Reds And Bluebirds Set Hot Welsh League Pace

Llanelli Town and Haverfordwest County are showing the sort of form which suggests they can break away from their rivals at the top of Welsh League Division One.

The Reds 3-1 at Ton Pentre in the Rhondda, while the Bluebirds emerged 2-1 winners at home against Cwmamman United.

Ton are without a League win this season and are battling to climb the table with only Caerau Ely below them, but they looked a capable and confident outfit against leaders Llanelli.

With almost an hour gone the Rhondda Bulldogs led 1-0 and were good value for that advantage.

Joe Clarke (penalty, 56), Lee Trundle (59) and Jordan Follows (75) turned the match in Llanelli’s favour.

Ton had taken the lead after two minutes when Charlie Loss ran onto a Matthew Smith pass and slotting his finish beyond goalkeeper Scott Coughlan.

Follows was denied by an outstanding save from Stephen Hall in the Ton goal. He pushed the effort around a post.

Llanelli had a great opportunity to equalise when they were awarded a penalty three minutes before half-time. Trundle was fouled during a typically tricky run and he jumped up to take the kick.

Trundle, though, fired his penalty against the underside of Ton’s bar and the ball rebounded to safety.

Referee Gavin Townsend pointed to the penalty spot for a second time when Follows was floored after 56 minutes and this time Joe Clarke stepped up to drive the penalty past Hall.

A second Llanelli goal went in three minutes later when a Kyle Graves free-kick led to the ball bobbling dangerously in front of goal and Trundle reacted quickly to fire home from close range.

He almost added another shortly after when a run from halfway took Trundle into the penalty area, but, with only Hall to beat, he fired wide of the far post.

The Reds increased their advantage when Follows collected a ball driven into him by Robert Thomas and shot just inside the near upright.

Llanelli’s Lee Trundle. Pic: Llanelli FC.

There were no further chances at either end and Llanelli extended their unbeaten league run to 10 matches.

Ton Pentre: Hall (capt), 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 (capt), L Jones (Wade 79), Trundle, Follows. Sub not used; Morris (gk).

Referee: Gavin Townsend (Ebbw Vale).

Haverfordwest County, in second place, are sticking with the pace set by Llanelli.

Two second half finishes were enough to clinch the three points in a scrappy game.

The match was goalless at half-time, but the mood was lifted by two Bluebirds’ goals.

Declan Carroll netted the first after 55 minutes, following good work by Kristian Speake and Dan Williams on the left. The finish, from 25 yards, was decisive and clinical.

Williams then set up a second for County when he curled in a free-kick and Speak netted from close range after 70 minutes.

Cwmamman hit back in spirited style and pulled a goal back when Colin Harris fifed home from close range with 16 minutes left.

County, though, held on for a hard-earned victory.

Haverfordwest County: Conah McFenton, Matthew Broome, Sean Pemberton (capt), Spencer Williams, Tim Hicks, Ricky Watts, Kristian Speake, Declan Carroll (Charlie Davies 88), Joe Leahy (Alaric Jones 88), Dane Williams, Steffan Williams (Nicky Palmer 70). Subs: Nick Jones, Alaric Jones, Leon Luby, Nicky Palmer, Charlie Davies.

Llanelli travel to play Second Division AFC Llwydcoed in the Nathaniel Car Sales League Cup quarter-finals this Saturday.

Draw (all being played this Saturday, 1.30pm): AFC Llwydcoed v Llanelli Town, Briton Ferry Llansawel v Cwmbran Celtic, Pontypridd Town v Aberbargoed Buds, STM Sports v Trefelin BGC.

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