OLD GOLD SEAL CUP PROGRESS
CARMARTHEN Town began their formal season with this ultimately comfortable victory over Cymru South side Cwmamman United in the Nathaniel MG Cup.
But due largely to their failure to capitalise on a host of first-half scoring opportunities, the result was still in doubt until quite late in the game.
Town’s starting line-up had a fairly familiar appearance to that of last season, with midfielders Chris Jones and Elliot Scotcher the only new signings.
Both made an immediate impact as Town dominated the early proceedings as they poured forward, putting the visitors’ defence under sustained pressure.
The first decent scoring chance arose in the seventh minute. A searching pass from Lewis Harling reached Greg Walters deep inside the penalty area and he drove the ball across the goalmouth where Ceri Morgan, arriving at speed, narrowly failed to convert the close-range opportunity.
Cwmamman, having survived that initial spell, eventually began showing some attacking initiative and went close to snatching a goal when Ryan Thomas, the brother of Town’s all-time top scorer Liam, dispatched
CARMARTHEN TOWN........4 CWMAMMAN UTD..............1
a crisp 25-yard strike that keeper Lee Idzi turned around the post with a spectacular flying save.
However, shortly afterwards the Old Gold took the lead with a smartly-fashioned move.
From the halfway line Morgan sent a long pass forward to Scotcher, who instantly played the ball across the edge of the area where Jones swept it past keeper James Kirkwood and into the net.
And Town threatened again on 19 minutes when Jordan Vickers, close to the right touchline, fired a deep cross into the goalmouth, only for Jones to drag his shot marginally wide of the post.
While Carmarthen continued to dominate possession and enjoy the territorial advantage, Cwmamman were occasionally managing some counter-attacks and in the 33rd minute, aided by some slack home defending, they levelled the scores.
Luke Williams sent a left-wing cross into the area, and while several defenders hesitated, Chris Allen claimed the ball and struck it beyond Idzi’s reach and into the corner of the net.
Stung by that setback, the Old Gold swarmed upfield and Jones released a long-range drive that flew narrowly over the bar.
Then the experienced midfielder moved forward from the halfway line before crossing the ball into the area where Luke Bowen wastefully fired it over the bar.
It was yet another decent chance squandered, an unwelcome characteristic of Town’s finishing in the match up until this point.
After the interval Carmarthen rectified that failing almost immediately when Harling launched a huge cross deep into the goalmouth where Bowen, at the far post, stabbed the ball into the net.
From then on the match became more evenly balanced, with the visitors enjoying a greater share of possession than earlier, and making better use of it with some spirited counter-attacking.
However, after 77 minutes the Old Gold stretched their lead when Vickers raced along the right flank and sent a neat pass forward to substitute Josh Bull just inside the area. The lively striker, who has impressed since his summer switch to Richmond Park, neatly slipped around a bewildered defender close to the line Brothers Liam Thomas (Carmarthen) and Ryan (Cwmamman). before sliding the ball across the goalmouth where Bowen arrived with perfect timing to tap it into the net from close range.
Town, now with a more comfortable advantage, seemed content to retain possession as the pace of the game slowed in the closing stages.
But they went close again when Scotcher moved forward from the centre circle and struck a stunning 30-yard drive that flew beyond Kirkwood’s reach but went narrowly over the bar.
But deep into added time the hosts made their victory more emphatic when Bull emerged from a crowd of players to drive the ball into the back of the net following a Scotcher corner.
The Old Gold now progress into the League Cup third round, while this Friday the Cymru League programme begins when Town travel to old rivals Aberystwyth (7.45pm).
The two sides faced each other in the final fixture of last season, a game which Carmarthen won 6-2.