Home » Loveridge brace earns vital win for Reds

Loveridge brace earns vital win for Reds

IT turned out to be a satisfactory afternoon for Llanelli Town, for as well as opening up a four point gap between themselves and their visitors at the foot of the table, courtesy of a brace by James Loveridge, the two teams immediately above them, Carmarthen Town and Cefn Druids, both lost, closing the points gap to five and six respectively.

Four new players made their debuts, although three of them – Scott Coughlan, Lee Bevan and Luke Morgan – are all ex-Reds, but the signing of Swansea City legend, Leon Britton, is probably the biggest coup the club has made, and is a tremendous morale-booster, both to the team and the Welsh Premier League.

Hopefully, his vast experience playing at the highest level will be the spur the Reds need to extricate themselves from their present predicament, and ensure their survival at the end of the season.

Llandudno, too, have been busy in the transfer window, bringing in Les Davies, Ryan Wade and Zebb Edwards who were all named in the starting line-up, and they were the first to threaten when a Toby Jones corner was headed against the bar by George Harry before the danger was cleared.

A run by Harry up the middle saw him unleash a shot which Coughlan dealt with comfortably, but he earned his reward on 12 minutes by putting the visitors ahead, meeting a ball into him on the half volley before turning and beating the home keeper.

The hosts were struggling somewhat to establish a foothold in the game, and they were hard pressed at times to contain their opponents, typified when Mark Connolly sent Harry clear up the right, and his delivery into the goalmouth could have gone anywhere, but deflected for a corner.

Photo by Darren Harries

As the contest progressed, the Reds began to come to grips with proceedings, and Kurtis March fired wide of the near post from a Jordan Davies assist, before they levelled matters on the half hour through Loveridge, who seized on a pass by Chris Jones to beat goalkeeper Shaun Pearson inside his near post

The home striker went close again shortly after, seeing his finish flash fractionally wide, while Davies failed to make a clean connection when he was found in the box.

But within seven minutes of the equaliser, Loveridge struck again to notch up his brace when he was the recipient of a pass from Davies, before once again beating the Llandudno keeper with a well taken finish.

Narrowly ahead at the break, the Reds had once again to withstand some early pressure after the restart, when Telor Williams, who had replaced Zyaac Edwards at half time, forced Coughlan into a save when he met a cross into the middle.

Joe Clarke then sent Loveridge clear up the right where he made inroads into the box, but his final ball across the face of goal sailed just beyond the back post.

The next home threat arose when Scott Tancock burst through the middle and his fiercely struck shot was parried away by Pearson with Clarke meeting the rebound, only for a timely block to relieve the danger.

Photo by Darren Harries

The visitors retaliated through Jones whose delightful delivery sent Alun Webb clear on a run down the right flank, and he cut inside but dragged his finish across the net and wide of the target.

With Llandudno desperately attempting to grab an equaliser, the Reds goal was surviving some close calls at times, but somehow it held out with Bevan a rock at the back, and when they countered, Loveridge, who was having an outstanding match, twice almost added to the tally.

He then set up Davies by crossing the ball into the goalmouth, but somehow the chance was lost when Pearson was able to hold on to the finish from point blank range.

The visitors might well have levelled matters shortly before the final whistle, when a corner by Jones found Davies, but he directed his header inches wide from a good position.

The home side hung on to clinch three precious points, and now face a visit to The New Saints on Saturday evening (Jan 12) for their final game prior to the mid-season split. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.