It promised to be one of the toughest games of the season for The Reds against Britton Ferry Llansawel on Friday (Feb 24). The Reds had the home advantage but there was no doubting the potential for an upset given the form of the opposition. The visitors bolted out of the gates and set out their intention from the first whistle attacking the Reds with some great ball play. For the first ten minutes at least, it looked like this was going to be going the way of the visitors.
Just before the game one of the visiting spectators told me that I should not be pointing the camera at Lee Trundle but at their centre forward instead. As with most banter at the game, it is taken with a pinch of salt. The visitors certainly came to play and an early cross by Ferry’s Davey to the far post led to a header by Tom DaSilva which forced Red’s keeper Craig Morris to deflect it on to the bar before it was scrambled clear.
The same two visiting players were then involved again, with Morris just able to push the ball off the head of DaSilva from another Davey delivery.
When the home side broke, it took a timely challenge on Jordan Follows to prevent him homing in on goal after Lee Trundle sent him clear. At the other end, Morris was again in action, this time clutching the ball on the line when it was chested back to him after a ball by Mark Napieralla just eluded Gareth Jones.
Another Ferry foray forced Morris to push a shot by Steven Hughes around the post, before against the run of play the Reds went ahead on 24 minutes. James Loveridge made a surging run down the right, and with no obvious target to pick out in the middle chanced his luck by striking a great effort from distance over Steve Cann in the Ferry goal. It was a well taken attempt, albeit out of the blue, but it certainly put some sparkle into the Reds` play, with Trundle sending a shot on the turn just over the top. From where I was standing it looked like Ferry had had the wind taken out of their sails and things got even better in the 39th minute with the award of a penalty by referee Wayne Neal when Trundle was brought down in the box. He took the kick himself, driving it past Cann.
Another blistering run by Loveridge resulted in a penalty in first half stoppage time when he was taken out by a two-footed challenge by Cann. The keeper got a red card for his efforts and it was left to Rory Healey to take over goalkeeping duties. His first task was picking the ball out of the net after Trundle completed his brace by smashing the ball past him to take The Reds into the changing rooms 3 goals to the good.
There was much gesticulating towards the officials as they left the field surrounded by the stewards and the ref was to come in for more flack during the second half. Ferry were down to nine men and despite this, they continued to make some great breaks. They pulled a goal back in the 65th minute. Davey played a pass into the path of Ryan Griffiths who had only joined Ferry during the week. Griffiths found the bottom corner despite the despairing dive of Morris.
Five minutes from time, the contest was settled beyond doubt with a fourth Reds goal when a superb Trundle assist sent Follows clear, and he maintained his composure before slotting his finish past replacement keeper Sam Baker. There was still time for a Trundle free kick which was kept out by the legs of Baker. The rebound fell to Jordan Follows who saw his shot come back off the woodwork.
The game finished, Llanelli Town AFC 4 – Britton Ferry Llansawel 1
Another great performance and a win for The Reds means they maintain their unbeaten league run.
LLANELLI TOWN; Morris; Graves; A. Jones; Finselbach (R. Thomas, 50); C. Thomas; Bevan ©; Clarke; Davies (Wade, 90+5); Follows; Trundle; Loveridge (Samuel, 88); Subs. not used; Morgan; McNab.
BRITON FERRY LLANSAWEL; S. Cann ©; Napieralla (Lindstrom, 82); Baker; Healey; Kingdom; Hillier; Da Silva; Hudson; Hughes; Jones (Griffiths, 57); Davey (Brown, 79); Subs, not used; R. Cann; Midwinter.
SCORERS; Llanelli Town – Loveridge, 24; Trundle, 39(P), 45+5 (P); Follows, 85. Briton Ferry Llanelli – Griffiths, 65.
YELLOW CARDS; Llanelli Town – Finselbach; Bevan; Trundle. Briton Ferry Llanelli – Baker; Hillier; S. Cann; Napieralla; Griffiths.
RED CARD; Briton Ferry Llanelli – S. Cann.
REFEREE; Wayne Neal (Mammalian).
The Reds travel to meet Aberbargoed next Saturday. Kick off is at 2.30 p.m.