Dinas Powys were the visitors to Stebonheath on Saturday (Mar 11). All roads leading to Stebo had rows of daffodils standing to attention on this glorious spring afternoon. The men in red in that other game had done themselves proud in Cardiff so Stebo expected no less of theirs. The visitors too were nothing but optimistic about their chances of an upset. Speaking to Llanelli Online before the game the Dinas manager said his side were in form having risen up the league to 9th spot after a slow start to the season. His side he said had come to play an open game.
It is fair to say that the game began with some very entertaining football from both teams. Forgive the cliché but it was end to end stuff and the crowd appeared to appreciate it given the ooh’s and aah’s emanating from the stand. Early pressure by the hosts led to a Trundle corner being met by a Robert Thomas header at the far post which was deflected for another flag kick, and when Jordan Davies sent this across, it was headed out by a defender from under the crossbar.
A ball into Trundle stationed on the edge of the box, culminated in a finish which was just wide of the back upright, while a free kick by him some 35 yards out was parried by goalkeeper Elliott Matthews only as far as Jordan Follows, but his effort lacked power and the danger was scrambled clear.
When the visitors countered through John Young, he sent Brandon Griffiths on a run down the left, and his cross to the far post was cut out by Thomas with Gavin Beddard on hand for any slip up.
A foul on Loveridge by Paul Caulfield just outside the box led to another Trundle set piece which produced a good save by Matthews who managed to push it clear but was met by Davies, and his delivery into the middle led to a diving header by Clarke which sailed just over the top.
The Reds were becoming increasingly frustrated with the visitors packing eleven men behind the ball and it took a Trundle free kick to break the deadlock on 29 minutes. His initial attempt rebounded off the defensive wall but he made no mistake driving his finish over Matthews to send the hosts in at the break with a 1- 0 lead.
The advantage lasted just eight minutes into the second period when Reds captain Lee Bevan brought down Beddard in the box. Referee Ian Hollyoake produced a yellow card for Bevan and the subsequent penalty was driven into the net by Beddard.
Within three minutes the reds were ahead again when Thomas headed a Trundle delivery back into the middle, which was met by Clarke who found the net from close range.
In the 66th minute the scores were level again as David Shallis set off on a run down the right, getting past Kurtis March before finding the net from a narrow angle.
Reds manager Andy Hill has his own theories and game plans and his belief in his side’s ability to score goals in the last 20 minutes of the game is usually borne out. More often than not it is the goal scoring machine Lee Trundle who delivers the three bars for the jackpot. Sure enough with around ten minutes left of the game someone cranked Trundle’s handle and he danced his way through the Dinas defence to put The Reds 3 – 2 ahead.
Sam Wade came on as a replacement for Thomas and within a minute of his introduction the lead was further extended with Loveridge making no mistake with a crisp bottom corner finish to make it 4 – 2.
There really was only one thing left to finish off this very entertaining spring match and that was a signature hat-trick from the number 10.
Sam Wade it was who played Trundle through for him to smash his shot past the helpless Matthews for his seventh hat trick of the season taking his tally to 40 goals.
Speaking after the game manager Andy Hill said:
I was really pleased the way we played in the first half. The second half was made scrappy by the visitors and it dragged us down a little. I say it all the time though. Teams always struggle to last 90mins with us because of the way we move the ball. They have to do a fair amount of running to keep pace with us and inevitably they run out of steam. That’s where we win games, from 70 mins onwards. From that point is where we score most of our goals.
LLANELLI TOWN; Morris; Graves; March; Clarke; C. Thomas; Bevan ©; R. Thomas (Wade, 81);
Davies; Follows (Samuel, 68); Trundle; Loveridge (Morgan, 85);
Subs. not used; L. Jones; A. Jones.
DINAS POWYS; Matthews; Caulfield; Garland; Penikett; Bloxham; Young; L. Beddard (Edwards, 83); Fitzgerald; G. Beddard ©; Shallis (Lewis, 89); Griffiths (Palmer, 76); Sub. not used; Luck.
SCORERS; Llanelli Town – Trundle, 29, 79, 90+1; Clarke, 56; Loveridge, 82.
Dinas Powys – G. Beddard (P), 53; Shallis, 66.
YELLOW CARD; Llanelli Town – Bevan.
REFEREE; Ian Hollyoake (Nottage).
The Reds make the short trip to Ammanford next Saturday for a local derby, kick off 2.30 p.m.