- Match Report - Port Talbot Town v Llanelli Town


 

 While the Scarlet half of Llanelli may have been crying into their Guinness on Saturday evening, their Red counterparts were celebrating an historic occasion, with Llanelli Town clinching the Welsh League division one title, and possible elevation to the Welsh Premier League.

 

Almost out of existence just five years ago, the club has gone from strength to strength under some astute management and player recruitment, with successive promotions through the respective divisions, including a league and cup double last season, and in line to do so again, with only Trefelin standing in their way in the League Cup final next month.

 

     The players are a great bunch of characters, and the camaraderie between them is a joy to behold, with no cliques involved and everyone playing for the team.

 

     Another big factor in the Reds` achievements has been the signing of Swansea City legend, Lee Trundle, who despite being in his forties still retains his enthusiasm for the game, while his goal-scoring has been phenomenal.

 

     The only fly-in-the-ointment could be the decision expected shortly of the Appeals Committee of the FAW who initially turned down the Reds` application for membership of the Premier League on a financial technicality, but with the correct paperwork having been re-submitted, it is to be hoped that the answer will be now be positive.

 

     Another complaint often heard around Stebonheath, is the lack of publicity given to the club and its record over the past few seasons, with pages of print on the Scarlets, but relatively little on its near neighbours.

 

     Needing just a point to guarantee the title a the Genquip stadium, the visitors created numerous chances but were wayward with their finishing, while also finding Rory McCreesh in the home goal in top form with a string of saves, including keeping out a penalty.

 

     Conversely, Craig Morris was seldom troubled by the home attack, and the Port Talbot goal came from a defensive lapse.

 

     McCreesh was soon in action, turning a snap shot by Lee Trundle around the post, and he was called on again when the same player unleashed a fiercely struck effort on target, with the keeper  pushing it away.

 

     However, on 22 minutes he was picking the ball out of the net when a Reds build-up involving a number of players led to Chris Jones toe ending the ball past McCreesh just inside his near post.

 

     Somewhat against the run of play, the hosts drew level seven minutes later following a cross from the right by Cortez Belle into the middle which led to both Morris and Chris Thomas going for the ball leading to confusion, and Chris Keene accepted the gift by steering his finish into a vacant net.

 

      When Joe Clarke was tripped just outside the box, McCreesh again did well to deny Trundle from his fiercely struck free kick, before he did even better two minutes from the break.

 

     Following a Reds attack, the ball ended up with Trundle in the area before he was brought down, with referee Kim Fisher pointing to the spot, but McCreesh again proved to be a match for the penalty-winner, diving low to his left to push the kick by Trundle against a post and out.

 

     Probably fortunate to be still on level terms at the start of the second half, Port Talbot found themselves trailing again just six minutes after the restart when Trundle more than made up for his penalty miss when he picked up a Kyle Graves throw-in before reaching the byline, and from an almost impossible angle, smashed his finish past the keeper.

 

     There was some concern in the visitors` box when a Keene free kick was not dealt with effectively, forcing Morris to turn over a goal-bound header.

 

     The contest was effectively  put to bed when the Reds notched up their third goal on 68 minutes with Trundle turning provider by picking out James Loveridge, who struck a great finish from distance past the home keeper.   

 

     The visitors then made three substitutions, with Jordan Follows replacing Chris Jones, while Kurtis March and Liam Samuel came on for Ross Jones and Chris Thomas.

 

     March was almost immediately involved in the action, directing a close range header wide from a Trundle delivery.

 

     A Clarke clearance sent Trundle clear, but his lob over McCreesh drifted wide, and the same fate

 

befell Follows when Trundle turned provider, with again the finish over the keeper off target.

 

     March saw his effort sail just past the post, but the match ended in a comfortable win for the Reds, with scenes of much celebration at the close, on another momentous chapter in the history of Llanelli Town AFC.   

 

     PORT TALBOT TOWN;   McCreesh; Johns; Pike; Keene; Owen; Holmes ©; Llewellyn; Emlyn-Jones,Belle; Humphreys; Thomas; Subs. not used; Budge; Whatley; Miller.

 

     LLANELLI TOWN;           Morris; Graves; Facciuto; Finselbach; C. Thomas (March, 74); R. Thomas;C. Jones (Follows, 71); R. Jones (Samuel, 74); Clarke ©; Trundle; Loveridge;

 

                                             Subs. not used; Morgan; Rees (GK).

 

     SCORERS;                       Port Talbot Town – Keene, 29.

 

                                             Llanelli Town – C. Jones, 22; Trundle, 51; Loveridge, 68.

 

     REFEREE;                       Kim Fisher (Cardiff).

 

The Reds now have an 18 day wait before their final two away league games of the season, with Cwmamman United on Wednesday, 9th May, and Cwmbran Celtic on Saturday, 12th May.

 Their League Cup final versus Trefelin at Garden Village is on Friday, 25th May.