Llanelli Star - - SOCCER -

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

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