REDS STUNNED BY 8-GOAL BLITZ
CARMARTHEN Town continued their pre-season programme with this stunning victory over local rivals Llanelli Town.
And what a performance it was. For long periods Town monopolised possession, particularly during the second half, while they frequently produced attractive, incisive approach play and impressive, clinical finishing.
Right at the start the Old Gold produced a move that offered a hint of how this game would evolve. Straight from kick-off, Ceri Morgan initiated a slick six-man passing sequence that finished with Elliott Scotcher, just outside the penalty area, releasing a rasping drive that flew narrowly wide of the post.
And after 12 minutes Town took the lead. Greg Walters made progress along the right before firing a cross into the area where Liam Thomas neatly played the ball back to Chris Jones, whose 20-yard shot was parried by keeper Scott Coughlan, only for the ball to roll into the net.
The Old Gold quickly began to dominate the midfield action where Scotcher, Lewis Harling, Morgan and Jones were particularly influential. And on 19 minutes they went close to extending their lead when Jones and
CARMARTHEN TOWN........8 LLANELLI TOWN.................0
Scotcher combined to set up Thomas, whose volley was turned around the post by Coughlan.
Although Llanelli occasionally managed to make decent progress beyond the halfway line, they looked unable to penetrate the Town defence in any meaningful way.
Yet in the 30th minute the visitors, for the first time in the match, posed a serious threat when Zac Brown fired an inviting cross to the far side of the goalmouth where Andy Hill rose above defenders, only to direct his firm header over the bar.
This would prove to be Llanelli’s only notable scoring effort.
Carmarthen quickly regained their earlier control with the significant action contained in the visitors’ half of the pitch.
And another delightful sequence of passes ended with Harling sliding the ball infield to Jones, whose 35yard drive was well claimed by Coughlan.
Jones was involved again when his right-wing cross was met by Thomas, but his subtle glancing header went narrowly outside the far post.
But moments later the Old Gold were rewarded for their first-half dominance when Gwion Howell sent a fine pass upfield that Jordan Knott pursued. And his ball into the area was met by Scotcher, whose powerful volley flew beyond Coughlan’s reach and into the top corner of the net.
After the interval Town re-asserted their hold on the match, yet this time there was the added bonus of more accomplished finishing.
They extended the lead when Jones split the Llanelli defence with an excellent pass that sent second-half substitute Josh Bull racing towards the area. As Coughlan advanced out of his goal, the young striker neatly took the ball around the stranded keeper and fired it from a sharp angle into the empty net.
Soon afterwards Carmarthen went further ahead when Walters cut inside to the edge of the area and produced a superb curling shot that sailed beyond Coughlan’s reach and into the corner of the goal.
After 63 minutes Knott won the ball on the left touchline and quickly sent it forward to Bull just inside the area. He set up a chance for Thomas, but his 15-yard strike slid wide of the far post.
But another goal arrived when Jordan Vickers embarked on a strong run along the right before firing an inviting cross into the goalmouth where Howell arrived with perfect timing to sweep the ball past Coughlan and into the net.
And moments later the ball was back in there again. Morgan delivered a sublime long pass to Jones on the left flank and the ex-Llanelli midfielder quickly moved inside to the edge of the area before unleashing a rasping shot that flew into the goal.
Yet still the Old Gold were not satisfied. Jay Woodford slid a fine pass to Bull, who comfortably outpaced his marker to reach the area, then struck a fierce drive that defeated Coughlan and finished in the back of the net.
Town’s eighth and final goal arrived in the 89th minute. Morgan freed Bull on the left and he drove an inviting cross towards the goalmouth where Howell again applied the final touch to ensure that the ball was once more soon nestled in the back of the net.
Carmarthen’s pre-season programme comes to an end on Saturday when they make the trip to Cinderford (3pm).
Their first game in the Welsh Premier League is on Friday, August 16, when they make the trip to Aberystwyth.
Carmarthen Town’s Gwion Howell, pictured playing against Swansea City Under-23s, scored two late goals against Llanelli Town. Picture: Phil Davies