REDS OUT AF­TER PENALTY MIS­ERY

BRI­TON FERRY....................1 LLANELLI TOWN.................1

Llanelli Star - - SOCCER -

LLANELLI Town’s in­ter­est in the Nathaniel MG Cup was brought to an early end when they were beaten by Bri­ton Ferry Llan­sawel af­ter a penalty shootout at the sec­ond-round stage,

Jor­dan Davies and Zac Brown both had their ef­forts kept out by home keeper Con­nah McFen­ton, with only James Loveridge net­ting, whereas Keiran Williams, Rory Healey, Mark Jones and De­clan Evans were all spot-on for the hosts.

The vis­i­tors had strength­ened their squad dur­ing the week with the ac­qui­si­tion of four play­ers, but they were in­el­i­gi­ble to play as their reg­is­tra­tions had not been fi­nalised, and with other mem­bers still away on hol­i­day the Reds’ start­ing line-up had a some­what cob­bled-to­gether look about it.

There were two new faces mak­ing a start, how­ever, in the shape of Brown and Jake Parry, and they both ac­quit­ted them­selves well and ap­pear to be use­ful sign­ings.

There were two ex-Llanelli play­ers in the home ranks, with Robert Thomas and Mark Jones up against their for­mer team-mates, and they were the first to threaten in the open­ing stages when Evans was put clear down the mid­dle be­fore be­ing de­nied by Scott Cough­lan in the Reds goal.

A lofted pass by An­thony Fin­sel­bach then gave Ross Jones sight of the Ferry goal, but he lifted his fin­ish over the top from 20 yards.

The vis­i­tors were guilty of con­ced­ing far too many free-kicks, al­low­ing their op­po­nents op­por­tu­ni­ties to di­rect the ball into the dan­ger area, with both Thomas and Williams forc­ing hur­ried clearances when these oc­curred.

The Reds goal sur­vived a close call when Jones met a Thomas de­liv­ery be­fore di­rect­ing his ef­fort across the face of goal, but no­body was able to take ad­van­tage and it ran harm­lessly out of play.

At the other end, Jones had an­other at­tempt charged down by two de­fend­ers, and with both sides can­celling each other out, goal­mouth ac­tion was limited.

Af­ter the break Ferry were again the first to threaten when a move up the left led to a ball di­rected low into the near post, which was scram­bled over for a corner.

The vis­i­tors hit back, with Liam Sa­muel see­ing his shot di­verted by Luke Har­ris for a corner af­ter he had been picked out by a Loveridge as­sist, be­fore they even­tu­ally broke the dead­lock on 55 min­utes.

Loveridge was again in­volved, this time finding Joe Clarke in the mid­dle on the run, and he lashed his fin­ish into the top corner.

The Reds’ ju­bi­la­tion was short­lived as within two min­utes Ferry were back on level terms through Cameron Har­ris, who forced the ball over the line from point-blank range af­ter Cough­lan had come out of his goal.

A col­li­sion be­tween McFen­ton and Jones when Jones pur­sued a ball into the box led to penalty ap­peals, but ref­eree Daniel Richard­son waved play on.

Gareth Davies came on as a re­place­ment for Luke Mor­gan, who had taken a knock, but again the vis­i­tors’ goal just sur­vived fol­low­ing a quick free-kick which cul­mi­nated in Evans hit­ting his shot nar­rowly wide.

Ross Hudson had come on for the hosts in place of name­sake War­ren, and al­most im­me­di­ately made an in­put by finding Har­ris, whose fierce shot was blocked by Cough­lan, who then also kept out the re­bound.

A quick turn by Jones in the Llanelli box led to his shot re­bound­ing off the bar fol­low­ing yet an­other free­kick, and the tie ended with the home side on the of­fen­sive.

As it was, the con­test had to be de­cided by a penalty shootout, in which the vis­i­tors were de­cid­edly sec­ond best, gift­ing their op­po­nents a pas­sage into the third round.

The Reds will be hop­ing for a bet­ter out­come when they be­gin their Cymru South league cam­paign on Fri­day evening at Ste­bon­heath with the visit of Pon­typridd Town. Kick-off is at 7.30pm. BRI­TON FERRY: McFen­ton, Baker, W Hudson (R Hudson 69), Healey (capt), L Har­ris, Thomas, C Har­ris, Williams, Jones, Tom­lin­son, Evans. Subs not used: Pugh-Be­van, Lake, Roberts, Yeap, Na­priella. LLANELLI TOWN: Cough­lan, Mor­gan (G Davies 66), Brown, Fin­sel­bach, Parry, Be­van (capt), Sa­muel, Jones, Clarke, J Davies, Loveridge. Subs not used: Thomas, Dyer, Howard, Rees (GK). SCORERS: Bri­ton Ferry Llan­sawel — C Har­ris 57. Llanelli Town — Clarke 55. YEL­LOW CARDS: Llanelli Town — Fin­sel­bach, Brown. REF­EREE: Daniel Richard­son. ATTENDANCE: 238.

Pic­ture: Keith Grif­fiths

Joe Clarke was on tar­get for Llanelli.

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