Llanelli Legend Rhys Griffiths Back At Stebonheath

Penybont FC manager Rhys Griffiths. Pic: Penybont FC.

Llanelli Legend Rhys Griffiths Back At Stebonheath

Llanelli Town stand five points clear at the top of Welsh League Division One after a 3-1 win against Cambrian and Clydach away.

The Reds were Division Two champions last season and have made a storming charge towards a second successive promotion.

Goals by James Loveridge, Kurtis March and Luke Jones earned them a hard-earned win against feisty opponents who were always in a fierce contest.

Referee James Burgess booked seven players and sent off three. Cambrian’s Joe Evans was dismissed along with Llanelli’s Loveridge and Richard Lewis.

Andy Hill, Llanelli’s manager, also saw red after being ordered from the dug-out.

The next test for Llanelli is against Penybont, who are managed by Reds legend Rhys Griffiths.

With Chris Thomas, Jordan Davies and Lee Trundle absent, Hill made a number of positional changes with Kyle Graves partnering Lee Bevan at the back.

Anthony Finselbach and March were drafted into midfield with Luke Jones and Loveridge in attack.

Llanelli took the lead after 40 minutes when a flowing move involving four players was finished by a clinical Loveridge finish.

The second half started in explosive fashion with the Reds increasing the advantage with two goals in the space of seven minutes.

Chris Jones was the provider for the second after 48 minutes when he found March with a great delivery and the former Swansea City youth player looped his header over the goalkeeper.

Jones was again involved in Llanelli’s third goal. He picked out Loveridge wide on the right and his cross was fired home by Jones.

Cambrian were three goals down, but they hit back and goalkeeper Scott Coughlan did well to smother a header by Lee Price on the line from a Corey Shephard set piece.

Reds were forced into a change when Antonio Facciuto was injured and Lewis went on after 62 minutes.

Cambrian pulled a goal back in the 70th minute dropped into the path of Gareth Welsh and he struck a  volley from the edge of the box which flashed through a crowd of players and past an unsighted Coughlan.

The signalled a surge of attacks by the hosts, who were on top and made life extremely uncomfortable for Llanelli.

Loveridge was dismissed after 82 minutes for a second caution, while three minutes later Cambrian’s Evans was sent off for an obstruction on Luke Jones just outside the box.

Beasley pulled off a couple of fine saves to deny both Chris Jones and Lewis before the latter became the latest to see red on the stroke of full-time.

The referee added six minutes, but the Llanelli’s nine men managed hung on to clinch the three points to give them a five point lead over Haverfordwest County at the top of Division One.

Cambrian and Clydach Vale: Beasley, C Thomas, Welsh, Evans, Coles, Shephard, Price (Maksimovic 69), D Thomas (Morgan 56), French (capt), Keetch (Jones 63), Reed.

Llanelli Town: Coughlan, Samuel, Facciuto (Lewis 62), Finselbach (R Thomas 81), Graves, Bevan, C Jones, March, Clarke (capt), L Jones, Loveridge.

Penybont are the visitors to Stebonheath on Friday evening and the Reds will be welcoming back a club legend in Rhys Griffiths, now manager of their opponents (kick-off 7.30 pm).

Afan Lido staged a major recovery in the Steel derby. They were three goals down at half-time against Port Talbot Town and earned a 3-3 draw.

Cai Owens headed in a corner to start the recovery, while Sean Hanbury netted Lido’s second.

Carlos Indjai hit post with a header before, in added, time Josh Webber equalised.

Owens and Hanbury both scored their first League goals for Lido.

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