for The Reds and despite a few attacks by the visitors it was The Reds who began to dominate the first half with City’s keeper doing well to deny Trundle and Loveridge on a few more occasions.

The second half really was frustrating for The Reds as Newport City dug their studs in and remained camped in their own half as if their lives depended on it. That did not bode well for entertainment value and they may have represented themselves better if they had taken risks rather than putting a curtain of players around the goalmouth. Trundle is unstoppable when he gets the ball in the goal area. It is a joy to watch his control, strength and skill on the ball, which inevitably ends up in a goal. So it was when he burst through the midfield and blast a shot at goal only for the City keeper to parry it out. This time Trundle was there for the rebound and side kicked it to Jordan Follows who managed to find the net for the home side’s third goal.

Within five minutes Jordan Follows got another goal, this time after a stray shot had struck him and rolled off into the goal. He won’t be complaining about the way in which it went in.

The Herald was fortunate enough to be positioned behind the City goal during the last few minutes of the match. As we pointed the camera lens towards Trundle on the edge of the goal area, he curled the ball and for one moment it appeared to be landing straight onto the camera lens. Thankfully the goal got in the way for his second and a fifth for t he Reds. The Reds are expecting a large crowd at Stebonheath tonight (Feb 24) with the visit of second-placed Briton Ferry Llansawel. This result could be crucial in deciding who wins the title.

Kick off 7.30 p.m.

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Saunders stars as Llangennech beat Gowerton

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LLANGENNECH remain unbeaten in League 1 West after they won 33-16 away at Gowerton on Saturday (Jan 15).

Liam Hutchings put the visitors ahead with the first try of the game and Tom Neale added the extras.

Gowerton then got themselves on the scoreboard with a penalty but Llangennech were soon back on the attack.

Jordan Saunders was next to go over and Neale again added the extras.

Gowerton reduced the arrears once more with another penalty and the visitors held a 14-6 lead when the half time whistle went.

Gowerton scored another penalty early in the second half to keep themselves in the game.

However, Llangennech kept applying the pressure and they soon had their third try with Saunders going over for his second and Neale adding his third conversion to make it 21-9.

Saunders then completed his hat trick to also earn his side a bonus point.

Gowerton responded with a converted try to bring the score back to 16-26 but it was the visitors who had the last word.

Greg George scored their fifth try of the game and Neale converted to complete the scoring.

Saunders was named man of the match for his try hat trick and the win sees them move on to 25 points, six points above second placed Newcastle Emlyn.

The sides are next in action on Saturday, January 29, when Llangennech host third placed Felinfoel while Gowerton travel to Aberystwyth.

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Llanelli Town announce triple signing

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LLANELLI TOWN has announced the signings of three new players as they continue to make preparations for the return of football in February.

Football across Wales has been suspended as a result of Welsh Government restrictions but new Reds manager Lee John has wasted little time in making additions to his squad.

Their first sining announced on Wednesday, January 12, was that of former Swansea City U23s defender Jake Thomas who joins from Cambrian & Clydach.

Manager Lee John said: “A 6’2 Centre Back that is very comfortable in possession and a strong defender. Jake picked up a wealth of experience playing for Swansea City FC and played very well against us a few weeks ago for Cambrian.

“Jake has a big future ahead of him and I’m delighted he’s chosen to sign for us.”

Another ex-Swansea player who has put pen to paper on a deal at Stebonheath Park is James Murphy.

Lee said: “James is a very talented forward with bags of potential, he’s also a local product from Llanelli who was very eager to sign and commit to his home town club.

“We want players who want to wear the shirt with pride, James was clear in his determination to commit to the club and help us achieve our future ambitions.”

Llanelli’s final signing of the day is central midfielder Ryan Bevan who joins from Trefelin.

“Ryan is also a former Swansea City product, a busy midfielder who can make a team tick, he possesses a range of passing qualities and is very comfortable in possession. Another ambitious player who wants to play at the highest level possible.

“Three excellent signings to strengthen the squad for the final 12 games of the season”, concluded John.

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Scarlets v Dragons postponed

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THE United Rugby Championship (URC) game between Scarlets and Dragons has been postponed.

It had been due to take place at Parc Y Scarlets on Saturday, January 8, but a number of covid-19 cases have been reported in the Dragons’ squad.

The URC Medical Advisory Group has liaised with the region and having considered all the facts have deemed that the fixture cannot go ahead as scheduled.

The United Rugby Championship will now consider available dates to reschedule the game.

Scarlets’ next game is scheduled for Sunday, January 16, when they travel to France Union Bourdeaux-Begles in the Heinken Champions Cup.

The Dragons’ next game is set to take place on Saturday, January 15, when they take on Bennetton in the European Champions Cup.

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