LLANELLI TOWN 1 UNDY ATHLETIC 0
Hosting the league leaders who arrived at Stebonheath boasting just two losses to date, the Reds rose to the challenge in great style, and a fine all-round performance produced a well- earned win at the final whistle.
Following on from their much improved display in midweek against Cwmamman United, the home side went up a couple of notches, matching their opponents all over the pitch, displaying a welcome togetherness which at times has been lacking during the course of the season.
The Undy goal was subjected to an early threat, with Steve Stone directing his header from a Richard Lewis corner on to the roof of the net, and when Luke Jones crossed a ball into the visitors` box, there were appeals for a penalty for a handling offence, but referee Bryn Jones waved these away.
A lofted free kick by their opponents led to Reds` keeper Alex Ramsay doing well to push over a strike from Dan Bailey, before a counter led to a chip by Robert Thomas intended for Luke Jones, but he was just beaten to the ball by Undy keeper James Smallcombe.
Ross Jones brought off a crucial tackle on Gareth Collimore when he threatened to break clear down the Reds` left flank, but it was the home side who went closest to a score following a Mark Napieralla free kick which was initially cleared only as far as Stone, and his well struck effort cannoned off the post with Smallcombe beaten.
Undy retaliated, and a great run by Dan Jarman took him past several challenges before he was brought down by Lee Bevan, leading to a caution for the Reds` captain.
Scoreless at the interval, the home side were the first out of the blocks after the restart, with Luke Jones doing well to make progress tight to the goalline before squaring the ball into the middle, bur Smallcombe managed to snuff out the danger.
He was in action again shortly after, diverting over a fierce effort by Bruno Forkuoh when he ghosted past his marker, before the home side finally reaped the benefits of their hard graft. A hand ball on the edge of the Undy area resulted in a free kick, and Lewis stepped up to hammer it low into the bottom corner after 58 minutes.
Having taken the lead, it was the turn of the Reds to be subjected to pressure by the visitors, and they survived a close call when Marcus Power found space before directing his attempt past the oncoming Ramsay towards the unguarded net, but the ball rebounded off the foot of the post with Lewis on hand to complete a clearance. They then survived a further scare following a corner by Power which led to a header coming back off the crossbar.
When Collimore was played in on goal, Ramsay came off his line and appeared to handle the ball outside the box, but after a consultation with his assistant, the referee showed only a yellow card.
From the resulting free kick by Power, the Reds` keeper brought off a great save by diverting it over the bar, and with Undy still pushing forward in an attempt to level matters, the home goal came under threat but stood firm. The final whistle came with the home side elated that they had managed to contain their highly rated opponents, and this result should do wonders for their confidence in the remaining fixtures.
LLANELLI TOWN ; Ramsay; Napieralla; Lewis; Stone (Zola, 75); J. Evans; Bevan ©; Bauza; Forkuoh;
L. Jones (Hughes, 75); Thomas; R. Jones (Samuel,67); Subs. not used; I. Evans;
UNDY ATHLETIC; Smallcombe; D. Jarman; Thompson; Parry ©; Roberts; Heywood; Aherne;
Bailey (A. Jarman); Power; Collimore; Clayton; Subs. not used; Hegarty; James;
SCORER; Llanelli Town – Lewis, 58.
YELLOW CARDS; Llanelli Town – Bevan; Ramsay.
REFEREE; Bryn Jones (Carmarthen).
The Reds make the short journey next Saturday when they take on Cwmamman United, kick off 2.30 p.m.