TAFFS WELL 1 LLANELLI TOWN 3
On the occasion when the Reds visited Rhiw`rDdar last season in the JD Welsh Cup, a Lee Trundle hat-trick put paid to the hopes of the home side of further progression in the competition, and he was at it again when the teams met further, this time in the league, firing home a first half brace and being involved in the assist for a late clincher by Joe Clarke.
The win was also the visitors` first double of the season, having recorded a 5-2 victory on the opening day of the campaign at Stebonheath, but on this occasion they were made to work hard by well organised opponents, and have goalkeeper Scott Coughlan to thank for a number of saves which kept them in the contest.
They began well enough, passing the ball around to good effect despite the frequent snow showers sweeping across the playing surface, although it was the Wellmen who offered the first real threat when Marcus Jones sent Sam Johnson through, and it took a timely tackle by Lee Bevan to relieve the situation.
The Reds` countered with Jordan Davies setting up Jordan Follows for a run which took him into the box, but he was crowded out by the attentions of a couple of defenders.
With both sides vying for the initial breakthrough, the visitors struck first on 15 minutes when a ball by Robert Thomas found Trundle who controlled it on his chest before exhibiting his trademark swivel and a fierce left foot finish which rocketed past Josh Gould in the home goal.
Shortly after he was presented with another opportunity, but this time was quickly closed down and unable to get his shot away.
An effort from distance by Follows was kept out by Gould, and at this stage the Reds were dictating matters, and went close to adding to their lead when Clarke fractionally failed to connect with a ball across the face of goal by Antonio Facciuto.
They had better luck in the 31st minute with Trundle adding a second, seizing on a pass into his feet before again turning and beating the keeper into the bottom corner.
Still well in control, the visitors nevertheless had a lucky let-off when an underhit back pass meant for Coughlan was instead picked up by Johnson, who made ground towards the intended target, only for the Reds` keeper to save the day by diverting his finish away with an outstretched leg.
He was then called into action again, this time turning around a well struck shot by Jones, but with half time approaching it appeared as if the visitors would go in at the break hanging on to their two goal cushion.
But the complexion of the game changed dramatically on 44 minutes when a speculative high ball into the area was not dealt with competently, allowing Johnson to seize the chance and slot it beyond Coughlan.
This somewhat unexpected bonus did wonders for the confidence of the home side, who appeared for the second half an invigorated outfit, and it was the turn of the visitors to soak up the pressure, being forced on the back foot and in defensive mode for long periods.
Coughlan again did well to deny Johnson when a well constructed move afforded him a shooting chance, while a great long distance strike by Jones flew just over the top.
With the weather turning worse and in an effort to recover a foothold in the game, the Reds made a couple of changes with Luke Jones replacing Follows and Kurtis March coming on for Chris Jones, and within a few minutes of these, they finally put the game to bed, albeit against the run of play.
Trundle was again involved, but this time it was his 89th minute free kick to the far post which found Clarke, whose header from close range beat Gould and seal another three hard-earned points.
Gould; Hodge ©; Mohsin; Burridge; Selway; O`Sullivan; Matthews; W. Jones;
Johnson; M. Jones; Jacka (Driscoll, 67);
Subs. not used; Griffiths; Emanuel; Harris.
Coughlan; Samuel; Facciuto; R. Thomas; C. Thomas; Bevan; C. Jones (March, 82); Davies (Morgan, 90+1); Clarke ©; Trundle; Follows (L. Jones, 79);
Subs. not used; Graves; Morris (GK).
Taffs Well; Johnson, 44.
Llanelli Town; Trundle, 15, 31; Clarke, 89.
Taffs Well; Matthews.
Llanelli Town; Bevan.
REFEREE; Jordan Harman (Newbridge).
Briton Ferry Llansawel are the visitors to Stebonheath on Friday evening, kick off