OLD GOLD BAG CRU­CIAL POINT

Llanelli Star - - Soccer And Snooker -

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.

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