An exciting opening few
minutes saw Town's Dean Rossiter head inch over the bar from a Lee Jones
cross and a penalty awarded to the visitors that was converted by Chris
Watkins to give Cwmbran an early lead after referee Steve Hames adjudged that
Carmarthen skipper David Barnhouse had pulled Watkins down in the box.
Town attacked immediately and
Craig Evans saw his efforts blocked by determined Cwmbran defence on two
occasions whilst at the other end Craig Hughes came close from a Nathan
New ‘Town’ signing Chris
Miller nearly celebrated his debut with a lob over the Crows keeper Pat
O’Hagan that bounced narrowly wide on 13 minutes and as the game progressed
Carmarthen dominated possession but were unable to crack the Cwmbran defence
with O’Hagan in fine form between the sticks.
further equalising chances with Dean Rossiter’s superbly struck volley on 25’
and a Neil O’Brien’s header just before half time being the pick of the
The second half started as
the first had finished – a little scrappily with both sides giving away
possession. Town kept the pressure on and on 50’ Lee Jones crossed superbly
from the left but Town could not force the ball home. Five minutes later he
saw another of his well struck crosses glance off the top of the Cwmbran
The game became a stop start
affair with the referee’s whistle in constant action. Cwmbran’s influential
winger Nathan Cotteral was dismissed for a second bookable offence on the
hour but this seemed to disrupt Town more than it did the visitors with
centre back Richard David outstanding for the Crows. Against the run of play
Cwmbran’s Shaun Mainwearing was allowed to run through unchallenged from his
own half and his shot went underneath the body of the diving Fitzgerald to
find the net on 73’.
Town hit back well and five
minutes later Ryan Nicholls forced the ball home after a melee in the
goalmouth but Cwmbran survived a ragged final ten minutes to take the points.
NEWPORT COUNTY 0 CARMARTHEN TOWN 0 (PC)
The 2nd successive goalless draw at the
Newport Stadium, saw the home team go above Rhyl into 2nd place in the Group
on goal difference.
After Newport's heroics of the weekend, this was very much a near to full
strength home side that took the field, while the visitors were missing 3/4
regulars. As expected this was very much like the first game, with two very
well organised teams largely cancelling each other out, as defences
"held sway". There were clear cut chances at each end, with Steve
Cowe for the home team and in the last 5 mins, Craig Evans for the visitors,
heading wide from less than 6 yards, when it seemed they couldn't miss.
One of the highlights of the game, was the tremendous battle between
"old" Cardiff City team-mates, Jason Perry and Ryan Nicholls with
no quarter given or asked over the 90 minutes.
While there was no lack of goal mouth action, the technical level of the play
was first class, with Stuart James always dangerous on the left for Newport,
and Lee Jones impressing in the middle of the park for Carmarthen.
Fitzgerald in the Carmarthen goal was slightly the busier of the two 'keepers,
but the home team as on Saturday in the F.A.Cup, always seemed most likely to
score from set-pieces, while the tall Neil O'Brien was a "thorn" in
the home team's side in the penalty area from set plays.
A fair result for both team's, and if Newport can win at Rhyl on December 4th
their place in the semi-finals will be assured, with two games to go.
A word of praise for referee Thomas who handled the game well, a sure sign
was that for long periods of the game, you didn't know he was there, but both
teams helped as well with no theatricals etc.
CARMARTHEN TOWN 1 CWMBRAN TOWN 0 (PC)
excellent game of football between two evenly matched sides came to an end as
a competition in the 56th. minute when Dean Philpot was dismissed for a
second bookable offence only to be followed into the changing room almost
immediately by Craig Hughes who was red carded for dissent. The game then
completely fizzled out some twenty minutes later when Cwmbran's Sean Wharton
was dismissed for his second bookable offence.
half had seen some thrilling football with both keepers in constant action.
Town came close on 10 minutes with a superb free kick taken by Lee Jones from
the edge of the penalty box that was superbly saved by Cwmbran keeper Pat
O'Hagan who acrobatically turned the ball over the bar. Almost
immediately Neil O'Brien saw a header well saved by Hagan and a third 'Town
strike' was cleared off the line by the Cwmbran defence.
other end Craig Hughes and Nathan Cotteral were creating problems in the
Carmarthen area and after some pressure it was Town that were forced to save
off the line and keep out the Crow's attack. But the deadlock was broken just
after the half hour when Lee Jones dispossessed Dean Philpot and crossed into
the box for Ryan Nicholls to chest the ball down into the path of Dean
Rossiter who volleyed home from 20 yards to give Town a 1-0 lead at the
second half starting as the first had finished the crowd (403) were
anticipating more excellent entertainment. Unfortunately it was not of the
footballing kind. A free kick on the edge of the box saw Dean Rossiter run
over the ball and a period of confusion ensue as the ball was kicked away and
yellow cards were branded for various offences.
