OLD GOLD RALLY TO CLAIM POINT

ABERYS­T­WYTH TOWN.......1 CAR­MARTHEN TOWN........1

Carmarthen Journal - - Soccer and Darts -

HAV­ING at last man­aged their first away vic­tory of the sea­son at Llan­dudno two weeks ago, Car­marthen trav­elled to Aberys­t­wyth hop­ing to se­cure three more valu­able points that would keep them clear of the Welsh Pre­mier League rel­e­ga­tion zone.

But af­ter a thor­oughly en­ter­tain­ing dis­play of fast-paced foot­ball, these old ri­vals de­servedly shared the points, just as they had done at Rich­mond Park in Septem­ber.

The Old Gold pro­duced a re­mark­able open­ing spell of at­tack­ing foot­ball and twice went close to tak­ing an early lead. Af­ter just two min­utes Luke Bowen headed the ball to­wards Liam Thomas just in­side the penalty area where it was cleared by a de­fender, but Luke Cum­mings col­lected the loose ball and struck a stun­ning 25-yard drive that keeper Terry Mc­Cormick turned around the post at full stretch.

Cum­mings was in­volved again when he fired a de­light­ful pass into the area to find Mael Davies. He headed the ball to Jor­dan Vick­ers and his pow­er­ful shot was punched clear by Mc­Cormick.

But the Seasiders soon be­gan to demon­strate why they are the WPL’s form team, hav­ing won their last five matches.

They soon be­gan to dom­i­nate mid­field and in the 10th minute they took the lead when Wes Baynes sent a dan­ger­ous cross into the goal­mouth and De­clan Walker ar­rived with per­fect tim­ing to plant his close-range header firmly past Town keeper Lee Idzi.

And they went close to ex­tend­ing that lead when Ash­ley Ru­ane cap­i­talised on Dave Vin­cent’s hes­i­tancy on the ball on the edge of the area, only to see his vol­ley kept out by a point­blank re­ac­tion save by Idzi.

Aberys­t­wyth con­tin­ued to con­trol the mid­field and put the vis­it­ing de­fence un­der pres­sure, yet the Old Gold’s ex­pe­ri­enced back-line of Lee Sur­man, Vin­cent and Jor­dan Knott looked sound and se­cure and ca­pa­bly re­sisted any se­ri­ous threat to their goal.

Alan Goodall saw his fierce vol­ley fly wide of the goal, then a Baynes cross from the right touch­line found Paolo Men­des in space, but he sent his close-range header over the bar.

What­ever in­struc­tions Car­marthen man­ager Neil Smoth­ers gave to his play­ers at half-time it cer­tainly made a huge dif­fer­ence as af­ter the in­ter­val the bal­ance of play changed sig­nif­i­cantly as the Old Gold be­gan to dom­i­nate pro­ceed­ings.

A Cum­mings drive from the wide edge of the area flew across the packed goal­mouth but went nar­rowly be­yond the far post.

How­ever, they lev­elled in the 55th minute. Davies made progress along the left be­fore slid­ing a neat pass to Sean Han­bury, who from the cor­ner of the area fired the ball to­wards the far side of the goal­mouth where Luke Bowen struck a vol­ley, and while this was blocked by Aber de­fender St­ef­fan Ed­wards, the ref­eree awarded a penalty hav­ing deemed that the ball 22, from Straus- had been han­dled.

Town’s top scorer Liam Thomas con­fi­dently drove the spot-kick into the cor­ner of the net.

Spurred on by that suc­cess, the vis­i­tors poured up­field with even greater pur­pose, driven to a no­table ex­tent by the en­ergy and vi­sion of mid­field­ers Davies, Cum­mings and De­clan Car­roll.

Their next chance came when Knott fired a long cross into the area where Bowen, in space, struck a pow­er­ful vol­ley nar­rowly over the bar.

The match con­tin­ued in a fairly un­event­ful fash­ion, with the Old Gold fre­quently driv­ing for­ward in search of a win­ning goal but fail­ing to pen­e­trate the res­o­lute home de­fence in any mean­ing­ful way. Aber, mean­while, man­aged a few oc­ca­sional counter-at­tacks, none of which gave Car­marthen’s de­fence any real cause for con­cern.

In­deed, the only no­table op­por­tu­nity dur­ing the clos­ing stages came in the 89th minute when Car­roll dis­patched an an­gled drive that Mc­Cormick su­perbly turned around the post.

The Old Gold can tem­po­rar­ily put aside their con­cerns about their WPL po­si­tion and con­cen­trate on progress in the Welsh Cup as on Satur­day they travel to Welsh League side Goytre United.

Caer­bryn Re­serves’ Leighton Price moves in on Bancf­fos­fe­len Re­serves’ Carl Gabriel­son in the Car­marthen­shire League. Pic­ture: Phil Davies.

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