UWCH CYNGHRAIR CYMRU WELSH PREMIER LEAGUE
Adroddiadau / Reports
2003 - 2004
Rhagfyr / December
entertained fellow struggles Cwmbran Town and looked
to have an ideal opportunity to make an impression on their disappointing
tally of League points.
In truth the Richmond Park outfit never really got started and fell behind as early as the 11th. minute when Cwmbran were awarded a free kick out on the right. Indecision at the heart of the defence saw Town fail to clear the resulting set piece enabling Jason Welsh to find the net with the easiest of touches at the back post.
Eight minutes later Town looked to have an ideal opportunity to level the score when Academy product Karl Carter made a strong run through the heart of the visiting defence and was brought down in the penalty area by Crow’s defender Justin Perry.
However, experienced keeper Marty Ellacott was equal to Paul Reid’s spot kick and the visitors maintained their slender advantage.
Cwmbran piled on the misery when they extended their lead on the half hour. Wrexham referee Gerald Davies adjudged that Leigh De Vulgt had pushed Chris Summers in the box and the striker converted his own spot kick to put the visitors two up.
With little pattern or flow to the game Gareth Warton’s strength at the heart of the Crow’s defence ensured that Town’s attack was often forced off the ball and with the lively Richard Hurlin causing problems down the flank Town failed to make an impression on the game.
Following the break
Cwmbran enjoyed their best period with Welsh, Hurlin and Rhodri Jones
giving Town’s back line a torrid time. But with Tony Pennock
in commanding form at the heart of the Town defence the visitors
were unable to extend their lead.
Steffan Davies’ cross found David Moss in front of goal but the in-form Ellacot got his fingers to the ball to deny Moss’ header and as the ball was cleared he blocked Reid’s screamer of a shot. A couple of minutes later Ellacot was again in action denying Luke Fayers and frustrating Town’s best efforts.
With the hosts
pushing up Cwmbran were able to hit Town on the break. Andrew York
was forced to clear off his own line and a tricky run by Summers
saw Pennock in fine form to deny the former Town striker.
Bangor City 2 Carmarthen Town 2
Seemingly happier to play away from home Town produced a battling and much improved performance at Farrar Road that saw them clinch a well-earned point against fifth placed Bangor City.
With Town coming from behind to level the scores just after the break a ‘wonder’ goal by Les Davies just after the hour put the host ahead once more but Town continued to battle and on the stroke of time Luke Fayers headed in a Dale Price corner that had been flicked on by none other than Town keeper Tony Pennock.
With Nick Burke suspended and Jon Keaveny suffering the effects of flue Fayers partnered David Moss up front and in a drab opening period there was little to excite the crowd. Dean Rossiter’s volley went narrowly over and Moss went one better and netted but the linesman flagged for off side.
For Bangor a Kenny Burgess cross was headed wide by Lee Hunt on the half hour but a couple of minutes later Hunt clinched the opener when Kenny Burgess fed Les Davies and with Town failing to clear, the ball fell to Hunt to finish from ten yards.
The goal saw Bangor take the initiative. Paul Roberts come close on a couple of occasions and with Pennock denying Hunt the hosts maintained their slender lead into the break.
With the wind at their backs Town played their way back into the game at the start of the second half. David Moss played the ball intelligently to the far post where Dale Price volleyed home unmarked from 10 yards to level the score on 50 minutes and give Town the tonic they needed.
Stung into action Bangor gradually took over but were denied by resolute defending with Paul Reid and Pennock, both returning to full fitness, influential at the heart of the defence.
Bangor went ahead once again on 63 minutes with a fine individual effort from Davies. The youngster, having picked up the ball in Carmarthen’s half, went on a run out on the right and having dribbled through three or four defenders unleashed a thunderbolt finish into the top left hand corner of the net much to the delight of the sizable home support.
But with Barnhouse and York solid at the back Town once again weathered the Bangor City storm that followed the goal and gradually Owen Thomas became more influential in mid-field. Town regained their composure and began to threaten the hosts. Steffan Davies exploited space down the right and with Thomas testing Lee Williams Bangor conceded a number of corners.
Then with less than a minute remaining City lost possession and Eifion Jones was forced to concede another corner. Sensing that this might be the last throw of the dice Pennock charged up field to join the Town attack and flick on Price’s corner for Luke Fayers to head in and snatch a well-earned equaliser that stunned the home support.
Player manager Andrew York was delighted:
“I’ve felt for some time that we suffer a lack of confidence, especially at home. We seem to do better away from home. We deserved to get something out of the game and although we left it a little late I’m delighted.
“We need to build on Saturday’s performance next week at Newtown. That will give us confidence for the holiday and new year fixtures and hopefully a few more points on the board”.
Carmarthen Town : Pennock, Pratt, Reid, Barnhouse,
York, Moss, O. Thomas, Rossiter, Fayers, Price, Davies.
With Carmarthen Town and Haverfordwest County occupying opposing ends of the League table an intriguing encounter was anticipated at Richmond Park on Boxing Day.
Local derbies are frequently closely contested affairs where the formbook often counts for little and with a considerable number of former Town players on the visiting team sheet an air of expectation surrounded this popular holiday fixture.
In the face of the atrocious weather conditions that necessitated a referee’s inspection a sizable crowd greeted the appearance of the teams and it was no small credit to the Richmond Park ground staff that the game went ahead as scheduled.
Despite early domination by the visitors Town were in defiant mood as County created the early chances with Nick Palmer, Colin Loss and Simon Heal conspiring to outwit Town’s defence.
Tim Hicks found the net in the 24th. minute but the assistant referee had long since flagged and following the half hour Town gradually played their way into the game.
With Jon Keaveny and Paul Reid at the heart of the attack and Nick Burke beginning to probe openings in County’s defensive armour Town forged chances of their own.
A strong run saw Burke and Keaveny linking to forge a break down the left but Keaveny’s final effort flashed wide across Lee Kendall’s gaol.
With eight former Town players on the visiting team sheet those with fuzzy heads could have been forgiven for being confused as former Town stalwart, Wyn Thomas, nearly broke the deadlock on 39 minutes as his headed effort was cleared off the line by the covering Leigh Pratt.
Town were quick to release the ball and from the ensuing breakaway Keaveny rounded the County defence but was denied by a superb one on one save from Kendell in the visiting goal.
Having finished the first period strongly RSU sponsored Carmarthen
Town continued to compete well at the start of the second half with Burke
and Reid combining well to test the Bluebirds back line.
The breakthrough when it came in the 82nd. minute involved two former Town players. Thomas’ cross into the box struck Hicks who turned and found the net to give the visitors their fourth consecutive Richmond Park derby win by the slimmest of margins.
A great save by Pennock on the stroke of time denied Palmer and with Town giving their all to snatch an equaliser Reid was dismissed for his second bookable offence.
The win sees County move up to third place and into contention for a European placing. Whilst there was plenty of spirit in Town’s performance there was little cheer in the result.
Once again Town have shown that they can compete with the best
and the appointment of Mark Aizlewood will undoubtedly assist Town in their
resolution to gain valuable New Year points.