WPL Matchday 4

 

Match Report – Carmarthen Town v Cardiff Met (1 September 2018)

Carmarthen Town (2) Cardiff Met (0)  

Carmarthen deservedly secured their first win of the season thanks to a well-balanced display of resolute, stubborn defending coupled with frequent rapid and clinical counter-attacking – not only was this enough to comfortably subdue the  Met’s normally sharp attacking play, but on occasions their defence was made to look unusually fragile.

Yet the visitors began the match in their customary fashion, enjoying the greater share of possession and methodically making progress upfield.  However they were unable to make any serious early impression on the Town defence which, being well marshalled by the towering Lee Surman, remained disciplined and secure.

Despite that initial pressure, it was not until the 9thminute that the Met managed their first scoring effort when Dan Spencer, on the right flank, crossed the ball into the crowded penalty area where Sam Snaith hit a smart 15 yard volley that ‘keeper Lee Idzi carefully watched fly safely over the bar.

The Old Gold meanwhile were frequently able to break forward from deep positions inside their own half and on 13 minutes they fashioned a decent chance when Luke Cummings surged forward along the right-wing before delivering a searching cross deep into the penalty area where Greg Walters produced a close-range header that ‘keeper Esa Aalto was well-placed to gather safely.

And Town, usually through the craft and determination of Mael Davies, Walters, Ceri Morgan and Cummings, continued to launch penetrating counter-attacks which frontmen Luke Bowen, Liam Thomas and Jordan Vickers eagerly pursued.

While several broke down in the face of some solid Met defending, eventually the Old Gold took the lead in the 35thminute through a smart piece of goal-poaching by Liam Thomas – from the right-wing Cummings sent another fine cross into the penalty area where Town’s all-time top scorer neatly stole the ball off a hesitant defender then from close-range instantly struck an angled volley past Aalto and into the far corner of the net.

Stung by that setback, the visitors were quick to respond – on 37 minutes Spencer raced forward from midfield then struck a rasping 20 yard drive that Idzi, with an impressive full-length save, turned against the top of the post before the ball bounced safely away.

And in the closing moments of the first-half Spencer again surged upfield to reach the by-line then fired an inviting cross towards the far post but saw Snaith wastefully plant his close-range header wide of the goal.

After the interval the Met immediately pressed forward in search of an early equaliser – but through a combination of weak finishing and, more particularly, determined (occasionally desperate) Old Gold defending the home goal was never under serious threat during this spell.  The only notable effort arose on 64 minutes when Will Evans released a speculative long-range strike that Idzi, at full length, turned aside.

However the visitors’ commitment to scoring left them vulnerable to counter-attacks which Town, primarily through the pace and mobility of strikers Thomas and Bowen, were well equipped to exploit.  And in the 64thminute they fully capitalised on this in clinical fashion.

With Carmarthen breaking swiftly out of defence, Walters headed the ball forward to Thomas who sprinted determindely into the penalty area then, after shrugging off a defender, he struck a fierce angled drive that Aalto could only manage to force against the bar – as the ball fell loose Davies was the quickest to react and from close-range he gratefully stabbed it into the unguarded net.

The Met once more launched a series of attacks which, as before, the Old Gold defence successfully withstood – and just ahead of them the industrious midfield unit willingly dropped back to provide a further valuable layer of defensive cover whenever necessary.  As a result, only rarely was Idzi seriously tested and on each occasion the experienced ‘keeper, displaying his customary safe and assured handling, confidently resisted any threat to his goal.

While the play in the closing stages was largely confined to Carmarthen’s end of the pitch, they did produce one notable late counter-attack when on 80 minutes the ball reached Walters just outside the penalty area but he saw his smart 20 yard volley fly narrowly outside the post.

However Town’s primary concern was to protect their lead and secure three valuable points which they comfortably managed.  And it has to be hoped that this encouraging performance, against one of the stronger teams in the WPL, can be repeated and ideally improved on in forthcoming fixtures as Neil Smothers’ new-look side further settles and progresses.

