LLANELLI TOWN 3 GOYTRE UNITED 3
This top-of-the-table clash lived up to its billing, turning out to be a real thriller, and with the visitors seemingly heading for a win with the contest deep into stoppage time, the reward of a penalty in the 95th minute, converted by Lee Trundle, earned the home side a share of the points and preserved their long home unbeaten league record.
This was no more than they deserved, as they had been the more positive of the sides during the preceding ninety minutes, but some inept defending gifted their opponents the three goals.
Following the defeat at Haverfordwest County, the Reds were anxious to prove that a good side reacts positively to adversity, and they were quickly into their stride, with Jordan Davies forcing Luke Martin in the Goytre goal to push around his effort, and when a Trundle header sent Chris Jones clear, his delivery into the middle was again met by Davies, but this time Tom Wellington diverted his shot for a corner.
Despite their early dominance, the hosts were then caught by a sucker punch on 20 minutes when a hopeful ball forward was not dealt with by Chris Thomas, allowing Tom Walters to gain possession before beating keeper Scott Coughlan inside his near post.
Stung by this unexpected reverse, the Reds countered with Trundle forcing Martin to keep out his attempt, but within a minute of the Goytre opener Joe Clarke unleashed a well struck shot from midfield which deflected off Trundle and into the net.
A mazy run by Davies which took him past a couple of Goytre defenders ended with his finish again being diverted for a corner by Martin, and when this was taken, Lee Bevan sent his header at the far post narrowly over the bar.
The Reds continued to push forward, and Jones directed his finish across the face of goal and just wide of the far upright.
Martin was then forced off his line to clear from the advancing Trundle when he pursued a misplaced pass meant for the keeper, but at the break honours were even though the home side had been the dominant force.
Within minutes of the restart, a superb shot by Davies from distance led to an equally impressive save by Martin to push it over, but from the resulting corner, James Loveridge swung over a cross which deflected off Goytre`s central defender Ronan Templeton and beyond a helpless keeper in the 51st minute.
Deservedly back in the lead, the Reds went close to increasing the advantage with Trundle curling his effort inches wide, but again they were rocked when their opponents levelled matters on 62 minutes, being gifted a second when some sloppy defending allowed Walters to notch up his brace, lofting the ball over Coughlan into an empty net.
Five minutes later, events got considerably worse for the hosts when the luckless Thomas was penalised for a hand ball in the box by referee Daniel Richardson, and Dale Griffiths converted from the spot.
A game which the Reds seemed to have under their control was now slipping away from them, and they made a couple of personnel changes, with Liam Samuel replacing Loveridge and Luke Jones coming on for Kurtis March, and it was Samuel who was denied an equaliser when he met a Trundle assist when Martin somehow pushed over his finish which was destined for the top corner.
With time running out, it appeared as if the long unbeaten home league record was coming to an end for the Reds, but with the contest entering the fifth minute of stoppage time, they were thrown a lifeline with the award of another spot kick for a handling offence.
There was only one man who was going to take it, and Trundle did not disappoint, lashing it into the bottom corner to bring the scores level again.
There was just enough time for the game to restart before referee Richardson blew the final whistle with honours even, but the home side will be wondering how they allowed the game to develop the way it did.
LLANELLI TOWN; Coughlan; Graves; Facciuto; March (L. jones, 84); C. Thomas; Bevan; C. Jones;
Davies; Clarke ©; Trundle; Loveridge (Samuel, 75); Subs. not used; R. Thomas;
R. Jones; Morris (GK).
GOYTRE UNITED; Martin; Blain; Atyed (J. Jones, 60); Griffiths ©; Templeton; Wellington; Roberts;
Francis; Walters; Thomas (Edwards, 83); Hutson; Subs. not used; Zola; N. Jones;
SCORERS; Llanelli Town – Trundle, 21, 90+5 (P); Templeton (OG), 51.
Goytre United – Walters, 20, 62; Griffiths (P), 67.
YELLOW CARDS; Llanelli Town – Facciuto; Clarke; Trundle.
Goytre United – Thomas; Wellington; Walters.
REFEREE; Daniel Richardson (Barry).
Next Saturday, the Reds travel to meet Aberaeron of the Spar Mid-Wales league in the first round of the JD Welsh Cup. Kick off is at 2,30 p.m.