LLANELLI TOWN 2 CAERNARFON TOWN 2
There was a nice touch prior to kick-off with both teams lining up to applaud Reds` defender, Chris Thomas, on to the field on the occasion of his 400th Welsh Premier League start – an accolade richly deserved, as he has been a club stalwart for many seasons.
Regarding the game itself, a point apiece was probably a fair reflection on the overall play by both sides, although when the hosts edged ahead with only eight minutes remaining, it seemed as if a welcome three points would be secured.
But the visitors had other ideas, and levelled matters before the final whistle, ensuring the contest ended all-square.
After some early sparring by both sides, the first real chance fell to the Reds` James Loveridge following a high ball into the goalmouth which was spilled by goalkeeper Alex Ramsey, and when the striker made a good connection, it came back off the post and into the path of Jordan Davies, but he too saw his effort blocked in the box.
Having survived this close call, the visitors countered through Gareth Evans, whose delivery across the face of goal was eventually met by Cai Jones, but again his attempt was charged down.
The home side almost conceded when some good play involving Nathan Craig and Ryan Williams saw the latter make tracks towards the target, and his strike was scrambled off the line by Daniel Alfei.
A ball floated into the Reds` goalmouth led to Kurtis March directing his attempted clearing header against the bar before the threat was snuffed out.
At this stage, Caernarfon looked the more likely of taking the lead, as although the Reds were enjoying plenty of possession, they lacked a cutting edge, with the visitors` goal not coming under sustained pressure.
The visitors again went close when a Craig corner found Jamie Breese whose header was directed inches the wrong side of the far post.
The home side did counter with a flowing move involving Jordan Follows, Davies and Loveridge, culminating in Loveridge firing his finish over the top.
The Reds` striker then latched on to a quick throw-in by Chris Jones, but could only find the side netting with his shot.
Scoreless at the break, the second half proved to be a really explosive affair, with four goals and two dismissals adding to the drama.
The hosts, who had been kept reasonably quiet by their opponents in the first period, were much more on the front foot after the restart, testing Ramsey on a number of occasions, with Follows forcing him to turn away a well struck shot at full stretch.
When a slip by Joe Williams afforded Loveridge the chance of a run at goal, Ramsey did well to keep out the finish with an outstretched leg.
This action was to prove to be his last involvement in proceedings, as when Joe Clarke directed a clearance over the top for Follows to collect, Ramsey sprinted off his line before taking out the Reds` player, with referee Tom Owen having no option other than to produce a red card on 57 minutes.
Nick Bould came on as the replacement keeper with Jones being withdrawn, and at this stage the home side probably felt that events were turning in their favour and they could go on and secure a result.
They pushed forward, and a far post header by Follows was just wide when he met a Jones corner, before the visitors struck against the odds and took the lead in the 75th minute.
It stemmed from a free kick outside the box taken by Craig, who unleashed a powerful strike which Oliver Davies in the home goal parried but could not prevent ending up in the net.
Stung by this unexpected reverse, the home side replied in the best possible manner, drawing level just three minutes later, when March won possession on the edge of the area and struck his effort goalwards, where it took a deflection off a defender and looped over the despairing clutches of Bould.
Within four minutes of this, events took an even better turn with the award of penalty when Loveridge was brought down, and Jones stepped up to drive the spot kick past the keeper.
With the finishing line in sight, the Reds appeared as if they were going to record their second successive league win, but three minutes from time their opponents ensured a share of the spoils when some slack defending allowed Breese to meet a ball driven across goal at the far post and guide it home from point blank range.
In the wake of this, Scott Tancock became the second player to see red for foul and abusive language directed at the referee, and he will now be hit with a lengthy ban as he is something of a serial offender.
Even worse, he will now miss the tricky third round tie in the JD Welsh Cup at Llangefni Town next Saturday, lessening the Reds` chances of progressing in the competition.
LLANELLI TOWN; O. Davies; March; Thomas; Alfei; Tancock; Clarke ©; J. Davies; George;
Follows (Owen, 90+1); Jones; Loveridge; Subs. not used; Jenkins, Nelson.
CAERNARFON TOWN; Ramsey (Bould, 59); J. Williams; Craig ©; G. Edwards; Roberts; Evans;
Crowther; Breese (Bradley, 90+1); N. Edwards; R. Williams (Brookwell, 83);
Jones (Bould, 59); Sub. not used; Owen.
SCORERS; Llanelli Town; March, 78; Jones (P), 82.
Caernarfon Town; Craig, 75; Breese, 87.
RED CARDS; Llanelli Town; Tancock.
Caernarfon Town; Ramsey.
REFEREE; Tom Owen (Wrexham).
|1st December 2018||2:30 pm||JD Welsh Premier League||2018-19||90'|
|Club||1st Half||1st Half||2nd Half||2nd Half||Goals||Goals||Outcome|
|Llanelli Town AFC||0||0||2||2||2||2||Draw|
|Caernarfon Town FC||0||0||2||2||2||2||Draw|