OLD GOLD BAG CRUCIAL POINT
CARMARTHEN Town entered the Christmas period on a high as they claimed a creditable draw at Newtown.
The hosts began the match in fourth place in the Welsh Premier League, but the Old Gold deservedly claimed a valuable share of the points after a determined and disciplined performance, particularly in defence.
In the early stages the play switched quickly from end to end, but no scoring chances emerged.
Gradually Newtown began to enjoy the greater share of possession and put increasing pressure on the visiting defence, but they were rocked on 30 minutes when Town surprisingly took the lead.
Following a swift counter-attack the ball reached Luke Bowen in the goalmouth but he was tripped by a defender. Liam Thomas confidently converted the spot-kick
Carmarthen soon went close to increasing their lead with a flurry of chances. Bowen’s fierce volley was superbly saved by the keeper who then blocked Dave Vincent’s closerange header, while another header from Thomas was cleared off the goal-line.
Yet after further spell of Newtown pressure they deservedly drew level on 42 minutes. A left-wing cross was claimed by Nick Rushton who from 10 yards sent his glancing header into the net.
After the interval the hosts launched a series of penetrating attacks that put the Carmarthen defence under prolonged pressure, but through some resolute – and sometimes desperate – defending backed up by several outstanding saves from keeper Lee Idzi, they withstood that onslaught.
Then having spent most of the second period inside their own half, Town went close to snatching a winning goal in the final minutes. Following a free-kick Lee Surman sent a close-range volley over the bar, then after a goalmouth scramble the ball was cleared off the line.
Crucially, this precious point puts Carmarthen further ahead of the two teams occupying the relegation places.
And thew Old Gold face one of those sides, Llanelli Town, in two games over Christmas, with the first at Stebonheath Park on Boxing Day.
Celtic Opticians, Chilly Drinks and Bangz Barbers have sponsored training tops for Peniel Panthers Under-12s.