Cwmbran they continued to play football and succeeded in denying Town the
second goal to make the game safe. Town were content to keep possession and
the game fizzled out to its inevitable conclusion. I'm sure the lads from
Cwmbran will have their view on matters but unfortunately the game will be
remembered for a period of silliness and confusion (I don’t think there had
been a dirty tackle in the game) rather than the excellent football we
witnessed for the first 56 minutes.
The three points puts Town through to the next
round of the competition and a draw against one of the four seeded teams.
CAERSWS FC 1 CARMARTHEN TOWN 1
Caersws won their first point in six League games this
afternoon, in a scrappy encounter with neither side played particularly well.
Third placed Carmarthen Town took an early lead in the fourth minute when
Shaun Chapple sent a 25 yard free kick skidding below the diving Caersws
keeper John Sillitoe, who was standing in for Matthew Griffiths. Early action
saw Andrew Davies’ 18 yard shot go over and Town’s Sion Meredith heading wide
at the back post from a Lee Jones cross from the left. This was followed at
the other end by Mark Howells heading wide from a Marc Hughes free kick
The first half was all route one from both sides, with few good chances
created either way and the second half was much the same. Scrappy play
compounded by some baffling decisions from the officials.
Just after the hour Mark Howells came very close to equalising for the
Bluebirds when his header went just over the bar. Town had an opportunity to
extend the lead when a strong run by Town's Ryan Nicholls on 72 minutes ended
in him shooting wide from 16 yards.
However, the richly deserved equaliser for the home team came six minutes
from time when Andrew Thomas put in an excellent cross from the far right
that was met by Mark Howells whose header rebounded off the post for Marc
Hughes to net from close range, finally giving the home supporters something
to cheer about.
Whilst a share of the points is not enough to lift Caersws off the bottom, it
was at least a good indicator of an improvement in the Bluebirds’ League
performance, especially following Tuesday night's gruelling Premier Cup game
against Newtown. Town on the other
hand maintain their third place ahead of next week’s Premier Cup and Welsh
Overall not very exciting game for either set of
supporters with the best performances coming from defenders; Andrew Thomas
and Hugh Clarke for the Bluebirds and Wyn Thomas and David Barnhouse for
John Baker / Ivor Williams Caersws FC
CARMARTHEN TOWN 3 OSWESTRY TOWN 2
A third minute goal following a defensive error by
Town allowed Jason Yates to run through and hit a well-taken volley past
the startled Robert Fitzgerald to give Oswestry a deserved early lead.
came back immediately but were denied the equaliser when Tim Hicks’ powerful
shot was well saved by Mike Barton in the Oswestry goal and from the rebound Carmarthen
were denied twice by goal line clearances. Oswestry looked sharp, broke
dangerously and worked well together with Johnson, Yates and Norman ensuring
that Fitzgerald was kept as busy as Barton the other end. Oswestry increased
their lead on 28 minutes when Paul Line's free kick from outside the
penalty area on the left was flick headed passed the stranded Fitzgerald by
upped the tempo and for a good period before half time laid siege to the
Oswestry goal. Barton was outstanding ensuring that Oswestry retained their
lead at the break.
turning point for Carmarthen Town came in the 48th. minute when
referee Neil Morgan awarded Town a penalty after Hicks was held back in the
penalty area. Ryan Nicholls made no mistake from the spot and Town playing
with far more creativity and urgency went looking for the equaliser. Some
good work down the left enabled Lee Jones to put in a deep cross that was met
by Siôn Meredith who headed beyond Barton to make it 2-2 on 52 minutes.
began take control and following a melee in the Oswestry penalty area on 66
minutes Ryan Nicholls was able to blast the ball into the back of the net to
give Town the lead. Oswestry however should have equalised in the 70 minute
when Dave Norman was presented with an open goal but somehow managed to miss
kick when completely unmarked.
the closing stages Oswestry's man of the match Barton contrived to ensured
that Town did not increase their lead. It was a very nervous final fifteen
minutes for the fans as Town looked to increase their lead and make the game
safe and Oswestry countered with some dangerous breaks. Oswestry will be
disappointed not to have taken something from the game after leading by two
goals but whatever Tomi Morgan said at half time clearly worked as Town
looked a far more effective outfit in the second period.
most convincing Town performance with several players looking tired and were
well below par. On the other hand Oswestry certainly didn't look like a team
in 14th. position .
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