Llanelli Star - - Soccer -

FOL­LOW­ING their sec­ond-half ca­pit­u­la­tion at Aberys­t­wyth Town, the Reds fared no bet­ter at Maes Tegid on Satur­day, ship­ping a fur­ther three goals.

More per­ti­nently, they had two play­ers sent off, putting even more pres­sure on their thinly-stretched squad prior to the visit of The New Saints on Fri­day even­ing.

Scott Tan­cock and Kur­tis March were dis­missed by ref­eree Gavin Townsend af­ter two cau­tions apiece, but even with a full com­ple­ment it had proved dif­fi­cult for the vis­i­tors against op­po­nents who were quicker in thought and deed.

The Reds be­gan the con­test brightly enough, with James Loveridge forc­ing ex-Llanelli keeper Ashley Mor­ris to push his near-post ef­fort around the up­right, and when the corner came across, a loop­ing Joe Clarke header over Mor­ris was headed off the line by An­thony Mi­ley.

Llanelli con­tin­ued in this vein, with Mark Jones di­rect­ing his header over the top from a Cai Smith de­liv­ery, be­fore the home side be­gan to find their rhythm, with a corner from Nathan Burke be­ing headed on to the roof of the net by Mike Hayes.

Hav­ing grad­u­ally es­tab­lished their dom­i­nance, Bala then struck twice in as many min­utes.

The first came in the 21st minute when a move up the left cul­mi­nated in Steven Tames be­ing found and he fired low across goal­keeper Oliver Davies into the far corner.

Be­fore the vis­i­tors had time to draw breath, they found them­selves fur­ther be­hind on 23 min­utes when Burke un­leashed a shot which car­ried lit­tle venom. Davies should have done bet­ter than to al­low it to squirm out of his grasp and trickle over the line.

Stunned by these set­backs, the Reds nev­er­the­less still posed a threat on the counter, and fol­low­ing a sweep­ing move, Chris Jones had his shot charged down. The re­bound fell into the path of Loveridge but he screwed his fin­ish wide and the dan­ger was cleared.

When the hosts pushed for­ward, Hayes volleyed frac­tion­ally over the top of the goal, be­fore be­ing in­stru­men­tal in send­ing a ball across the face of goal which Henry Jones just failed to meet.

Eight min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod the vis­i­tors were re­duced to 10 men when Tan­cock re­ceived his sec­ond cau­tion, mak­ing their task of tak­ing some­thing out of the con­test even more dif­fi­cult.

Davies did well to get down to clutch a well-struck at­tempt by Jones, be­fore the Reds were thrown an un­likely life­line with the award of a penalty on the hour fol­low­ing a chal­lenge for a high ball in the box be­tween Mor­ris and Mark Jones.

Ref­eree Townsend ruled that the striker had been fouled and showed a yel­low card to the home keeper.

Chris Jones eas­ily found the net to bring his side back into con­tention, and when Smith made a run up the left, he found Loveridge at the near post but his ef­fort was forced over for a corner.

The home side re­tal­i­ated, and Hayes again went close with a vol­ley fol­low­ing a surg­ing run by Burns, and with the game now tilt­ing back in their favour, they wrapped up mat­ters af­ter 72 min­utes when a great through ball from Sean Smith played in Tames, who shot be­yond the on­com­ing Davies to notch up his brace de­spite the des­per­ate ef­forts of Ross Jones to keep it out.

The vis­i­tors were by now wilt­ing, al­though Jones went close again when Ian Sheri­dan set up the op­por­tu­nity.

Six min­utes from time, events got even worse for the Reds with the dis­missal of March af­ter a scyth­ing tackle on Burke, and the fi­nal act came when Davies did well to grab the ball at the feet of Tames when he col­lected a chip into the area.

With their next op­po­nents, cham­pi­ons The New Saints, due at Ste­bon­heath on Fri­day even­ing (7.45pm), the Reds man­age­ment have much to pon­der. BALA TOWN: Mor­ris, Burns, Smith, Mi­ley, Stu­art J. Jones, Burke (capt), H. Jones, Gos­set (Valen­tine 88), Pear­son, Tames, Hayes (Sheri­dan 71). Subs not used: Charles, Ed­wards, J. Jones, Fisher, Stu­art Jones. LLANELLI TOWN: O. Davies, R. Jones, Smith, Tan­cock, C. Thomas, Clarke, March, J. Davies (J. Jones 81), C. Jones, M. Jones (Kha­ton 90+2), Loveridge (Fol­lows 76). Subs not used: Nel­son, Evans, Jenk­ins, Rees (GK). SCOR­ERS: Bala Town — Tames 21, 72, Burke 23. Llanelli Town — C. Jones (pen) 60.

YEL­LOW CARDS: Bala Town — Hayes, H. Jones. Llanelli Town — Tan­cock (2), Clarke, Loveridge, March (2). RED CARDS: Llanelli Town — Tan­cock, March.

REF­EREE: Gavin Townsend (Swansea).

Pic­ture: Phil Davies

John­stown’s Bradley Arnold goes close to scor­ing for his side dur­ing their visit to Pem­brey in the Car­marthen­shire League. The match ended 1-1.

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