AFAN LIDO 0 LLANELLI TOWN 3
As holders of the Nathaniel Car Sales League Cup, Llanelli Town cruised through to the quarter-finals of the competition with a comfortable win at the Marston`s Stadium, following their 4-0 league success at the same venue a fortnight previously.
Goals by Robert Thomas in the first half and a quick-fire double by Jordan Follows in the second saw them safely home, and on this showing, they look quite capable of retaining the trophy they won at the close of the 2016-17 season.
They accomplished the win even without several players, with Antonio Facciuto, Anthony Finselbach, Jordan Davies, Luke Morgan, James Loveridge and Luke Jones all missing due to injury, unavailability and suspension, although they did welcome back Follows, Richard Lewis and Sam Wade after lengthy absences.
An early attack by the Reds begun by a ball over the top by Chris Thomas led to Joe Clarke making ground down the right, but his intended cross into the middle was cut out at the expense of a corner.
From this, came the opening goal, when the delivery by Lee Trundle was met by a far post header from Robert Thomas to beat Aaron Jones in the home goal after 10 minutes.
Chris Jones tried his luck with a well struck long distance shot which the Lido keeper just managed to keep out, and when Trundle gained possession in the area he went down under a challenge, but referee Teifion Cook waved play on.
A Follows header from a Trundle cross was cleared by the home defence who were under pressure, and were called into action again when Lee Bevan headed down a Trundle corner to Robert Thomas, but his finish was blocked on the line.
The visitors were well on top and dictating the play, stroking the ball around to good effect, and about the only threat on their goal came when a Shane Williams centre was partially cleared only as far as Craig Davies, with his finish forcing Scott Coughlan in the Reds` goal to divert it clear.
This seemed to enliven the hosts, and another delivery by Williams was headed over from close range by Cai Owen.
Despite their overall dominance, the visitors were still only the one goal to the good at the break, but within ten minutes of the restart trebled their advantage, with Follows the recipient on both occasions.
Chris Jones set up the first with a great run down the right flank before crossing into the middle where the ball eventually arrived at the feet of Follows, and he curled a delightful strike beyond the despairing dive of Jones on 54 minutes.
Within a minute, he completed his brace when a one-two with Trundle allowed him to unleash a shot which rebounded off the foot of the post and into the net.
With the tie already probably out of their reach, the home side at last displayed some attacking intent, forcing Kyle Graves to head a ball from Sacha Walters out of the goalmouth.
A flurry of changes to both sides did not lead to much variation in the overall play, although the Reds` goal survived another close call when Kurtis March headed out from under the crossbar after a defensive mix-up.
Trundle struck a late effort just off target, but the visitors ran out comfortable winners, and now wait to ascertain their opponents in the last eight of the competition.
A. Jones; Owen; Hanbury; Davies ©; Indjai; Doyle (Evans, 86); Thomas; McCreesh;
M. Jones; Walters; Williams (Webber, 71);
Subs. not used; Fleming; DeVulgt.
Coughlan; Graves (Samuel, 69); March; R. Thomas ; C. Thomas (Wade, 76);
Bevan; C. Jones; R. Jones; Clarke ©; Trundle; Follows (Lewis, 73);
Sub.not used; Morris (GK).
Llanelli Town – R. Thomas, 10; Follows, 54, 55.
Afan Lido – Owen; Indjai; Walters; McCreesh; Williams; M. Jones.
Llanelli Town – C. Thomas; R. Thomas; Trundle.
REFEREE; Teifion Cook (Clydach).