TOWN ENJOY A PERFECT FINISH
WHAT a way to finish the season.
Carmarthen Town produced an outstanding performance laced with spells of exhilarating attacking football and clinical finishing to comfortably secure their highest score of their JD Welsh Premier League season.
From the outset, despite appalling weather, the match developed into an entertaining end-to-end affair played at a frantic pace.
And in only the second minute the Seasiders created a chance when Steffan Edwards made a strong run along the left, then fired the ball into the penalty area where Niall Coleridge struck a crisp shot that slid just wide of the far post.
However, Town were quick to respond and in the fifth minute they took the lead. Ceri Morgan threaded a fine pass through to Mael Davies, who raced to the edge of the area but saw his drive blocked by keeper Terry McCormick. But the ball was played back into the crowded goalmouth where Jordan Knott stabbed it past McCormick and into the net.
Davies then delivered a dangerous cross into the area where Liam Thomas cleverly allowed it to reach Luke Cummings, but the makeshift striker, in for the absent Luke Bowen, fired the ball high over the bar.
Moments later Greg Walters sent Cummings sprinting clear towards the edge of the area but his attempt to lob the ball over the advancing McCormick was too weak, allowing the experienced keeper to easily claim possession.
Aberystwyth were still an occasional threat on the counter-attack and on 16 minutes Geoff Kellaway sent in a searching cross, only for Paolo Mendes to slide the ball narrowly wide of the near post.
At the other end of the pitch another cross from the increasingly influential Davies led to a goalmouth scramble which finished with Thomas producing a goalbound effort that McCormick somehow managed to divert around the post.
But in the 28th minute the visitors drew level. Wes Baynes, from wide on the right, fired a long cross into the area which defenders Lee Surman, Dave Vincent and Knott failed to deal with. Mendes pounced on the ball and dispatched a rasping drive past keeper Lee Idzi.
Baynes again disturbed the home defence with a cross into the area which reached Carwyn Morgan, but his strike was turned around the post by Idzi with an impressive fulllength save.
After the interval, with the dire conditions abating, Town took the initiative. And they regained the lead in the 51st minute when Craig Hanford fired a left-wing cross into the goalmouth where Ceri Morgan arrived with perfect timing to direct his close-range header just inside the far post.
Carmarthen continued to hold the initiative with a series of promising attacks before the club’s alltime top scorer Liam Thomas stamped his authority on proceedings. He began by cutting in from the right and sending the ball across to Davies, whose shot was kept out by McCormick.
Moments later Thomas again burst forward along the right, slipped effortlessly past a defender then played the ball back to Morgan, whose shot defeated McCormick but slid marginally wide of the post.
The roles were reversed when Morgan, with a sublime pass, set Thomas racing into the area. He neatly evaded a defender and from 10 yards fired the ball beyond McCormick’s reach and into the back of the net.
The Old Gold continued their blitz on the Aberystwyth defence and soon extended their lead when substitute Declan Carroll enjoyed a slick exchange of passes with Cummings, then crossed into the goalmouth where Thomas planted his close-range header into the roof of the net.
Straight after the restart Town surged forward once again. While Knott overhit his right-wing cross, Cummings astutely hooked the ball back into the goalmouth where Thomas was perfectly positioned to head home his third and Carmarthen’s fifth goal, a hat-trick scored within the space of just six minutes.
But the Old Gold and Thomas were still not satisfied. On 69 minutes the in-form striker sprinted along the right, then moved into the penalty area before sliding the ball invitingly towards Carroll, who sweetly volleyed it past the increasingly overwhelmed McCormick and into the back of the net.
To their credit the Seasiders were still pressing forward whenever possible and after 72 minutes they managed to secure a consolation goal when Jamie McDaid moved inside from the right and sent a curling shot beyond the reach of Idzi and into the net.
Carmarthen had not finished their search for goals and Knott began a promising attack from halfway with a smart pass forward to Carroll.
He returned the ball to the adventurous defender, who from 20 yards struck a fierce drive that McCormick turned around the post.
And that effectively concluded Town’s season, leaving supporters delighted with the spectacle they had just witnessed but, at the same time, curious as to why it had not happened more often earlier in the season.