Home » Reds slump to disappointing defeat

Reds slump to disappointing defeat

Report by Alan Evans

TO say the Reds underperformed on Saturday (Feb 24), against opponents who were on a decent unbeaten run would be an understatement – they were awful, and while the visitors themselves were no great shakes, they were certainly far better than their hosts.

At least they tested Craig Morris in the home goal, whereas the shot-shy Reds` attack did not manage a single effort on target throughout.

Any ambitions of promotion to the Welsh Premiership look to be pie-in-the-sky on the evidence of this particular game, although the writing has been on the wall with only a point to show from the last three games, with a home defeat to Afan Lido, and a fortunate draw at lowly Monmouth Town.

The frustrating aspect to this dip in form is that, on their day, they are capable of holding their own with the best, but a collective lethargy seems to have enveloped the squad, and needs to be rectified sooner rather than later.

It was a depressing spectacle to watch with both sides struggling to put together any form of worthwhile moves, with possession being conceded far too easily and a distinct lack of any kind of flair to lift the contest out of mediocrity.

An utterly forgettable 20 or so minutes signalled what would come for the remainder of the clash, the only incident of note coming from the visitors when Dan Jarman forced Morris to turn his near post attempt for a corner.

A run by Tom Wright up the flank ended with Morris safely gathering his cross, while the Reds` keeper brought off a fine save to keep out a close range header following a Cai Smith corner.

Undy continued to be the far more menacing of the two sides, and a shot on the turn from Ryan Dorrion flew just off target before a further chance fell to Gareth Cullimore when Marcus Power found him in space, but he shot wide from a good position.

The half time interval arrived with neither side able to break the deadlock, but the Reds finally created virtually their first real chance with Jordan Follows sending his finish beyond the far post when set up by Luke Jones.

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Undy, however, were still looking the more likely of opening the scoring, with a ball across the box by Ben Lawrence failing to pick out a colleague.

Ross Jones headed a cross by Follows on to the roof of the visitors` net, before the best chance to date fell to Undy`s Jamie Coombes, who had replaced Jarman, when he was put clear and rounded Morris, but then took too long over his finish and was forced wide, before managing to find Power who then attempted to return the compliment only for Coombes to be flagged offside.

It was becoming increasingly obvious the longer the game progressed that in the unlikely event of a goal being forthcoming, it would turn out to be the winner, and this proved to be the case when Undy finally got the breakthrough on 76 minutes through Paul Clayton, when a clutch of players went up to meet a corner and he found the net via the underside of the bar.

James Smallcombe in the Undy goal had barely been troubled by the toothless home attack, before he was finally called into action to divert a Follows effort for a corner.

Morris, who had been by far the busier keeper, made a good save to deny Chris Parry when an initial run by Coombes created the chance.

Just before the close, probably the Reds` best opportunity of getting something out of the contest fell to Luke Jones when he met a Follows delivery a few yards out, but even then his header failed to find the target.

A dispiriting display by the home side, and with some difficult fixtures still to come, a lot of hard work is needed if the aim of promotion is to be achieved.

On Saturday (Mar 3), the Reds make the short journey to meet Cwmamman United, kick off 2.30pm, while on Wednesday, March 7, they have a vital home game when they entertain Penybont, kick off 7.30pm.