Llanelli Star - - SOCCER -

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.

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