Carmarthen’s next fixture is on Saturday September 8th(k/o 2.30pm) when Newtown visit Richmond Park.

          

Team:

Lee Idzi;  Luke Cummings;  Lee Surman; Jordan Knott;  Sean Hanbury (sub Dave Vincent 71);  Jordan Vickers (sub Declan Carroll 68);  Greg Walters;  Ceri Morgan; Mael Davies (sub Craig Hanford 87); Luke Bowen;  Liam Thomas;

Unused sub:  Jay Woodford; 

Goals:  Liam Thomas (35);  Mael Davies (64);  

Cards:  (Y)   Greg Walters (43);  Lee Surman (60);    

 

 

 

MG NATHANIEL CUP ROUND 1

 

Match Report – Carmarthen Town v Goytre (28 August 2018)

Carmarthen Town (5) Goytre (0)  Nathanial MG League Cup R1

Carmarthen progressed to the second round of the League Cup with this fairly comfortable victory over Welsh League Division One side Goytre who, despite the score-line, provided stern opposition particularly throughout the second-half.

Town made a refreshingly positive start, dominating the midfield and launching a series of rapid, penetrating attacks that kept the visitors’ defence fully occupied. Initially, often due to a poor ‘final pass’, several of those attacks broke down before any scoring opportunities arose yet eventually, after 10 minutes, the hosts went close to taking the lead.  

Luke Cummings directed a long pass through to Luke Bowen just inside the penalty area but from a wide position and with a defender close-by the experienced striker fired the ball narrowly outside the post and into the side netting.

The Old Gold continued to dictate the game with midfielders Mael Davies and Greg Walters, with their pace and vision, particularly influential.  And on 18 minutes a delightful flowing move from the half-way line tore open the Goytre defence.  Possession passed rapidly from Jay Woodford through Walters and out to Cummings on the right-wing – he surged forward then delivered a fine cross into the goalmouth where Bowen saw his powerful close-range header turned aside by ‘keeper Joseph Massaro with a smart reflex save.

It seemed unlikely that the visitors’ goal would survive much longer and, predictably, in the 22ndminute Town went ahead with another sublime, incisive move. From the half-way line Liam Thomas threaded a long pass through to Bowen who raced forward into the penalty area then, unselfishly, set up a fine chance for Walters – he struck a powerful drive that took a huge deflection off a defender but as the ball looped high close to the goal Jordan Vickers, alert to the opportunity, headed it firmly into the roof of the net.  Moments later, after another surging run along the right-wing, Cummings played the ball forward to Thomas just inside the penalty area – he turned sharply past a defender then released a rasping angled shot that Massaro resisted with an impressive point-blank save.

Throughout this spell Goytre, with commendable effort and determination, began to make progress upfield – but they were simply unable to pierce the Old Gold defence in any meaningful way and ‘keeper Lee Idzi was never seriously troubled.

And it was from a huge clearance out of defence that Town extended their lead after 32 minutes – the ball reached Bowen who burst forward along the left flank before sending a precision pass across the edge of the penalty area where Walters arrived with perfect timing and dispatched a stunning drive that left Massaro floundering and the net bulging.

Shortly afterwards the hosts went further ahead.  Thomas, with a masterful pass that split the opposition defence wide open, set Davies racing into the penalty area – he cleverly side-stepped a defender then crisply drilled the ball beyond Massaro’s reach and into the far corner of the goal.

Straightaway Carmarthen, and Davies in particular, were back on the attack – the young midfielder, from the right touchline dispatched a perfectly measured cross into the goalmouth where Bowen, rising high above his marker, sent his close-range header just wide of the post.

