Llanelli Town 4
Pontypridd Town 1
WITH THEIR opponents arriving at Stebonheath buoyed by a moral-boosting midweek victory away at third placed Tredegar Town, the Reds might have been expecting they were in for an uncomfortable afternoon. As it transpired, the visitors seldom offering any real goal threat, while the home side were in control of the game and might well have added to the final tally.
Despite still missing their talisman, Bruno Forkuoh through injury, the Reds took only four minutes to go in front when a through ball sent Luke Jones clear, and he crossed into the near post where Anthony Owens was on hand to turn the ball past keeper Ryan Griffiths.
Griffiths then had to be alert to come off his line and win a race for the ball in the box from Robert Thomas after Ross Jones’ clever pass. Pontypridd then went close to an equaliser following a clearance which found Geraint Passmore seemingly well offside, but referee James Sheils allowed play to continue, and with Craig Richards in the home goal on the edge of his area in an attempt to snuff out the danger, Passmore lofted the ball over him but saw his attempt rebound off the top of the bar and over.
This near miss seemed to jolt the visitors into action and when Richard Lewis lost possession in midfield, the ball was transferred by Javi Garcia into the path of James Hill whose strike on target was diverted away by Richards only as far as Tom Rutherford, but his attempted cross into the middle was cut out and the danger eventually cleared.
Four minutes from the break, Luke Jones won a tussle with Dominic Broad which enabled him to make ground into the box where Griffiths threw himself at his feet and seemed to make a legitimate save before Jones tumbled over him, but referee Sheils adjudged it to be worthy of a penalty.
Steve Stone stepped up to take the kick sending it low past Griffiths into the bottom corner.
The Pontypridd keeper was then called into early second half action, turning over at full stretch a well struck Steve Berry free kick which was destined for the top corner. Moments later Rutherford, who had earlier been cautioned, was fortunate not to be shown a red card for a kick at Lee Bevan, the referee deciding no further punishment was warranted.
The Reds were well in control of proceedings, and Griffiths did well to divert a Luke Jones effort around the upright when Owens set up the shooting chance.
However, from the resultant corner they increased the lead on 62 minutes when Lewis sent a vicious in-swinging delivery into the goalmouth where it was met by Stone for a point blank header into the net.
Within two minutes of this, the visitors reduced the deficit following a free kick which resulted in Nathan Thompson sending over a far post cross to the head of Rutherford who glanced it past Richards.
Undeterred by this, the home side went close to another goal with Luke Jones curling a near post diving header from a Lewis delivery just wide, but they were fortunate not to concede again when Jamie Evans was caught in possession by Hill, and it took the outstretched foot of Richards to keep out his goal bound attempt.
The Reds still continued to create chances, with Owens sending a close range ball from Matthew Hughes over the top, but in stoppage time he did atone when he latched on to a clearance over the Pontypridd rearguard before beating Griffiths to seal a relatively comfortable home win.
The Reds play their penultimate home game of the season next Wednesday when Newport Civil Service provide the opposition, kick off 7.45 p.m.
LLANELLI TOWN; Richards; Napieralla; Lewis; Berry; Evans; Bevan ©; Thomas (John, 89); R. Jones (Bauza, 84); L. Jones; Stone (Hughes, 76); Owens; Subs. not used; Jenkins; Powell.
PONTYPRIDD TOWN; Griffiths; Iheancho (Escott, 75); Broad; Doumas; Thompson; Bird ©; Rutherford (Graves, 80); J. Garcia (C. Garcia, 64); Gullick; Passmore; Hill; Subs. not used; Williams; Thomas.
Behind the Scenes with West Wales Raiders & Llanelli Town AFC CEO Peter Tiffin
EACH week we will take a look at what’s going on at both clubs with an insight from the CEO.
As most in sport know January is a busy time for clubs with the transfer window back open, last week saw both the Raiders and Reds welcome in new players and will be straight in to action for both sides before the end of the month.
It’s been a very difficult period with the spectator’s restrictions and the pausing in season for the Reds especially with the new managers coming in and beginning their time with the club with a win at Stebonheath Park.
Thankfully the restrictions are easing and next weekend both the Raiders and the Reds will be able to welcome back fans to our home of Stebonheath Park with home fixtures on Friday evening (Llanelli Town v Undy) & Sunday afternoon (West Wales Raiders v Swinton Lions).
