- Match Report - Llanelli Town v Briton Ferry Llansawel


     On the evidence of their opening two league games, the Reds have adapted to life in the higher echelons of the Welsh League like the proverbial duck to water, and after their opening home win over Taffs Well, went one better on their Old Road visit, comprehensively outplaying a decent home side who had, of course, accompanied them up to the first division at the end of last season.

     James Loveridge and Joe Clarke, having both notched up a brace of goals apiece in the first match, carried on the good work, with Loveridge securing his hat-trick and Clarke chipping in with a fourth.

     Apart perhaps for a ten minute spell late in the second half when the home side had clawed the score back to 2-1, they were forced on the back foot for the majority of the contest, and if their opponents had accepted a number of chances,  the margin could well have been  greater, while Steve Cann in the Ferry goal also pulled off  some important saves.

     The only change for the Reds from theTaffs Well fixture  was the return of Craig Morris in goal for Scott Coughlan, but he enjoyed a relatively quiet time, his only meaningful save coming when he diverted  over a close range header from Gareth Jones in the second half.

     The Reds began in a positive vein from the start, with the home defence hard pressed to contain a lively attack, with Cann being called into early action, pushing around a Loveridge effort to the near post when Lee Trundle sent him clear.

     Trundle himself powered his finish into the side netting, but it took only 10 minutes for the opener to arrive when Loveridge took full advantage of a Lee Bevan clearance, making good ground into the box before firing low into the net.

  The home side responded to this setback, Rory Healey sending an effort just off target, while Morris did well to punch clear a Keiron Williams free kick into the goalmouth.

   When the Reds countered, a move involving Loveridge and Clarke set up Trundle, but his shot lacked venom and Cann made a comfortable save.

     Another chance for the visitors was created by Antonio Faccuito whose delivery low across goal led to Clarke fractionally unable to make contact.

     Continuing to dominate matters, another Reds attack arose when Anthony Finselbach played in Trundle, whose finish led to a corner.  

    From this, taken by Jordan Davies, Clarke was picked out at the far post, but his header rebounded off a home player and out for another corner.

    The Ferry goal was somehow surviving, and the interval arrived with their opponents still just the one goal to the good, but within three minutes of the restart the lead was deservedly doubled when a move down the right flank led  to Trundle making tracks before sending over a perfect cross into the middle, where Loveridge was on hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net.

     As the half progressed, the Reds continued to pile on the pressure and went close several times to extending the lead, with Trundle skimming the crossbar, and Davies being denied by the legs of Cann when Clarke set himup.

A rare home attack led to the Morris save from Jones when he met a cross into the middle, before, against the run of play, the hosts hauled themselves back into contention on 73 minutes through Ian Hillier, when a ball to the far post picked him out and he turned it home from close range to set up a nervous twenty odd minutes for the Reds. 

The goal worked wonders for the home side, and it was now time for the visitors to come under some pressure, with Jones sending his finish narrowly wide from an assist by Ryan Kostromin.

     However, the Reds saw off the threat and eventually clinched matters with two late goals, with Loveridge completing his treble on 87 minutes, seizing on a Clarke header to hammer his finish beyond Cann, and in stoppage time, Clarke himself rounded off proceedings with a slick strike into the bottom corner to complete another impressive performance by the visitors.

     BRITON FERRY LLANSAWEL;   Cann©; Kostramin; Williams; R. Healey;L. Harris; Hillier;

                                                           Baker (Davies, 90); Brown; Hudson (McGrath, 81); Jones;

Kingdom (M. Harris, 59); Subs. not used; J. Healey; Prosser (GK).

     LLANELLI TOWN;                       Morris; Faccuito; March; Finselbach (Morgan, 90);R. Thomas; Bevan;

                                                          C. Jones (Samuel, 83); Davies; Clarke ©; Trundle; Loveridge;


SCORERS;                                  Briton Ferry Llansawel – Hillier, 73.

Llanelli Town – Loveridge, 10, 48, 87; Clarke, 90+2.

YELLOW CARDS;                     Briton Ferry Llansawel – Jones; R. Healey.

REFEREE;      Gavin Townsend (Ebbw Vale).

ATTENDANCE;                                         368.

     The Reds face the first test of retaining the League Cup they won last season when they travel to AFC Porth in a second round tie tonight (Wednesday), kick off 6.15 p.m.

     On Saturday, they are back in league action with the visit of Cambrian &Clydach to Stebonheath with a 2.30 p.m. start.