Adroddiadau Ebrill / April Reports..............
Rhyl 3/4/99 * Afan Lido 5/4/99 * Conwy United 10/4/99 * Conwy United 17/4/99 (Welsh Cup) * Haverfordwest County 24/4/99 * Newtown 1/4/99
Town have one eye on the final
Carmarthen Town 1 Newtown 0
There was an end of the season look about both the sides at sun-drenched Richmond Park last Saturday and it was always likely that this would be a tight match with little to separate them at the final whistle.
Town manager Tomi Morgan, mindful of next weekend’s showdown in the Welsh Cup final, rested five first team regulars from the starting line-up, although Tony Rees, Sion Meredith and Ryan Nicholls were included as substitutes.
With wing backs Wayne Jones and Steve Williams playing on the left hand side and right hand side of the field respectively in unaccustomed positions, Town’s defence, especially in the early stages, had a considerable disjointed look.
The central Wales team, who were also below strength, created the early problems for the home side and in fact the ball found the back of Carmarthen’s net as early as the fourth minute when Justin Wickham’s direct shot at goal was disallowed as the referee had indicated an indirect free kick.
Another chance went begging for the visitors when Nicky Ward, with only keeper Robert Fitzgerald to beat, shot wide from point blank range.
As the home side rode their good fortune they at last came back into the game and manager Morgan, who had included himself in the line-up, troubled Newtown keeper David Rose with a good header.
Play however was locked in midfield with both defences now dominating.
Inter Cable-Tel manager George Wood, who was at Richmond Park to study form before next Sunday’s final and also to discuss team matters with Town’s manager for the forthcoming Wales v England semi professional international when he will act as assistant to Morgan, may not have learnt much from Town’s performance due to the non-appearance of key men.
The second half continued in the same mould as the first with neither side’s strikers making any impression, although Jones went close when his powerful shot was deflected over the Newtown bar by a defender.
The introduction of strikers Tony Rees and Ryan Nicholls to the fray pepped up Town’s attacking options and the only goal of the match came in the 84th minute when after considerable pressure on the Newtown goal Stephen Evans placed a powerful header beyond keeper Rose to find the net from Steve Williams’ pin-point free kick.
The curtain came down on a another Richmond Park season with a well earned three points which gives them a ninth placed position in the League of Wales, missing a place in the FAW Premier Cup by a mere goal difference.
At the conclusion of the match Carmarthen Town captain Matthew Cable was presented with the supporters’ player of the year trophy by long standing supporter Willie Thomas.
Carmarthen Town 3 Haverfordwest County 1
It was a bitter-sweet occasion at Richmond Park last Saturday as RSU Windows sponsored Carmarthen Town at the end gained a comfortable win in their League of Wales derby encounter.
Victory was indeed sweet against their West Wales opponents where local rivalry is high on the agenda, but the downturn of the events was that Town will have failed to have finished in the top eight of the league which would have enabled them to automatically qualify for theFAW Premier Cup next season.
Victories by TNS and Conwy United last Saturday mean that Town can only now achieve at best a ninth placing in the league. One avenue towards qualification for the Premier Cup still remains open, and that is if Town win the Welsh Cup on May 9th.
The Bluebirds were unable to field a full squad for the Richmond Park clash due to the suspension of three players, and although manager Mark Ellery would make no excuses for his side’s defeat, the thinness of Haverfordwest’s squad must have had some bearing on the final clear-cut defeat.
In fact, the visitors may have slightly edged the first half, but the second half saw Town taking control and perhaps in the end the 3-1 defeat may have flattered the visitors.
The Bluebirds had taken the lead as early as the 16th minute when following a succession of corners Jamie Rickard was on hand to score in a crowded goalmouth. The goal seemed to spur on the visitors and Town keeper Robert Fitzgerald was forced to produce a flying save from a fierce drive by Rickard.
The Bluebirds’ strike force of Jamie Harris and Richard Gay were however being efficiently shackled by Town’s three central defenders, Matthew Cable, Wyn Thomas and Steve Williams, and the home side timed their equaliser to perfection with a goal virtually on half time whistle. Thomas drove the ball diagonally into the six yard area and even though Malcolm Vaughan narrowly failed to capitalise on the chance, the ball reached Sion Meredith who drove home.
Town went in at half time with the scores even, which they might not have deserved but the second half saw a complete transformation and Haverfordwest keeper Adrian Barnsley, a replacement of the suspended Neil Frederickson, was the far busier of the two keepers.
