LLANELLI TOWN 5 TAFFS WELL 2
An excellent start by Llanelli Town in their opening game in Welsh League Division 1, as they saw off the challenge of the Wellmen with two goals apiece for Lee Trundle and Joe Clarke, while Jordan Davies also got on the scoresheet.
The only slight negatives were the two replies by the visitors which owed more to defensive lapses than any positive play on their part, and no doubt manager Andy Hill and his coaching team will be working on this aspect to ensure errors are kept to a minimum.
Scott Coughlan made his debut in the home goal after joining during the week, and although he made the mistake which led to a goal, overall he displayed confidence in his play which bodes well for the future.
James Loveridge was prominent early on as the Reds set up a number of attacks, forcing a block at the near post before sending a finish across the face of goal and just wide of the far upright.
Coughlan was called into action, safely grasping a well struck free kick by Adie Harries, while Robert Thomas did well to get in the way of a Sam Johnson attempt when the striker bore down on goal.
Despite their overall dominance, the hosts were still awaiting a breakthrough, but two goals in as many minutes swung the pendulum their way, with the first arriving on 24 minutes when Harries failed to control a ball in the box which then squirmed into the path of Trundle, who needed no second invitation before firing into the net
Almost before the home euphoria had died down, they went further ahead with Chris Jones laying on a great ball for Clarke to collect before beating Johnson in the 26th minute.
Stunned by these rapid setbacks, the Wellmen were struggling to contain their opponents with Loveridge again going close from a Clarke assist.
A rare foray by the visitors saw March conceding a corner when Aaron Thomas sent over a searching cross, and when Antonio Faccuito conceded possession on halfway, Johnson made ground towards goal but fired his finish narrowly wide.
Two goals to the good at the break, within a minute of the restart the lead was increased when Clarke sent Loveridge on a run down the right, and his delivery low into the goalmouth was fumbled by Johnson, allowing Davies to slide in and force the chance home from close range after 46 minutes.
However, within a minute the visitors were thrown a lifeline when a high hanging ball into the goalmouth led to Coughlan making the initial catch only to allow it to slip from his grasp, and Warren Jones gratefully accepted the gift to reduce the deficit.
The contest then reverted back in favour of the home side as within two minutes they struck again with Trundle setting up Clarke who found the bottom corner and restore the three goal cushion
Still the Wellmen would not lie down, and once again proved they were far from finished by notching up a second on 55 minutes, taking advantage of some lax defending following a corner which allowed substitute King Junior Mdwezo ,who had only been on for five minutes, to loft his finish over Coughlan and set home nerves jangling again.
Trundle fired just over the visitors` bar and then sent over a corner which was met by a Lee Bevan header which bounced down and sailed just wide.
The Wellmen then went close to reducing the lead when Johnson got clear before being temporarily halted, but he still managed to get to the loose ball before rattling the bar with his shot.
If that had gone in, it might well have led to a different outcome, but as it was the Reds finally sealed matters with a fifth goal in the 71st minute when, inevitably, Trundle was found in the box, and despite the attentions of two defenders turned sharply before rifling a superb finish past the goalkeeper into the top corner.
The Reds made a number of changes prior to the close, with Luke Jones, Liam Samuel and Luke Morgan replacing Loveridge, Chris Jones and Anthony Finselbach, and Jones almost added to the tally, only being denied by the legs of Johnston when a run from his own half led to a shooting opportunity.
A promising start to the Reds` campaign, and with a couple of players still to return to the squad things are looking rosy for the season ahead.
LLANELLI TOWN; Coughlan; March; Faccuito; Finselbach (Morgan, 85); R. Thomas; Bevan;
C. Jones (Samuel, 82); Davies; Clarke ©; Trundle; Loveridge (L. jones, 79).
Subs. not used; C. Thomas; Morris (GK).
TAFFS WELL; J.H. Johnson; Thomas; Howard (Phillips, 67); Harries; McDonnall; W. Jones;
Evans ©; O`Sullivan; S. Johnson; Jones; Pilapal (Mdwezo, 50); Subs. not used;
Mahon; Elliott; Needs.
SCORERS; Llanelli Town – Trundle, 24, 71; Clarke, 26, 49; Davies, 46.
Taffs Well – W. Jones, 47; Mdwezo, 55.
YELLOW CARD; Taffs Well – W. Jones.
REFEREE; Darren Adie (Caldicot).
The Reds make the short journey on Friday evening to meet Briton Ferry Llansawel at Old Road,
Kick off 7.30 p.m.