Home » Reds earn first home win

Reds earn first home win

THIS may not have been a classic by any means, but the Reds will not mind that in the slightest as they at last recorded their first home win of the season on Saturday (Nov 17), as well as completing a double over their opponents following a 2-3 win at The Rock last August.

Fielding a virtually full-strength side with players returning from suspension, they demonstrated a far more positive attitude than of late, following two heavy defeats on the road at Connah`s Quay Nomads and Newtown.

Defensively they looked sound, although a strangely lethargic Druids outfit did not pose too many problems, and seldom tested Oliver Davies in the home goal.

James Loveridge and Chris Jones in either half ensured the points, a result which lifts them off the bottom rung of the table for the first time in many weeks, being replaced by Llandudno, who went down 1-2 to Carmarthen Town.

Early efforts by Chris Thomas and Kurtis March were unsuccessful, and when a careless pass allowed James Davies to gain possession and set off on a run on the home goal, he was halted by a good tackle from Daniel Alfei.

The Reds` defender was then guilty of delivering a terrible ball across the face of the area which again set up Davies, but fortunately the covering defence quickly snuffed out the threat.

Photo by Darren Harries

Both sides were being careless in their distribution, allowing their opponents to launch counter attacks, but the nearest either came to a sniff of a chance arose when Thomas found Loveridge on the edge of the box, and his first time volley was kept out  by goalkeeper Michael Jones at the near post.

Alfei did well to clear from Arkadiusz Piskorski when he was found in the area, while efforts from Dean Rittenberg and Ryan Kershaw were dealt with comfortably by Davies.

The Druids` management team of Huw Griffiths and Jayson Starkey had been verbal throughout, and referee Dean John finally lost patience, ordering the latter out of the dugout to the stand.

With the half entering stoppage time, the Reds at last achieved a breakthrough, when Loveridge accepted a ball in space before deftly lofting it over the oncoming figure of Jones into a vacant net.

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On the basis of play, the hosts deserved to be in the lead, and might well have added to it early after the restart when a move involving Jordan Follows and Jones looked to have the potential of releasing Loveridge on a clear run at goal, but he mistimed it, and an offside flag brought it to an end.

The visitors retaliated through Kershaw when he was set up by Iwan Cartwright, and his final effort flashed fractionally off target.

But it was the hosts who struck again on 72 minutes with Loveridge holding off the attentions of Nathan Peate and make a run to the near post, before delivering a pass to the far upright where Jones had made ground before finishing off and slotting it beyond the goalkeeper.

Buoyed by this cushion, the Reds were now firmly in control, with their opponents offering little in the way of attacking options, and the final result was a testament to the team spirit within the squad, with the bad experiences of the past few weeks already evaporating.

The only drawback is that without a game next weekend the impetus cannot be maintained, and they will have to kick their heels until Saturday, December 1, when Caernarfon Town will be the visitors, and hopefully a further three points could be in the offing.