AFTER the horror-show of their previous game versus Bala Town just four days previously, Llanelli Town finally came up with a display which proves they are more than capable of raising their game, and they more than matched their near neighbours when they met on Boxing Day.
Some tactical changes by manager Andy Hill were instrumental in ensuring the home side competed with their opponents in every department, and they began on the front foot from the start, with James Loveridge firing just wide when Chris Jones set up the chance.
Another slick move involving a number of players culminated in Michael George curling his finish at the goal, only to be thwarted by Carmarthen keeper Lee Idzi who diverted it around for a corner.
When the Old Gold countered, Oliver Davies in the home goal was forced off his line to push clear from Liam Thomas when he chased down a ball from Lewis Baldwin.
They threatened again shortly after, when a Declan Carroll corner was met at the far post by Greg Walters who in turn found Lee Surman, but he was unable to direct his effort on target.
Both sides continued to probe for the all – important opener, with possession being evenly contested, but at the interval neither goal had been breached, and it was still all to play for in the second half.
The Reds were forced into a change during the interval when Ross Jones, making his first appearance since suffering a serious shoulder injury, was forced to give way to academy player, Jamie Owen, but despite this disruption, they continued to be very much in the contest.
In fact, they were the first to threaten, with George lofting just over the bar from a Joe Clarke assist, before the visitors missed a glorious opportunity of breaking the deadlock with Thomas directing his header wide from close range when he met a cross into the box.
Luke Bowen was also culpable of spurning another good chance for the Old Gold, heading over the top from a Walters delivery, and at this stage, the hosts were coming under some serious pressure, but just about holding out.
Their goal survived another close call when a ball lofted into the goalmouth led to Davies failing to make a clean catch, and it dropped to the feet of Thomas, but again the chance was skied over the bar.
The visitors were made to pay for these costly lapses, when the Reds finally broke the deadlock on 67 minutes, following a break up the left which led to Jordan Davies delivering a great cross into the middle, and George was on hand to meet it with a firm header past Idzi.
Buoyed by this success, the home side took the game to the Old Gold, and when Jones was played in by Chris Thomas in midfield, his well struck shot was fractionally wide.
Seemingly now in control of matters, the Reds were then hit by a sucker punch in the 77th minute, when a clearance upfield left the covering defence exposed, allowing Bowen to take full advantage of a one-to-one situation before rounding the oncoming Davies and rolling his finish into a vacant net.
Even with this setback, the Reds might well still have snatched all three points, but were denied by a great save by Idzi who turned over a point blank Clarke header from a Jones cross.
At the close, a share of the points was probably a fair reflection on the overall play, but both sides remain in the danger zone and in desperate need of a few wins to haul themselves clear of trouble.
After the return at Carmarthen on New Year`s Day, the Reds entertain the league`s basement side, Llandudno, on Saturday, January 5, kick off 2.30pm.