CULLEN’S LATE GOAL ENDS TOWN HOPES OF A FINE SCALP
CARMARTHEN TOWN........1 SWANSEA CITY U23S..........1
CARMARTHEN Town produced an impressive performance against Swansea City’s under-23 team and were only denied victory by a late goal by the Championship club’s youngsters.
Remarkably this was achieved with a relatively weakened squad, since experienced players Lee Idzi, Lewis Harling, Luke Bowen and Jordan Knott were all absent.
Yet during the opening stages that outcome seemed highly unlikely as Swansea proceeded to monopolise possession and dominate play as they launched a series of attacks that kept the Town defence under pressure.
And they went close to opening the scoring when Kieran Evans played the ball forward along the right flank to Liam Cullen, who crossed it into the penalty area where an unnamed triallist struck a fierce 15-yard drive that Jordan Vickers blocked in front of goal.
But gradually the Old Gold began competing more effectively in midfield and showed some welcome signs of attacking intent.
Vickers made progress along the right before sending a long pass through to Josh Bull near the corner of the area. He slid the ball to Chris Jones and his shot was palmed against the underside of the bar by keeper Steven Benda before he recovered to claim the ball on the line.
Then Greg Walters, effectively deployed in a defensive role, was instrumental in Town’s next scoring effort. He fired a long free-kick to the far side of the area to Jay Woodford, who neatly set the ball up for Liam Thomas only for the club’s all-time top scorer to see his 15-yard drive blocked on the line.
The Old Gold once more went close after 24 minutes when Jones produced a superb pass that set Thomas racing clear into the area, but he was denied when Benda came quickly out of his goal to smother the striker’s effort.
However, Carmarthen were soon rewarded for their spirited recovery having withstood the visitors’ early domination. Elliott Scotcher threaded a delightful pass to Bull, who burst into the area and, as Benda advanced from his goal, the striker calmly drove the ball past the stranded keeper and into the empty net.
A further spell of Swansea pressure was successfully resisted by the home defence, well marshalled by the experienced central pairing of Lee Surman and Dave Vincent, before Town launched another promising attack in the closing moments of the first half.
It came as they fashioned a stunning five-man passing move, initiated by Ceri Morgan in the centre circle and finishing with Woodford firing a cross deep into the area where Bull headed the ball over Benda’s outstretched arms but saw the ball clip the bar and bounce safely behind.
After the interval, the pattern of play developed in much the same way as in the first half with the visitors methodically building pressure and probing the Carmarthen defence, but with no tangible success.
The first notable threat arose on 64
Carmarthen Town’s Liam Thomas battles with Swansea’s Tivonee Rushesha.