By now the Old Gold, displaying irresistible pace and penetration, were in virtually complete command of the game.  And in the 39thminute they added a fourth goal.  Cummings fired a corner-kick deep into the packed goalmouth where Bowen made a timely arrival to rise above defenders and head the ball past Massaro and into the roof of the net.

Then on 43 minutes Cummings again surged forward along the right flank before producing a well-judged cross that reached Thomas, in clear space inside the penalty area, but Town’s top scorer struck his angled volley marginally wide of the goal.

After the interval Carmarthen resumed their domination of the game.  In the 50thminute Davies cut inside from the left flank, effortlessly slipped past a defender then released a smart angled drive that Massaro turned aside with an impressive full-length save. 

The Old Gold continued to press forward and threatened to create scoring chances but they seemed now to have lost their sharpness and confidence in and around the penalty area which had served them well beforehand – slack passing and wasteful finishing led to frustration and disappointment on and off the field.

On 67 minutes a fine pass from Vickers set Woodford racing forward to the edge of the penalty area but his crisp strike flew just wide of the post.  Straightaway Cummings fired a right-wing cross low into the goalmouth only for Bowen to shoot wide from a good position.

Yet in the 75thminute Town did manage to extend their lead – from Declan Carroll’s corner-kick into the packed goalmouth Dave Vincent leapt high above defenders at the far post and planted his close-range header into the roof of the net.

Yet more wayward passing ensued and the urgency and positivity of the Old Gold’s refreshing first-half performance was clearly missing.  Further scoring chances that would quite likely have been converted earlier were now being squandered.

This lacklustre period allowed Goytre the opportunity to press forward much more often, albeit with no evident likelihood of penetrating the home defence – and scoring even a late consolation goal seemed out of the question.

And Lee Idzi?  After being kept fully occupied by TNS throughout the League match on Saturday, he was probably grateful for the chance of a rest this evening!

[Note:   This is the first time in twelve seasons since five different Carmarthen players have scored in a match – the last occasion when this occurred was on April 28th2007 in a WPL fixture at Caernarfon when Town won 5-3 with one of the goals being scored by a certain Danny Thomas!  

 

And the last (possibly only) time that goal-scoring feat was bettered was on October 1st2005 in a Welsh Cup tie at Cardiff Corinthians when Town demolished the home side 11-0 with no less than seven players on the scoresheet two of whom, Mattie Davies and Gary Lloyd, scored hat-tricks – and in two other League matches that season five different players had scored. But that season was notable for something even more significant in Carmarthen’s history – the memorable UEFA Cup matches against Longford Town.    Happy Times!!]

Team:

Lee Idzi;  Luke Cummings;  Dave Vincent; Jordan Knott (sub Craig Hanford 63); Sean Hanbury;  Greg Walters (sub Declan Carroll 63);  Mael Davies;  Jay Woodford; Jordan Vickers;  Luke Bowen;  Liam Thomas;

Unused subs:  Lee Surman; Ceri Morgan;  

Goals:  Jordan Vickers (22);  Greg Walters (32);  Mael Davies (35);  Luke Bowen (39);                    Dave Vincent (75);            

Cards:  (Y)   Liam Thomas (65); 

 

WPL Matchday 3

 

Match Report – The New Saints v Carmarthen Town (25 August 2018)

The New Saints (6)  Carmarthen Town (0)  

In most recent seasons, while Carmarthen have travelled to The New Saints and suffered defeat they have at least performed creditably enough to keep the score-line respectable – sadly, this was not one of those days.

From the outset the League Champions slipped straight into their familiar game pattern, dominating possession and patiently building pressure before incisively probing the Old Gold defence.  Yet for a while they faced disciplined resistance from the visitors – notably, the central defensive pairing of Lee Surman and Dave Vincent were performing particularly soundly, while behind them ‘keeper Lee Idzi, as usual, demonstrated safe and secure handling whenever necessary.

