Home » Welsh Cup: Reds scrape through after shootout win over Canton
Cardiff National News Sport Sport

Welsh Cup: Reds scrape through after shootout win over Canton

BEARING in mind what might transpire when teams from different leagues meet in cup competition, the higher-rated side will always be wary of the potential banana skin experience, and Llanelli Town will be thankful that although this tricky contest in the suburbs of Cardiff was eventually decided on a penalty shoot-out, they held their nerve to ensure their entry into the third round of the JD Welsh Cup.

Their cause was not helped by the absence of a number of first team regulars, with both Keane Watts and Sean Cronin nursing knocks but being named on the bench and actually coming on for the final quarter, while Ryan Bevan, Louis Gerrard and Eli Phipps were unavailable.

The home side play in the South Wales Alliance Premier Division, and on the evidence of this display will prove more than a match for any opponents, as they certainly caused their visitors numerous problems throughout.

An early indicator by the hosts came when a shot on the turn from Stephen Ward skimmed the Reds` bar, before at the other end Tim Parker saw his header come back off the woodwork when he met a long throw in by Adam Robbins.

Canton then struck the first decisive blow by taking a 17th minute lead following a long downfield clearance by goalkeeper Cohen Riella which bounced on the edge of the penalty box, and when James Parry attempted to direct his header back to Scott Coughlan it fell instead to home striker Andre Phillips who guided it into the net via the inside of the post.

Stung by this setback, the visitors pushed forward and went close to levelling matters with Jamie Baker directing a far post header against the upright from close range.

The home side were still threatening, with a long range attempt by Phillips flying over the Reds` goal, while it took a saving tackle by Baker on Aaron Garrett in the box to prevent a potential strike on target.

Riella just managed to parry and keep out a Parker header when he directed it goal-wards following a free kick, before the visitors hauled themselves back into contention when Thomas Hillman rifled home a well taken effort on 32 minutes following a great run and cross into the middle by Miles John who had another fine game, which was no more than they deserved as they had been the better of the sides for a spell.

Almost immediately following this success, the Reds thought they had won a penalty by referee Sam Lloyd when he pointed to the spot following a tackle on Nathan Logan, but he was called over by his assistant, and after a brief consultation changed his mind to nullify the award.

The Reds were finishing the half strongly, and Riella was called into action to grasp a further Hillman attempt on the line following another set-piece.

All square at the break, the second half belonged to the visitors who began to string together some telling moves to good effect, forcing the home keeper into a number of important saves, while his counterpart was seldom called upon to deal with any worthwhile efforts.

Hillman sent his volley narrowly off target, before both Watts and Cronin were introduced into the action, replacing Logan and Taylor Marsh respectively, and both had chances of putting the result beyond doubt with the former blasting over the Canton goal when well placed, and the latter failing to get enough power into a header from close range.

With the ninety minutes and stoppage time played, the tie was then decided by the taking of penalties, with the home side first up, with Bo Cordle, Tyrrell Webbe, Liam Martin and Riella all converting, before Sam O`Sullivan with the final kick striking the crossbar. For the Reds, Watts, Cronin, Joe Hopkins, and Hillman all scored, leaving Parker to apply the coup de grace to ensure their involvement in the third round draw of the competition.

More cup action takes place at Stebonheath on Friday evening with the visit of old rivals, Barry Town United in the second round of the Tier 2 Cup. Kick off is at 7.30pm.