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.
Dafen seal dramatic win over Evans and Williams
DAFEN picked up only their third win in the West Wales Premier League on Saturday (Jan 22) as a 102nd minute goal from Joe Bowen gave them a 3-2 victory.
After an even start it was Dafen who broke the deadlock as Lennon Evans scored shortly before the half hour mark.
It remained 1-0 to the visitors until the 73rd minute when Alex Goddard scored to double Dafen’s lead.
With seven minutes to go the hosts were awarded a penalty and Mark Howells made no mistake to bring his side back in the game.
On 90 minutes Dafen manager Richard Stephens was sent off by the referee and just four minutes later Bruno Forkuoh scored to level the game for the home side.
The drama wasn’t over there though as in the eleventh minute of injury time, Evans and Williams’ Phillip Tinnuche was also sent off.
And there was still time for Bowen to score the winning goal, in the 12th minute of time added on, sparking joyous scenes amongst the players.
Dafen remain second bottom but they now sit two points behind ninth placed Morriston Town.
Defeat for Evans and Williams sees them slip behind West Wales Premier League leaders Penlan, who won again on Saturday.
On Saturday, January 29, Dafen host Giants Grave while Evans and Williams travel to Seven Sisters Onllwyn.
PHOTO by Darren Harries
Burry Port hold off Milford to maintain unbeaten record
BURRY PORT secured their fourth win in as many games on Saturday (Jan 22) as they beat Milford Haven 24-17 at The Observatory.
It was a frantic first half which saw Burry Port take a 24-12 lead into the break and despite a second half try from the home side, the Blacks were able to hang on for the win.
Tries for the Blacks came from Rich Parker, Josh Evans, Dylan Evans and Tom Rees.
Steff Powell was successful with two of four conversion attempts.
Milford had one try from Jamie Lewis and Dan McClelland with one conversion giving the hosts some hope of a second half comeback.
Zac France-Miller pulled an unconverted try back for the Mariners but they were unable to find another score despite their efforts.
The Blacks held on and their bonus-point win moves them up to fifth place in the League 2 West table and maintains their 100% record.
The Mariners earned a bonus point for their efforts which moves them up to third from bottom in the table.
On Saturday, January 29, Burry Port host Loughor while Milford Haven are away to Kidwelly.
Llanelli Snooker League: Convincing win for Burry Port Legion
BURRY PORT Legion notched a convincing 6-1 victory in the Llanelli Snooker first division against visiting Pontyberem Workmens.
Following frame wins from Rob Davies, Richard Nurse, Garnet Lane, Keri Phillips and James White (40 break); just Emyr Bowen’s frame averted the whitewash.
Snooker World Whites were 5-2 winners against Llanelli Cons, after Jamie Gimblett, Callum Jackson, Sam Hinton and Ben Thomas had won.
Dai Roberts and Ashley Edwards claimed frames for Matchroom Whites in a 5-2 reversal against Llanesco, for whom Luke Lloyd, Peter Shoulder, Dale Bohn and Chris Lloyd were on song.
Nicky Walters, Mark Hughes and J.Shields were on top for Upper Tumble Blues who saw off a man-short Ponthenri Social 5-2; Nigel Lewis and Mark Regola replied.
Burry Port Reading Room Blues, for whom Adrian Gower, Steve Greaney and Neil Roberts (25) won, needed the aggregate to edge a 4-3 victory at Morfa, whose winning trio were Rob Hughes, Andrew Hatto and Gavin Lewis.
Elsewhere, Pontyberem Workmens’ also required the extra point to nick a 4-3 success against Trimsaran, after Keri Davies (35 clearance break), Kevin Sullivan and Mike Footman had won; Lewis Lloyd, Jamie Tudor and Wayne Thomas won for Trim.
Cross Hands B overcame Gorseinon Workmens’ 4-3, following wins from Adrian Phillips, Mal Jones and Paul Martin; for the Brighton Road side, Mike Davies, Johnny Wilcox and Jordan Davies were on the ball.
In Division 2, Jeff Howells, Scott Bunford, Elwyn Williams and Adam Rees gave Cross Hands A a 5-2 win at Pontarddulais Cons B; Bont’s frame winners were Mark Aberstraw (40 break) and Rob Davey.
Huw Morgan, Howard Wood, Steve Pearson and Brian Jenn earned the bragging rights for Llandybie Social B in the village derby against Llandybie RFC, whose winning duo were Shane Wright (22 clearance) and Joshua Jordan.
Upper Tumble Reds suffered a 7-0 thumping away at the Gremlin Club; for the latter, Ray Barney (33 clearance), Alex Jenson (25), Ryan Burt, Kevin Gronow, Lee Collins and Gavin Stollery were all on top.
Meanwhile, J.Townsend’s frame win avoided the dreaded brush as Bryn & Trallwm crashed 6-1 at the hands of Snooker World Blues; for the Ammanford cuemen, Linden Cox, C.Waters, A.Jones, Callum Fuge and S.Rees all won.
New Lodge edged home 4-3 against Matchroom Blacks, courtesy of Roy Morgan, Andrew John and Gary Williams; Thomas Williams, James Anthony and Adrian Davies hit back for the visitors.
Paul Landek and James Varney were CGMD ‘s winning pair as the Fishermens’ went down 5-2 on their trip to Tycroes RFC; for the rugby club, Marc Walters, Steve Ruck, Arwyn Rees and Ffion Jones claimed the points.
In Cup news, Gremlins defeated New Lodge 4-3, while Reading Room Reds knocked out Bryn. Matchroom Reds beat Burry Port Legion 4-3, whereas Upper Tumble Social went out 4-1 at the hands of Matchroom Whites.
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