For those reasons it was not until the 15thminute that the hosts managed their first serious scoring chance – Simon Spender, from wide on the right flank, sent an inviting cross into the crowded goalmouth where Dean Ebbe produced a sharp, close-range header that Idzi, showing remarkable reflexes, punched away.  

The ball was cleared yet fell nicely for Tom Holland – he instantly threaded an excellent pass through to Jamie Mullan who was in clear space inside the penalty area but Idzi was quickly out of his goal to bravely claim the ball at the winger’s feet.

Shortly afterwards the Old Gold fashioned a promising counter-attack which finished with Liam Thomas, on the left flank, firing the ball across the edge of the penalty area to find Declan Carroll who turned smartly past his marker then released a fierce angled volley that flew narrowly beyond the far post.

But that was a fairly isolated moment of Town adventure and it was soon followed by the Saints taking the lead.  On 23 minutes Spender once more burst down the right-wing then delivered the ball into the goalmouth and saw Redmond, completely unmarked, send a powerful header past Idzi and into the roof of the net.

Moments later Mullan, who would continue to torment the visitors’ defence during the rest of the match, sent a neat pass across to Aeron Edwards who hit a stunning 20 yard volley that Idzi, at full-stretch, smartly turned over the bar.

Yet after 29 minutes the Old Gold once more went close to scoring – arising from a rare excursion into the home penalty area the ball was cleared though only as far as Carroll who instantly released a rasping drive that slid just wide of the post.

But once again a Carmarthen opportunity was soon followed by a TNS goal.  On 34 minutes an excellent pass from Daniel Redmond sent Mullan racing free beyond the last defender and into the penalty area – as Idzi advanced from his goal he neatly side-stepped the stranded ‘keeper and, from a very tight angle, cleverly fired the ball into the empty net.

Then as the first-half stretched into added time the hosts went further ahead.  From the half-way line Adrian Cieslewicz fired a long pass forward to Ebbe who sprinted beyond Town’s defensive line to reach the corner of the penalty area – Idzi again was left isolated and, as he advanced, the lively striker lobbed the ball neatly into the unguarded net.

After the interval the earlier pattern of play quickly resumed with the Saints enjoying both the greater share of possession and territorial advantage.  And if the Old Gold had harboured any thoughts of getting back into the game with a quick goal, they were soon dispelled when on 54 minutes TNS went further ahead in clinical fashion.

The visitors’ defence was simply carved wide open when Redmond sent a fine pass forward to Chris Marriott who raced on towards the by-line before delivering a searching cross into the goalmouth where Greg Draper rose high at the far post to head the ball firmly into the roof of the net – opposition players were helpless to intervene.

With another smart passing move after 68 minutes the hosts went close to scoring again – and once more Redmond was involved when he played the ball across the edge of the penalty area where Draper released a fierce volley which Idzi, with a smart save, turned over the bar.

Throughout, Town’s players could not be faulted for their effort and commitment – commendably, they displayed that in abundance.  But that was simply not enough.  All too often their only outlet was to fire the ball upfield towards Luke Bowen who for long spells was operating as a lone striker (since Liam Thomas frequently and necessarily dropped back to assist with defensive duties) but on the few occasions that it reached him, he was easily contained by the Saints’ impressive defenders. 

And the Old Gold went further behind on 71 minutes following yet another incisive raid.  A well-judged, long-range pass from Kurtis Byrne set Mullan racing free along the right touchline – he then fired a dangerous cross into the goalmouth where Cieslewicz, completely unhindered by any defender, had the time and space to easily head the ball past Idzi and into the back of the net.

Then on 79 minutes Town’s defence was again equally accommodating as TNS secured their sixth goal – the ball was fed through to Mullan on the right-wing and he surged forward before lifting an inviting cross deep into the goalmouth to find Draper who, with plenty of time and space, comfortably converted his close-range header.

Thankfully Carmarthen will not have to face teams as strong as the League Champions too often but, having scored just one goal in 270 minutes of football so far this season, it is abundantly clear that this aspect of their game has to be improved – and soon. 

