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Ammanford earn a point against Llanelli

AFTER serving up one of their best displays of one-touch attacking football for many a long year, Llanelli Town will feel frustrated that at the final whistle they had to settle for a share of the spoils, as the contest should have been long over in their favour, probably as early as the first half.

They had their opponents on the back foot for the majority of the game, but a crucial lack of finishing in the end proved decisive with the visitors` goal being let off the hook on innumerable occasions.

Early notice of the Reds` intentions came early on when a ball driven across the six-yard box by Keane Watts just evaded the attentions of a couple of attackers, while Sean Cronin headed wide from close in following a Ryan Bevan corner.

Ammanford`s danger man, Lee Trundle, was being kept relatively quiet by the home rearguard, and the only time he managed to get off a shot on target it was safely dealt with by keeper Scott Coughlan.

Trundle was then instrumental in setting up Colin Harris, and his well struck effort was scooped over the bar by Coughlan.

The visitors were finding it increasingly difficult to contain the Reds` fast-paced attackers, with Miles John, Watts and Eli Phipps particularly prominent, while Louis Gerrard delivered a thunderous 25 yard strike which caused Joseph Massaro in the Ammanford goal some problems before he managed to deflect it for a corner, while he was called into action shortly after and did well to deny Watts.

A lofted clearance by James Parry gave Watts the opportunity to gain possession before making ground and unleashing a near post finish which Massaro kept out with difficulty.

Despite their all-round superiority, the hosts just could not find the crucial killer ball to unlock their opponents, but eventually relief arrived on 26 minutes when they deservedly went ahead when Cronin made ground up the left before delivering a ball low across the goalmouth which evaded a number of players before James Baker timed his run perfectly to beat Massaro from close range.

Although being comprehensively outplayed. the visitors still offered up a threat, and it took a great save by Coughlan to deny Harris when he unleashed a shot from distance.

The Reds retaliated, and another chance went begging with Baker unable to find the net with a header from close in following a Gerrard cross, and an even better one then came the way of Josef Hopkins who was put clear by an assist from Bevan, and made ground to the edge of the box before rounding Massaro, but then could only direct his finish inches wide of the far post with the goal gaping.

Despite all the first half Reds` pressure, the sides went in at the interval with just the solitary goal separating them, and the same scenario continued following the restart with Massaro safely gathering a well –struck Watts effort, and when the same player found Hopkins, the keeper again came to the rescue, while Phipps directed his header wide from another Watts cross, before he was replaced by Thomas Hillman, and Owain Phillips-Taylor came on for Gerrard.

The hosts were then left to rue their glut of missed chances when their opponents levelled matters on 68 minutes, with Trundle inevitably involved in the move with a trademark swivel and reverse pass to play in Brett Enoch who made ground before firing past Coughlan.

Despite this setback, the Reds continued to dominate and push forward in their efforts to secure the winner, but again were let down by some wayward finishing, with John heading wide from a decent position when he met a Watts delivery, while Tim Parker scuffed his finish off target with Watts again the provider.

Try as they might, the home side just could find the net to clinch the win, and Ammanford will be breathing a sigh of relief at the eventual outcome.

The Reds have another difficult game next Friday evening when they travel to meet Briton Ferry Llansawel for their first away league fixture of the season. Kick off 7.30pm.

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