Tony Rees gave Town the lead within five minutes of the second half when he headed a Nigel Nicholas pinpoint cross.
The issue was put beyond doubt in the 83rd minute when Meredith’s cross was volleyed home by substitute Stephen Evans who gave Barnsley little chance.
Nicholls' early strike books Welsh Cup Final date
ON THE GLORY TRAIL
CARMARTHEN TOWN 1 CONWY UNITED 0
FORGET Ryan Giggs. It was Ryan Nicholls who was the toast of Carmarthen on Saturday night after the striker's 11th. minute goal clinched a place for his side in this years Welsh Cup Final at Ninian Park on Sunday 9th. May.
It was a memorable day for the RSU sponsored Town who will now face an Inter Cable-Tel side who booked their final place with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Cwmbran Town at Jenner Park.
A large following of Town supporters had gathered at Latham Park, Newtown, and they were not disappointed at a match which was highly charged, with Town at times having to defend well to preserve their early one goal lead.
A delighted manager Tomi Morgan told the Carmarthen Journal. " I requested my players to play from their hearts today and they responded with a magnificent 100 per cent effort."
Town's back three, David Barnhouse, Mathew Cable and Wyn Thomas, rose splendidly to the occasion to shackle Conwy's dangerous striking force of John Toner and James McIllvogue. Barnhouse, having played earlier in his career a number of games for Swansea city used his experience to the full to play a vital role at the heart of the defence.
It was Town who made the early impression when Tony Rees fired just wide from 25 yards. As Conwy came into the game they were unfortunate to loose captain Gary Finley who limped off with an injury.
Before the north Waliens could re-group Town had taken the lead when a quick throw in by Wayne Jones caught the Conwy defence napping enabling Nicholls to leave his marker and fire a low shot into the far corner of the net passed keeper Danny Embleton.
This was just the tonic Town needed and aided by vociferous support by the many supporters who travelled from West Wales, Town stepped up a gear.
Conwy, however, were also responding and a titanic struggle was now developing and Town survived an anxious moment when Chris Short's cross was headed over his own bar by Wyn Thomas as he cleared form the on rushing McIlvogue.
The north Waliens then had a good spell when they forced four corners and from the final corner could have drawn level when McIlvogue headed over when well placed.
Town, however, were also pushing forward and a free kick by Jones was on target but keeper Embleton held on to the fierce drive.
Conwy applied pressure in the early stages of the second half and Carmarthen keeper Robert Fitzgerald was called into constant action in dealing with some dangerous crosses and the young keeper, who has been such a find for Town this season, coped admirably, despite some risky punched clearances when under pressure.
After Anthony Smith had headed over the Carmarthen bar following a good chance for Conwy, Carmarthen's Toni Rees made a fine break to release Nicholls who was unceremoniously pulled back by Chris Short who received the inevitable yellow card.
Town towards the closing stages of the match may have Increased their lead on two occasions when firstly, Cable's header was cleared off the Conwy line and secondly when Jones' initial shot had been beaten out by Emberton the on rushing Nigel Nicholas struck the foot of the Conwy post from the rebound.
In the closing moments of the match Conwy threw everything forward in a desperate attempt to snatch the equaliser, but it was to be Town's day as they held firm.
TOWN TRIUMPH IN DRESS REHEARSAL
CARMARTHEN TOWN 2 CONWY UNITED 1
IN THIS dress rehearsal before next Saturday's Welsh cup semi-final match, Carmarthen Town sponsored by RSU Windows, held out in the closing stages to snatch the three points to enable them to keep in touch for the coveted eighth place which would gain them entry into the FAW Premier Cup next year.
The result of this match however will not have any bearing on next Saturday's encounter, especially as both sides had players out due to injury. Striker Ryan Nicholls, however, was fit to resume after injury as was full back Wayne Jones who took his place on the bench.
Carmarthen had started in a lively fashion with some strong forages into the Conwy penalty area but it was the visitors who nearly drew first blood when Kevin Ellinson's long ball caught out Town's defence. But Darren Hilditch, a recent signing from Bangor city, shot weakly at Town keeper Robert Fitzgerald.
Swansea City's assistant manager Alan Curtis, was in attendance at Richmond Park to cast his eye over Ellinson but in the later stages of the game it must have Town keeper Fitgerald who must have an impression on Curtis with some crucial saves.
Town striker Richard Parker put Tony Rees clear of the defence but Rees unaccountably wasted a good opportunity by shooting straight at Conwy keeper Danny Emberton.