Whether this can be rectified in their next WPL match on Saturday September 1st(k/o 2.30pm) at Richmond Park remains to be seen but, unhelpfully, this is against Cardiff Metropolitan University who currently occupy third place in the League table.  Worryingly, in the only three previous home League fixtures between these teams the Old Gold have failed to score on each occasion!        

Team:

Lee Idzi;  Luke Cummings;  Dave Vincent; Lee Surman;  Sean Hanbury;  Declan Carroll (sub Jordan Vickers 73);  Greg Walters (sub Jay Woodford 78);  Ceri Morgan; Mael Davies;  Luke Bowen (sub Craig Hanford 89);  Liam Thomas;

Unused subs:  Danny Thomas; Neil Smothers;  

Cards:  (Y)  Craig Hanford (90+2); 

 

WPL Matchday 2

 

Match Report – Carmarthen Town v Llandudno (18 August 2018)

Carmarthen Town (0)  Llandudno (0)

Carmarthen’s first Welsh Premier League match of the season at Richmond Park may have finished goal-less but it more than compensated for that failing by providing a highly entertaining display of attacking football between two well-matched sides that  produced plenty of goalmouth action and a host of scoring chances.    

From the outset the match quickly developed into a fast-paced, end-to-end affair with both sides looking to break forward at every opportunity.  And after only 3 minutes the visitors managed the first scoring chance when a poor clearance out of the Town defence went straight to Leo Smith who struck a sharp 20 yard drive which flew narrowly over the bar.

But Town responded positively with a series of penetrating counter-attacks, the most promising arising on 7 minutes when Greg Walters initiated a swift, incisive move from the half-way line – having won possession, he played a fine pass through to Luke Bowen who sent the ball out to Jordan Vickers and he raced forward along the right-wing before firing a searching cross deep into the goalmouth where Llandudno defender Ieuan Hewitt, under serious pressure from Bowen, headed the ball just marginally over his own bar to safety.

While the match continued to flow from end to end, for a spell the hosts created the better scoring opportunities largely due to the energy and vision of the midfield quartet Vickers, Mael Davies, Ceri Morgan and Declan Carroll – and they received valuable support from full-backs Luke Cummings and Aidan O’Kelly who eagerly broke forward along the flanks whenever possible.

And it was Davies, hugely impressing on his debut in the Old Gold colours, who engineered another fine chance in the 19thminute.  He took the ball off an opponent near the centre-circle then slipped a neat pass out to Bowen on the right-wing who delivered a measured cross into the penalty area where Liam Thomas released a smart curling shot that went around a defender but slid just wide of the far post.

Although the play remained quite evenly-balanced, Town again went close to taking the lead on 32 minutes when Walters, from well inside his own half, produced a sublime defence-splitting pass that sent Bowen surging towards the penalty area - having outpaced a defender, he struck a fierce drive beyond the reach of ‘keeper Shaun Pearson but saw the ball fly narrowly wide of the goal.

During this time Llandudno had continued to pose a threat with frequent penetrative raids and after 38 minutes they went close to taking the lead.  Following a corner-kick into the packed penalty area the ball reached Hewitt who produced a firm close-range header that defeated ‘keeper Lee Idzi but struck the foot of the post before Thomas, well-placed on the goal-line, cleared the danger. 

Yet the Old Gold produced the final chance of the first-half in the 43rdminute when Lee Surman began a fine sweeping move from deep in defence by firing the ball forward to O’Kelly – he, in turn, sent it neatly across to Thomas, just outside the penalty area, who hit a rasping strike that took a slight deflection off a defender, enough to send the ball marginally wide of the goal.

After the interval the opening period was fairly quiet and uneventful with the play confined to the midfield.  But the game came to life once more when on 60 minutes a superbly measured long pass from Carroll set Bowen racing clear into the penalty area who was denied only by Pearson’s sharp reactions, diving quickly down to claim the ball at the striker’s feet. 

