QUAY PILE THE MISERY ON REDS
CONNAH’S QUAY.................6 LLANELLI TOWN.................0
A FULLSTRENGTH Llanelli Town side were blitzed 7-0 at Stebonheath on the opening day of the season by their opponents, and they suffered a similar fate when they made the return journey to Deeside Stadium — with one crucial difference.
With his squad decimated through injury, suspensions and other factors, manager Andy Hill was left with just 12 players for the trip north, with only Oliver Davies, Scott Tancock, Chris Jones, Jordan Davies, Reasat Khaton and Tristan Jenkins involved in the original match, with the latter trio occupying the bench that day.
Further weakened by the absence of James Loveridge, Jordan Follows and Carlos Indja, back-up goalkeeper Kai Rees was named as the sole substitute, and even he was pressed into action as an outfield player when Khaton was forced off injured in the second half, although they were boosted by the introduction of Michael George, who made his debut on loan from Barry Town United.
A powerful home side containing a number of former TNS players, with some also on full-time contracts, were on the front foot from the outset, forcing their opponents into some desperate defending.
The first threat arose when a long throw by Andrew Owens into the box was met by Callum Morris, but he was just off target.
Morris then turned provider when his pass found Michael Wilde, but his shot took a deflection for a corner.
A rare counter by the visitors involving Jenkins and George led to Davies attempting a strike, but it was blocked by James Owen.
Nomads continued to dictate matters, with both Michael Bakare and Michael Parker going close, but it took the award of a penalty after 20 minutes for the opening score.
It stemmed from a cross to the back post which was headed goalwards and adjudged to have been handled on the line by Jamie Owen. Morris slotted the spot-kick into the bottom corner.
Scenting there were more goals in the offing, the home pressure was relentless, with Owen firing narrowly wide before they increased the lead on the half hour through Bakare, who seized on a long kick by goalkeeper John Danby before holding off a couple of defenders to unleash a shot beyond Davies.
Damage limitation appeared to be the only hope for the Reds, but this was more easily said than done as they were forced back into some frantic defending.
The hosts were somehow unable to find the killer touch, while Davies made a great save to turn over a Wilde attempt at the near post from a Laurence Wilson corner.
With half-time approaching, the visitors were probably hoping they could go in at the break just two down, but in the space of a minute these hopes were shattered when the contest was put beyond doubt by a couple more goals.
Parker set up Wilde for a closerange finish on 39 minutes, and Owens headed home at the far post moments later.
To their credit, despite being run ragged and pulled all over the pitch by their opponents, the Reds stuck to their task as best they could but were not helped when Khaton was injured after 54 minutes, with Rees taking his place.
It was becoming increasingly obvious that the Nomads were anxious to notch up as many goals as possible, and inevitably they did just that on 61 minutes through Owens, who got his second by heading in a Bakare delivery, while Davies did well to clutch a well-struck shot from Wilde on the line.
The visitors then created about their only real chance when Jones got free up the left before finding George in midfield, but his finish on the run was safely held by Danby.
When the Nomads pushed forward again, Davies brought off two superb saves in quick succession to deny both Wilde and Owens, but he was beaten again a minute from time when a cross low to the far post by Rob Hughes gave Wilde the chance to also notch up a brace and complete another forgettable afternoon for the visitors.
With some of the suspended players scheduled to return, the Reds will be hoping for a more positive outcome from a tricky away trip on Sat- urday when they face Newtown, who are having a decent season. A coach will leave Stebonheath at 10.30am.
Carmarthen Town United’s Rhodri Williams moves in on Llangennech’s Lewis Williams in division two of the Carmarthenshire League. Llangennech won 4-1. Picture: Phil Davies.