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Reds slip to defeat against Undy

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HOSTING opponents with just four wins to date, perhaps Llanelli Town were of the impression that just turning up to fulfil the fixture would be sufficient to secure the three points.

If so, they were to be proved to be hopelessly wrong, although if anything their own overall woeful performance certainly contributed to the eventual outcome, and they will certainly have to display a vast improvement in their remaining games if they aspire to finish the season in a relatively respectable position.

Despite the introduction of a clutch of new signings with Josh Hutchings taking over in goal from Exauce Dimonekene and Jake Thomas, Ryan Bevan and Thomas Hillman making their home debuts, together with the return from injury of Chris Thomas and Miles John, the overall standard of play was poor, and the visitors` goal was seldom under any serious threat, with goalkeeper James Smallcombe barely being tested.

The only time he was beaten came courtesy of a 21st minute Callum Bateman penalty, and this separated the sides at the interval, but the second period proved to be something of a catastrophe for the hosts as Undy gained in confidence, and one guessed that if they could muster an equaliser they could well go on and seal the win – and so it turned out.

The Reds were on top up to the break without really looking capable of opening their account, the nearest chance coming from a Dylan Williams ball across the box to the far post which nobody was able to reach.

Hillman was showing up well with a number of tricky runs while also closing down well, and he was denied a potential score by a well- timed tackle in the area after being put through by Nathan Logan.

They then won the penalty award when Bateman was floored by Oliver Smith following another Logan assist, and Bateman himself took the kick to easily beat Smallcombe.

Spurred on by this, the home side continued to press forward with Logan again the provider, this time with a pass into the path of Williams, but he blasted his finish wildly over the top.

Undy retaliated through Mbongompasi who made a run down the left before unleashing a finish at the home goal which took a wicked deflection off Jake Thomas and was heading for the net, forcing an acrobatic save from Hutchings to divert it over.

Having survived this scare, the Reds should have then doubled the lead when Bateman found himself in the clear with Smallcombe electing to come off his line in an attempt to close him down, but the striker evaded the challenge before sending his finish towards the empty net, but it failed to find the target, rolling agonisingly wide of the far post.

In the event, this miss proved to be crucial, as a two goal cushion would probably have been enough to secure the win.

As it transpired, the second period was a disaster from a home viewpoint as their opponents grew in confidence and looked quite capable of levelling matters, and they did just that on 62 minutes when Hutchings managed to keep out an initial shot but could only divert it as far as Brian Hanbury

who had the simple task of steering it home from point blank range.

If this setback was not bad enough, five minutes later the Reds found themselves trailing when a free kick outside the box taken by Gyles Thompson found its way through the defensive wall and past Hutchings.

James Loveridge came on in place of Logan, and was almost immediately involved with a ball to the far post with which Hillman just failed to connect.

Still enjoying plenty of possession but seldom using it to any great effect, the home side were still not able to unleash any worthwhile strikes on the Undy goal, and in fact seven minutes from time paid the price for this when they conceded again when Dan Jarman gained possession before powering his way past some feeble defending to beat Hutchings and put the result beyond doubt.

Deep into stoppage time, the Reds did pull back a consolation goal through Louis Gerrard who powered home a far post header, but it was too little too late and what might have appeared before kick-off to be three winnable points had vanished into thin air.

They now have two weeks to mull over the loss before they travel to meet Taffs Well on Friday, February 11, kick off 7.30pm.

Photo by Darren Harries

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Sport

Gascoigne entertains Llanelli

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OVER 400 people were at attendance in the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 18) to see former England legend Paul Gascoigne talk about his life and footballing career.

Gazza had the crowd in stitches with his stories from his past and was visibly emotional with the crowd’s warm reaction to him being there.

At one point a member of the crowd asked him if he could play one last game for one team who would it be… his answer was Swansea City to the crowds delight.

His next event will be in Tenby on September 17. The event was kindly sponsored by RDH Contractors and Sylan Lakes holiday cottages in five roads.

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News

Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’

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EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’.

Giggs stepped back from his role in November 2020 following after being arrested.

49-year-old Giggs has been charged with assault and using controlling behaviour towards an ex-partner. A claim that Giggs has denied.

In a heartfelt statement on his decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.

“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.

“I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.

“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date.”

Following Giggs arrest in 2020, former Wales captain Robert Page took over as interim manager.

Under Page Wales beat Ukraine to earn themselves a place at Qatar World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Giggs faces one charge of using controlling and coercive behaviour August 2017 and November 2020, one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm of his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville on November 1, 2020.

He also faces a charge of common assault on the victim’s sister.

Giggs denies all charges against him and will stand trial on August 8.

The trial is expected to last five days.

Following the announcement, a FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men’s national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football,

“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this year.”

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Sport

Llanelli edged out as Ynystawe pull off mammoth chase

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A SCORE of 331-4 would normally be enough for a team to pick up victory, but South Wales Premier Division 2 leaders Ynystawe had other ideas as they pulled off a remarkable chase on Saturday (Jun 4).

Llanelli had been asked to bat first after Ynystawe had won the toss and their total was underpinned by a brilliant unbeaten century from Iwan Rees.

The opener hit sixteen fours and four sixes in his knock of 153 which came off 146 balls.

He had good support from Steven Devonald who scored 29 and Rhydian Morgan who scored 20 (2 fours, 1 six).

Rees and Rhys Harris shared the best stand of the match as they put on 157 runs for the fourth wicket.

Harris hit 12 fours in his score of 87 from 74 balls but he was out to the bowling of Rhys Palmer.

Rhys Westcott also finished unbeaten on 18 from 11 balls as Ynystawe were set 332 to win the game.

In reply, opener Nathan Lee scored 20 before falling to Jac Rees who also then took the wicket of Morgan Hodges on a score of 23.

Carl Roberts played well for his half century, hitting eight fours in his score of 56 before being trapped leg before by Aled Gilley.

Andrew Beasley was run out on a score of 15 and that left Ynystawe on 140-4.

Thomas Morgan and Luke Garthwaite shared 93 runs for the fifth wicket. Both reached their half centuries but Morgan was out to Iwan Rees on a score of 50.

Rees also bowled Ceri Durke and Rhys Palmer was run out by Rhydian Morgan having hit a four and a six in a quickfire score of 15.

That left Ynystawe 275-7 and they only had six overs left to get their target.

Garthwaite was on a score of 75 when Palmer fell and he took control as he smashed his way to a century.

He finished unbeaten on 118 from 67 balls after hitting 20 fours and two sixes. The last of his fours won the game for the home side as they ended up winning with two overs to spare.

On Saturday, June 11, Llanelli host Cowbridge while Ynynstawe travel to Penarth.

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