Shortly afterwards, Cummings sent a long cross-field pass to Carroll and he instantly set up a fine chance for Davies who from 20 yards dispatched a stunning angled drive that flew just narrowly beyond the far post.

Immediately Llandudno responded – Hewitt broke forward into the penalty area and hit a fierce shot that took a deflection off a defender which Idzi, demonstrating impressive reflexes, turned aside at full length.

But then in the 79thminute the game, which had been competitive but nothing worse or unusual, suddenly erupted when a confrontation involving several players from both sides arose.  Once that had calmed down, there was a further delay while O’Kelly, prostrate on the ground with a seemingly bad injury, received lengthy treatment before being helped off the field.

The closing stages of the match were, by contrast, fairly uneventful.  While both sides pressed forward in search of a late winning goal, the only decent chance arose on 86 minutes when Walters embarked on a strong run from the half-way line before playing the ball out wide to Carroll – he sent an inviting cross into the crowded goalmouth only to see Pearson smartly punch the ball clear to deny strikers Thomas and Bowen, both close by, a golden scoring opportunity. 

So the Old Gold, while certainly showing distinct improvement in terms of their overall performances, are still searching for that elusive victory to help boost their prospects for a better and more productive opening period of the WPL programme than they experienced last year.  Their next match on Saturday 25thAugust (k/o 2.30pm) would be a good, if unlikely, time to start – they visit perpetual League champions The New Saints.

Then on the following Tuesday (28thAugust k/o 7.45pm) at Richmond Park they entertain Welsh League side Goytre in the Nathaniel MG League Cup 1stRound.                       

Team:

Lee Idzi;  Luke Cummings;  Greg Walters; Lee Surman;  Aidan O’Kelly (sub Jay Woodford 85);  Jordan Vickers (sub Sean Hanbury 71);  Mael Davies;  Ceri Morgan; Declan Carroll;  Luke Bowen;  Liam Thomas;

Unused subs:  Dave Vincent; Craig Hanford;  

Cards:  (Y)  Luke Cummings (85);  Aidan O’Kelly (85); 

 

 

 

WPL Matchday 1

 

 

Match Report – Bala v Carmarthen Town (10 August 2018)

Bala (2) Carmarthen Town (1)

 

Carmarthen began the new Welsh Premier League season with a very tough encounter against Bala who only a few weeks ago were playing in the Europa League, having finished fourth in the WPL last season – and, in addition, over the summer they have strengthened their squad by signing several experienced players.

From the outset the match soon developed into a fast-paced, end-to-end affair although, with both defences looking quite secure, no serious early scoring chances arose.  Bala were clearly enjoying the greater share of possession and territorial advantage but the Old Gold were quick to launch a series of counter-attacks, exploiting the pace and mobility of strikers Luke Bowen and Liam Thomas.

And it was the visitors, on 12 minutes, who first went close when Aidan O’Kelly played the ball across to Thomas who sent an inviting cross towards the far side of the goalmouth where Jordan Vickers, from a difficult angle, volleyed into the side-netting.

However the hosts straightaway responded with a spell of sustained pressure and after 19 minutes Henry Jones fired a long free-kick into the crowded penalty area only to see Anthony Miley, from a good position, direct his close-range header over the bar.

But in open play Carmarthen’s defence, and in particular the central pairing of Lee Surman and Greg Walters, presented stern resistance and ensured that ‘keeper Lee Idzi was never seriously tested during this spell.

And once again, they were near to opening the scoring when on 25 minutes, from a swift counter-attack led by Luke Cummings, they won a free-kick by the right touchline – Tyrrell Webbe’s searching delivery reached Thomas, rising high above defenders, but from close-range he sent his glancing header just wide of the post.

