Adroddiadau Hydref / October Reports..............
Keeper's error proves costly
Carmarthen Town 0 Caersws 1
The Richmond park faithful must have been particularly disappointed at their team's performance in the LoW match last Saturday as RSU Windows sponsored Carmarthen Town provided a lacklustre display in front of their fans. The only goal of the match, however, was scored in fortuitous circumstances when Town 'keeper David Morgan failed to collect a speculative lob shot into the six yard area and the ball bounced through his out-stretched hands into the net. Morgan, however, had earlier kept Town in the match with a superb save from a Caersws penalty kick.
Carmarthen started proceedings in extremely bright fashion when striker Tony Rees found the overlapping David Barnhouse with a superb diagonal through ball but Barnhouse's final cross was struck against the foot of the Caersws post by the onrushing Richard Adams.Town continued to hold the initiative and another Barnhouse cross resulted in Paul Burrows' final shot being clocked.
After these early onslaughts Town unaccountably went off the boil and any forages into the Caersws danger area were easily nullified by the tall Caersws goalkeeper Martin Griffiths who dominated his area with some competent handling.Town escaped in the 13 minute when following Morgan's fine save from Rob Hamer, Steve Evans was adjudged by the Caernarfon referee Arwyn Jones to have brought down Steve Edwards in the box. Morgan's dive to the right blocked Marc Hughes' penalty kick to the delight of the home supporters.
Despite the euphoria of the penalty save the game continued ton slip away from Carmarthen and following a free kick at the edge of the penalty area Caersws' Sean Jehu curled his free kick just wide of the post. The towering Griffiths was giving nothing away in goal at the other end and pulled off good saves from Burrows and Rees.
Town, however, could have taken the lead in the opening minutes of the second half when following good work by Adams, Rees found himself clear but Griffiths once again saved the situation for his side. In the 63rd. minute Caersws took the lead when Jehu was accredited to have scored for Caersws, but no doubt had received considerable aid from the Town keeper. Morgan however made amends with two brilliant saves from Hugh Clark but, to no avail, as despite Town's pressure in the final ten minutes the Caersws 'keeper kept his goal intact as Town flattered to deceive after such a promising start to this match.
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Town do well to force a draw
Newtown 0 Carmarthen Town 0.
Following heavy rain which had necessitated an early morning pitch inspection the ground at Newtown was passed fit for this League of Wales match. Carmarthen Town responded by producing one of their best displays of the season to earn a well earned draw against a side likely to gain honours at the end of the season.
Carmarthen Town chairman, Jeff Thomas, told the Journal, "The players showed a tremendous level of commitment in this game played in extremely difficult conditions which was a credit to the club and which was appreciated by the large following of Town supporters who had made the long journey to the match." Town manager John Mahoney, had been forced to change his line-up due to the late withdrawal of striker Tony Rees due to illness and Richard Adams was moved up from his normal mid-field position to partner Paul Burrows in a dual striking role. Loan signing from Swansea City, Gareth Phillips, also made his debut in a left-sided mid-field role.
Town indeed could have snatched the three points but at critical moments the ball did not run kindly and the Newtown goal survived. In the later stages of the match, however, with both sides reduced to ten men, Carmarthen's recently signed keeper, 19 year old Robert Fitzgerald, came to his side's rescue with some courageous saves at the feet of his onrushing opponents. With the rain teeming down, the visitors had started brightly and dominated the early proceedings and two good deliveries into the box by full-back David Barnhouse allowed Rhodri Thomas and Matthew Cable headers which nearly succeeded.
Town keeper Fitzgerald was rarely troubled in the early stages although he was pleased to see a powerful shot by Jason Yates fly outside his right hand post. At the other end, another good cross into the Newtown penalty area gave Paul Burrows an opening but his final shot was blocked by the covering defence. Fitzgerald then produced the first of his many saves when he tipped a firm header from Justin Whickham on to his bar before the ball was cleared. Town's hopes were then raised in the 34th minute when referee Alan Howells sent off Newtown's Steve Clifford after a double booking offence. Indeed, the Port Talbot referee spent a busy afternoon brandishing eight yellow cards which appeared in many cases to be unavoidable late tackles brought about by the extremely heavy and muddy conditions.
The large following of Town supporters must have felt it inevitable that Mr Howells would soon redress the numerical imbalance, which eventually occurred early in the second half when Carmarthen's Nigel Nicholas was also dismissed for a double bookable offence, the second of which was again a late sliding tackle. Steve Williams and Matthew Cable were performing solidly at the back of the Town defence whilst Burrows, still nursing the remnants of a thigh strain, was striving manfully up-front in the muddy conditions.
The visitors seemed to tire towards the end of the game but Fitzgerald stood firm and produced a brilliant point blank save from a close range header and in the dying moments dived bravely at the feet of the onrushing Yates to win the ball. Earlier, Carmarthen's Adams nearly capitalised on a rare error by Newtown's keeper Robert Plant who managed to make amends at the last moment by blocking Adams' shot. Then, the home side had their luckiest escape of all when Cable's header was cleared off the line with Plant beaten.
This was indeed an impressive performance by RSU Windows sponsored Carmarthen Town and if they can maintain this form in home games in front of the Richmond Park faithful then they will surely make significant progress in the LoW table. In the post-match function in the Newtown clubhouse, Carmarthen's Colin Loss was named man of the match and was presented with a suitable memento by the Newtown officials and their match sponsors.
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