This week has also seen a few new partnerships and one in particular was a launch to support a community project for lonely people to attend various events, both the Raiders & the Reds have offered tickets to all home games and our home bar will be working with the project on a fortnightly luncheon club.
To continue with new partnerships the Raiders decided this week that we would swap our sponsors logos with charities for a one off jersey which the players will play in against Swinton next week, I will be looking to work a lot closer with all 7 charities throughout the year and including both clubs in any events.
To finish off this week I wanted to add that Ethan George an up and coming local professional boxer who has plenty of talent will now be working a lot closer with myself, as a few of you may be aware that another professional boxer Angelo Dragone has worked very closely with both clubs and myself and we both will be working with Ethan to help him on his development within boxing.
Leaders Trostre held to draw by Killay
CARMARTHENSHIRE Premier Division leaders Trostre were held to an exciting 3-3 draw by Killay on Saturday (Jan 15).
Ben Lynch had put Killay ahead in the tenth minute but two goals in seven minutes from Ashton Jones turned the game around for the league leaders.
However, just four minutes later Liam Bennett equalised for the visitors.
The first half scoring wasnt done as Trostre regained the lead thanks to Rhys Griffiths.
That gave them a 3-2 lead at half time but they were dealt a blow early in the second half when Christopher Price-Williams was sent off for a second bookable offence.
It looked as if they were going to hold to their lead but five minutes from the end Brandon Davies scored to level the game.
The point for Killay moves them to within four points of second placed Pontlliw who were beaten 2-0 by Gorseinon Athletic on Saturday.
Matthew Hurford scored twice in the first half for Gorseinon to all but seal the win for his side.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Loughor Rovers scored two late goals to seal victory against Burry Port.
Josh Element put Burry Port ahead midway through the first half but two minutes later Andrew Burt missed a penalty for Loughor.
The score remained 1-0 to the visitors until eight minutes from time when Michael Grimwade scored.
Burt then made amends for his penalty miss as he scored the winner in the 89th minute.
Seaside earned their third win in a row on Saturday as they beat Pengelli United 7-2 away from home.
Callum Thomas put Seaside ahead on seven minutes but three minutes later Reily Lewis levelled for Pengelli.
Tray Jenkins then put Seaside back in the lead but the home side hit back again as Luke Rees levelled the game at 2-2.
Ben Honeybun then put Seaside back in front and they held on to their 3-2 lead until half time.
Twenty minutes into the second half Ross Jones scored to make it 4-2 before they scored three late goals.
Leon Bonifacio scored twice in three minutes and Jones added his second in injury time to complete the scoring.
On Saturday, January 22, Trostre visit Loughor Rovers and Gorseinon Athletic host Burry Port.
Killay are at home as they take on Bwlch Rangers.
Felinfoel reserves edge seven-goal thriller
FELINFOEL Reserves moved up to sixth place in Carmarthenshire Reserve Division 2 on Saturday (Jan 15) as they beat Dafen Reserves 4-3.
Felinfoel were forced into a change early on but just a minute after coming Morgan Smith had put the home side ahead.
Nicky Morgan then put Felinfoel in a strong position as he double his side’s lead.
However, Dafen hit back with Rhys Winnett scoring ten minutes before half time and then a minute before the interval to level the game at 2-2.
Just four minutes into the second half Morgan grabbed his second goal of the game to put the home side back in the lead.
With just under 20 minutes to go, Dafen levelled once more as Matthew Davies found the back of the net.
It looked as if the game might finish all square but four minutes from time Morgan Harries scored what would prove to be the winner for Felinfoel.
Elsewhere in the Division, Tumble reserves beat Pontarddulais reserves 3-2 to leapfrog Dafen into second place.
Saturday’s only other game in the division saw Johnstown reserves run out 10-3 winners over Kidwelly reserves, with Jack Kluge scoring five times while Jack Starkey also scored a hat trick.
On Saturday, January 22, Dafen reserves host Johnstown reserves while Felinfoel hosts Loughor Rovers thirds.
Llangennech reserves are also in action as they face Pontarddulais Town reserves.
Photo by Darren Harries
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