The player however, made amends in the 47th. Minute when after beating two men in midfield he laid a perfect through ball for the onrushing Ryan Nicholls to beat Emberton and find the corner of the net.
Nicholls however collided heavily with the keeper and had to leave the field which was more of a precaution in view of next Saturday's Cup match.
Conwy had the advantage of a strong wind at their backs in the second half and after a period of sustained pressure missed a glorious chance of equalising when Hilditch finding himself completely unmarked, shot well wide of he mark when it might have been easier to score.
The visitors gained the equaliser when, after David Barnhouse had done well to clear a difficult corner, the ball was returned into the crowded penalty area and after a rebound McCilvogue fired into the empty net.
The game was now wide open with the result in the balance but it was the home side who regained the lead in the 77th. Minute. After good work by Wayne Jones, fellow substitute Malcolm Vaughan turned the ball into the six yard box and Richard Parker forced the ball over the Conwy line beyond Emberton with the goal being given by the assistant referee, much to the disappointment of the visiting defence who claimed differently.
The final ten minutes saw the visitors throw everything into the attack and two magnificent saves by Fitzgerald from Mick Maloney and Hilditch denied the visitors the point which they may well have deserved.
TOWN ENJOY A MIXED EASTER
AFAN LIDO 1 CARMARTHEN TOWN 1
TOWN paid dearly for some glaring misses in this League of Wales game at Aberavon Beach on Easter Monday and the loss of two points severely dented their hopes for a Premier Cup place.
Manager Tomi Morgan without five first team players was nevertheless disappointed at his sides' inability to return to Carmarthen with the three points, with Town striker Siôn Meredith failing to convert a free header as early as the first minute, and fellow striker Richard Parker in the final moments of the match failing to beat the keeper after finding himself clear of the Lido defence.
Town had dominated the first half against a side which had produced some good results in recent matches but had to settle for a mere 1-0 half time lead through a superbly struck goal from 20 yards by Nigel Nicholas who after having spent several matches on the Town bench recently gave one of his best performances of the season.
The second half however saw the visitors go completely off the boil and after some sloppy play in defence Lido's top scorer Mitch pattern lobbed keeper Robert Fitzgerald from an oblique angle to find the far top corner of the net.
In the frenetic final five minutes manager Tomi Morgn, who had come on as a substitute, nearly produced a dramatic winner when his goal bound shot was cleared off the line by a frantic defence.
RHYL 1 CARMARTHEN TOWN 2
CARMARTHEN Town sponsored by RSU Windows traveled to sunny Rhyl on Saturday for this League of Wales match and as afar as the visitors were concerned the North Wales coastal town lived up to its reputation in more ways than one.
Firstly, Town were greeted by a cloudless sky with above normal temperatures and secondly they came away from Belle Vue stadium with three well deserved points which keep them in contention for a top seven position which will give a coveted place in the lucrative BBC Wales sponsored Premier Cup next season.
With the 17th. April Welsh Cup semi-final in mind, manager Tomi Morgan rested David Barnhouse and relegated Den Rossiter to the bench. Without injured strikers Ryan Nicholls and Paul Burrows, Morgan included himself in the line-up. The player manager immediately made an impact when he headed through the gap to find the onrushing left back Wayne Jones whose final delivery just eluded the striker Siôn Meredith.
In an extremely open match Town continued to create chances but failed to take advantage of the opportunities that had been created and although Simon Abercrombie, the Rhyl striker missed a good chance when he had a free header at goal it was still a surprise when the home side took the lead in the 38th. Minute.
Gary Curtis' free kick from the touch line found Abrcrombie completely unmarked and his close range header gave Town keeper Robert Fitzgerald little chance.
A second half equaliser, however was no more than Town deserved when Tony Rees' through ball split the Rhyl defense and Morgan kept his cool, despite the challenges of two defenders to drive past Rhyl keeper Leigh Edwards to find the top of the net.
The 58th. Minute winner by Town's Richard Parker was fully deserved when a static defense failed to clear Malcolm Vaughan's intended shot and Parker had the easiest of tasks in diverting the ball into the empty net.
The absence of Barnhouse, Rossiter and the injured Stephen Evans had no final bearing on this result. Centre back Steve Williams who will be unfortunately suspended for the semi-final, following his sending off in Town's 6-2 defeat against Barry for a deliberate hand-ball offence in the penalty area, had an outstanding game.
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