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Reds well beaten by Bala

DESPITE the time of year being the season of good-will, Llanelli Town did not have to take the occasion quite so literally by allowing their opponents the freedom of the park throughout, leading to seven gift-wrapped goals.

To describe the Reds` defending as akin to schoolboys would be doing the youngsters a disservice, as yet another calamitous display led to further humiliation, a scenario which has become all too prevalent as the season progresses.

They have now shipped a total of 61 goals in 18 matches with a deficit of 43, and unless the squad is strengthened in the new year, the prospect of relegation is almost a certainty, with all the consequences associated with it.

The latest debacle took only 46 seconds to unfold, when the Lakesiders were gifted their opener courtesy of a wayward clearance by Reds` keeper, Oliver Davies, which only found a visiting player, who turned provider for Steven Tames to slot home the gift.

If this was not bad enough, worse was to follow with a further two goals in the space of five minutes, when a cross into the middle was deflected by Joe Clarke into his own net on 8 minutes, while Chris Venables arrived at the far post unmarked to power home his header after 13 minutes.

Three down before fifteen minutes had elapsed, it was obvious the home side were in for another difficult afternoon, and almost conceded another when a short corner between Henry Jones and Tames culminated in the ball being played into the path of Nathan Burke, whose finish flashed fractionally wide.

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The visitors were running the show, with their opponents struggling to make any impact on proceedings, but out of the blue, and with about their only strike on target, the Reds pulled one back when Chris Jones, some 30 yards out, decided there was nothing to lose by unleashing a superb shot which left Ashley Morris in the Bala goal grasping thin air as it rocketed past him on the half hour.

This unexpected success only served to spur on the visitors, and they were quickly back on the offensive with Jones being denied by the fingertips of Davies who diverted his finish around the post when he was allowed a free passage towards the goal.

Without any further mishaps prior to the break, the Reds were just about clinging on, but the second period proved to be a replica of the first, with the visitors well on top with two further attempts by Jones being thwarted by Davies and then Kurtis March.

The Lakesiders were looking threatening every time they pushed forward, and it came as little surprise when they extended the lead on 57 minutes through Tames, who was afforded acres of space courtesy of some woeful defending, by sprinting through the middle and slotting his finish past the helpless Davies.

Eight minutes later, Ian Sheridan got in on the act with a glancing header which looped over the Reds` keeper, while Tames completed his treble in the 68th minute when he was again sent clear before coolly finishing past Davies.

With a six goal lead, the visitors surprisingly left it another 18 minutes before heaping more misery on their opponents, with Tames completing a memorable afternoon by getting his fourth when he met a ball driven low by Venables to the far post and find the bottom corner.

The final whistle by referee Dean Johns must have come as a welcome relief to the Reds who had once again been well and truly put to the sword, and with two vital games on the horizon against near neighbours Carmarthen Town at home on Boxing Day and away on New Year`s Day, they will certainly have to up their game if they have any hope of securing some much-needed points.

Kick off for the home fixture is at 12 noon, while the return is scheduled for a 5.30pm start as it is being shown live on S4C.

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