At­tack­ers on song, but a worry at back for Old Gold


Llanelli Star - - SOCCER -

CAR­MARTHEN Town and Bri­ton Ferry Llan­sawel com­bined to pro­duce a feast of goals, a stream of fast counter-at­tack­ing and plenty of goal­mouth ac­tion.

And while Town’s im­pres­sive haul of seven goals was en­tirely mer­ited – in­deed there could eas­ily have been more – their de­fend­ing was far from con­vinc­ing. And that is a worry with the start of the Welsh Premier League loom­ing on the horizon.

Town dom­i­nated the early stages, with mid­field­ers Ceri Mor­gan, Lewis Har­ling and Chris Jones, well sup­ported by new­comer El­liott Scotcher, en­joy­ing a lot of pos­ses­sion and look­ing to ex­ploit the pace and move­ment of strik­ers Liam Thomas and Josh Bull.

And it was no surprise that the Old Gold took the lead on 10 min­utes. Jor­dan Knott sent a long pass up­field where Bull cap­i­talised on the hes­i­tancy of two de­fend­ers and raced into the penalty area, only to be brought down by a clumsy chal­lenge from keeper Conor McFen­ton. Thomas com­fort­ably con­verted the spot-kick.

Mo­ments later, Jones fired the ball across the edge of the area to find Scotcher, whose 15-yard drive beat McFen­ton but crashed against the foot of the post and bounced safely away.

Town in­creased their lead with a move that cov­ered the length of the field. From a Bri­ton Ferry free­kick, keeper Lee Idzi claimed the ball in his goal­mouth and quickly threw it up­field to Thomas. He threaded an ex­cel­lent pass to Bull, who took the ball into the area, slipped smoothly around McFen­ton and fired it into an empty net.

Car­marthen con­tin­ued to press the home de­fence and Jones de­liv­ered an invit­ing cross into the area where Scotcher sent a header be­yond the reach of McFen­ton but marginally wide of the post.

Yet that dis­ap­point­ment was reme­died in the 27th minute when the ex­pe­ri­enced mid­fielder fired a cor­ner deep into the area to Greg Walters, whose rasp­ing drive flew into the far cor­ner of the goal.

How­ever, the FAW Cham­pi­onship South side were soon re­warded for their per­sis­tence, al­beit with a fair amount of as­sis­tance from a strangely static Town de­fence. Former Old Gold striker Mark Jones made a strong run to meet a cor­ner and from close range he headed it pow­er­fully past Idzi and into the roof of the net while de­fend­ers stood still.

But the Old Gold put that set­back be­hind them as Bull again demon­strated his speed and mo­bil­ity, burst­ing along the left flank and into the area where he ef­fort­lessly went past two bewil­dered de­fend­ers be­fore be­ing brought down by a third. The spot-kick was sum­mar­ily dis­patched by Thomas.

Four first-half goals were clearly not enough for Town and they went close to snatch­ing an­other on 44 min­utes when Jor­dan Vick­ers made a strong run along the right be­fore cross­ing the ball into the area where Thomas held off a de­fender, then struck a fierce drive that McFen­ton, at full length, turned past the post.

Mo­ments later Mor­gan’s im­pres­sive long-range strike was kept out with an­other fly­ing save by the over­worked keeper.

Af­ter the in­ter­val, and sev­eral sub­sti­tu­tions, Town took some time to set­tle and the hosts cap­i­talised with their first no­table spell of pres­sure.

Idzi did well to turn a lon­grange shot over the bar in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion and soon af­ter­wards Luke Jones broke clear from half­way and raced into the area be­fore side-step­ping the on­rush­ing Idzi, but his an­gled drive hit the post and bounced away.

Ferry were de­servedly re­warded for their ef­forts when Car­marthen de­fend­ers again failed to deal with a rou­tine cross, al­low­ing it to reach Jones at the far side of the goal­mouth and he cap­i­talised by di­rect­ing a firm header past Idzi.

The Old Gold be­gan to coun­ter­at­tack with more pur­pose and pen­e­tra­tion and on 64 min­utes they ex­tended their lead.

Knott fired a search­ing pass along the left which Luke Bowen ea­gerly pur­sued, and he clev­erly went round sub­sti­tute keeper Ryan Flem­ing be­fore slot­ting the ball into the empty net.

And they went fur­ther ahead when Gwion How­ell drove the ball across the edge of the area where Jay Wood­ford struck a smart drive that Flem­ing was pow­er­less to re­sist.

Yet the hosts were still caus­ing Town’s de­fence prob­lems and they snatched an­other goal on 76 min­utes when an­other deep cross was al­lowed to reach Jones, who stabbed the ball home at the far post.

The Old Gold re­sponded im­me­di­ately as Lee Sur­man’s pow­er­ful close-range header rat­tled the bar.

But the fi­nal sig­nif­i­cant ac­tion in this 10-goal feast arose when the ball reached Walters on the right, and his cross to the far post was fired home by Bowen.

Luke Bowen scored twice.

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