The earlier pattern of play continued with Bala, despite their possession and attacking flair, looking unlikely to score - meanwhile Town, with a series of counter-attacks, were sadly not sufficiently clinical when opportunities arose.

It seemed that the game needed a moment of something special to break the deadlock and bring it to life – and in the 36thminute Henry Jones provided just that.  He raced into the penalty area, slipped effortlessly past O’Kelly then from close to the by-line produced a remarkable piece of footwork to cross the ball to the far post where Steven Tames arrived, completely unmarked, to send his close-range header into the roof of the net.

The only other notable scoring chance in the first-half arose on 44 minutes when Jones struck a fierce long-range free-kick that Idzi carefully watched slide just outside the post.

After the interval Bala began confidently – but despite enjoying spells of possession, they achieved very little due to the continuing determined resistance of the Old Gold defence.  Town, meanwhile, once more relied on swift, incisive counter-attacking and they went close to snatching an equaliser in the 66thminute when Vickers broke away from the midfield before sending a fine pass through to Bowen who took the ball into the penalty area then struck a rasping angled drive that flew narrowly wide of the post.

Shortly afterwards, the visitors again threatened the Lakesiders’ goal.  From the centre-circle Thomas began a delightful sweeping move when he sent the ball across to Ceri Morgan who in turn slid it out to Webbe as he surged along the left-wing – he then fired a dangerous cross into the goalmouth where Bowen planted his close-range header just beyond the far post.

However that brief spell of Carmarthen pressure was abruptly terminated on 67 minutes when Tames won possession of the ball well outside the penalty area then raced forward and released a smart 20 yard shot that went beyond Idzi’s reach and into the corner of the net.

Stung by that further setback the Old Gold straightaway pressed forward with greater frequency and intensity with influential midfielder Morgan, at his competitive best, always at the heart of the action.

After 69 minutes Bowen surged forward, shrugging off his marker, to reach the penalty area then struck a stunning drive that ‘keeper Ashley Morris resisted with a sharp, reflex save.

Yet with the visitors now pouring upfield more often, their defence began to look more vulnerable – a situation that Bala sought to exploit with occasional counter-attacks.  And on 80 minutes they should have gone further ahead. Kieran Smith took possession off Walters near to the by-line then slid the ball invitingly across the face of the goal where Tames, just two yards out and completely alone, contrived to stab it wide.

That seemed to spur the Old Gold into even greater efforts in their search for a goal – and in the 84thminute their persistence was rewarded.  Bowen played a wonderful pass through to Thomas who raced forward into the penalty area – then as Morris came out of his goal to challenge him, Town’s top scorer neatly threaded the ball across to Sean Hanbury who had the simple task of tapping it into the back of the empty net.

Now, for the first time in the match, Bala were pinned back on defence in a desperate effort to protect their slender lead as Carmarthen swept forward relentlessly.  And on 87 minutes they were close to conceding a second goal.  Webbe raced along the left flank then sent the ball forward to Bowen who fired a dangerous cross deep into the packed goalmouth, eventually reaching Thomas who, sadly, saw his close-range effort cleared off the goal-line by a defender.

But that was the final thrilling moment of an entertaining match – and despite this defeat the Old Gold can be satisfied with their overall performance against a strong, experienced side that will surely be again challenging for honours this season, just as they have done over recent seasons.

Town’s next match is at Richmond Park on Saturday 18thAugust (k/o 2.30pm) when Llandudno make the long journey south for a WPL fixture.      

Team:

Lee Idzi;  Luke Cummings;  Greg Walters; Lee Surman;  Tyrrell Webbe;  Jordan Vickers (sub Sean Hanbury 73);  Declan Carroll;  Ceri Morgan; Aidan O’Kelly;  Luke Bowen;  Liam Thomas;

Unused subs:  Dave Vincent; Craig Hanford;  Jay Woodford;       

Cards:  (Y) Greg Walters (7); 

Goal:  Sean Hanbury (84); 

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