REDS FIND LUCK IS AGAINST THEM
SEVEN games into their return to the JD Welsh Premier League, Llanelli Town have accumulated just four points from a win and a draw.
They have gone down to defeat in their other five matches and find themselves rooted to the foot of the table.
The main problem for manager Andy Hill and his coaching staff is that they are unable to pick a settled side from one week to another, with players missing for a variety of reasons, leading to a lack of cohesion with those selected on the field.
Missing another clutch of players for the visit to the Oval, the Llanelli bench consisted entirely of academy players, who, while talented at their own level, are hardly ready to be thrust into the high-level expectations of the league — literally boys against men.
In addition, when a team are struggling it seems inevitable that fate will conspire against them, and the visitors’ debutant, Daniel Alfei, lasted just 25 minutes before being injured and having to be replaced.
The hosts were on top from the outset, with the first threat coming from Jamie Breese when it took a good tackle by Ross Jones to halt his run into the box.
Danny Brookwell was a constant threat down the Canaries’ left and twice forced Oliver Davies in the Reds goal to keep out his attempts.
A Nathan Craig free-kick sailed just over the visitors’ bar, and the home side continued to call the tune, with their opponents struggling to establish a foothold in the game.
Davies again did well to deny Craig when he unleashed a fierce strike from distance, before the visitors at last managed to launch a rare attack when Alfei sent Chris Jones clear but Alex Ramsay in the home goal blocked his shot.
Brookwell and Breese then combined to set up another home foray, with Davies again diverting the latter’s finish for a corner.
Alfei was forced off and replaced by Anthony Nelson to further aggravate the Reds’ problems, and they almost conceded when a free-kick by Craig deflected off the wall and went fractionally wide of the goal.
It was a case of putting up a dogged defensive display to keep the hosts at bay, and to their credit the Reds achieved this objective up to the break.
However, it was almost inevitable that Caernarfon would achieve a breakthrough, and two goals in 10 minutes sealed Llanelli’s fate.
The opener arrived on 59 minutes when a move into the area culminated in a couple of blocked attempts before Brookwell took full advantage of a rebound to send his finish low inside the far post.
It was no more than the home side deserved, and their lead was extended in the 69th minute through some shambolic defending by their opponents, who had ample opportunity to clear the danger but instead allowed Breese to gain possession before rounding Davies and slotting into an empty net.
A brief Reds revival led to Chris Jones lofting a cross to the far post where it was met by Joe Clarke, but his downward header was scrambled out of the goalmouth to safety.
With the clock running down, the Canaries completed the scoring four minutes from time through Cai Jones, who had only been on the field for two minutes, when he met a ball into the area before swivelling quickly to send his shot beyond Davies.
With the contest already beyond them, the visitors did mount a couple of late challenges when a poor kick by Ramsey let in James Loveridge, but he was crowded out before he could unleash his effort.
In stoppage time Lenny Evans made a run down the middle before testing Ramsey, who only managed to deflect it out, but again Loveridge was unable to take advantage.
The final result was again a disappointment for the Reds, though they can have few complaints as they were outplayed for much of the game, but they must persevere and hope the tide will turn in their favour as they must avoid losing touch with the teams around them.
They have an opportunity to do just that this Friday with the visit of Newtown to Stebonheath. Kick-off is at 8pm at the request of Newtown.
Llanelli Park Rangers’ Chris James and Drefach’s Darren Baker go for the ball in their Carmarthenshire League division two clash. Drefach won 6-1.