TON PENTRE 1 LLANELLI TOWN 3
Without a win to date this season, the home side – one of the leading clubs in the Rhondda – are precariously placed in the league table with only Caerau Ely below them, and relegation seems a distinct possibility.
Despite this, however, and in front of a sizeable crowd, they caused their opponents plenty of problems throughout, and were in the lead at the interval, going ahead after just 2 minutes when a searching ball by Matthew Smith carved open the Reds` rearguard, allowing Charlie Loss to gain possession before making ground and slotting his finish beyond Scott Coughlan.
As the half progressed with conditions underfoot becoming increasingly more difficult, both sides resorted to the long ball, which almost paid off for the visitors when a lofted clearance into the box was headed down by Lee Trundle for Jordan Follows to unleash a strike on target, but he was denied by a great save from Stephen Hall in the Ton goal who diverted it around the upright.
Coughlan was called into action at the other end to keep out a Luke Jones attempt, whose Reds` namesake was then foiled by Hall who dived at his feet to smother the ball when a run took him into the area.
Liam Samuel had his effort blocked at the near post by the home keeper, and despite having the lions share of possession the visitors were being kept at bay by an obdurate home defence.
They were also causing problems going forward, and it took a timely tackle by Lee Bevan on Jones to prevent him pulling the trigger when he was found in space by Smith.
With the visitors becoming increasingly frustrated in their efforts to level matters, they had a great opportunity to do just that with the award of a penalty three minutes from the break when Trundle was brought down after a typical mazy run in the box, and he took the spot kick himself, but drove it against the underside of the bar from where it rebounded to safety.
Still trailing at the interval, the Reds were forced into an early second half change when Samuel was injured, being replaced by Luke Morgan on 54 minutes, before the contest changed dramatically in their favour with two goals in the space of three minutes.
Referee Gavin Townsend pointed to the spot for a second time in the 56th minute when Follows was floored, and this time Joe Clarke stepped up to drive the penalty past Hall.
Hardly before the celebrations had died down, than a second goal arrived after 59 minutes, when a Kyle Graves free kick led to the ball bobbling dangerously in front of the goal before Trundle reacted quickly to fire it into the net from close range.
He then could well have added another shortly after when a run from halfway took him into the box, but with only Hall to beat, he placed his finish fractionally wide of the far post.
With fifteen minutes remaining, the Reds increased the advantage when Follows collected a ball driven into him by Robert Thomas, and in almost slow motion, directed his effort just inside the near upright with Hall rooted to his line.
There were no further chances at either end up to the close, with the visitors extending their unbeaten league run to ten matches and still well placed for the ultimate goal of promotion.
Hall ©; Smith; Lewis; Jones; Williams; Hardy (Thomas, 67); Holder; Davies; Brock;
Loss (Evans, 77); Facey; Sub. not used; Bassett.
LLANELLI TOWN ;
Coughlan; Samuel (Morgan, 54); R. Thomas; March; Graves; Bevan; C. Jones;
Clarke ©; L. Jones (Wade, 79); Trundle; Follows; Sub.not used; Morris (GK).
Ton Pentre; Loss, 2.
Llanelli Town; Clarke (P), 56; Trundle, 59; Follows, 75.
Ton Pentre; Hardy; Holder.
Llanelli Town; March; Bevan.
REFEREE; Gavin Townsend (Ebbw Vale).