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Ferry come from behind to beat Old Gold

CARMARTHEN went into this match in second place in the Cymru South League table with visitors Briton Ferry just one place and one point behind them – but while Town supporters were no doubt hoping for another performance of the quality witnessed in their latest League match against Llanelli they went away seriously disappointed.

From the start the visitors poured forward with a series of penetrative attacks – initially the Old Gold defence, centred around the experienced pairing of Lee Surman and Scott Tancock, coped quite well but increasingly goal-keeper Ifan Knott was called into action.

Then, almost inevitably given the pressure that the Town goal was under, Briton Ferry took the lead – in the 16th minute Connor Goldsworthy sent a corner-kick into a packed goalmouth where former Carmarthen striker Luke Bowen timed his arrival to perfection and powered a close-range header beyond Knott’s reach and into the roof of the net.

The Old Gold responded positively to that setback and on 21 minutes Liam Thomas, from the half-way line, threaded a fine pass through to Bradley Gibbings on the edge of the penalty area – he straightaway struck a fierce drive only for goal-keeper Tyler Evans to drop quickly down and claim the ball.

However Town continued this welcome spell of attacking play and they were duly rewarded after 24 minutes when Gibbings, on the left flank, sent a fine cross over to the edge of the penalty area where Dyson dispatched a promising angled drive – while Evans got a hand to the ball it hit the post and bounced into the net.

That success heralded a welcome spell of positive play for the Old Gold and on 31 minutes they took the lead. A Briton Ferry defender sent a woefully weak back-pass to Evans which Thomas, always alert to a scoring opportunity, comfortably intercepted and promptly drove the ball past the stranded goal-keeper and into the empty net.

The game by that stage had become distinctly evenly-balanced and in the closing 15 minutes of the first-half the Old Gold were enjoying their best spell of the match. And on 41 minutes Thomas went close to extending their lead when Jordan Vickers embarked on a typically express sprint along the right flank before crossing the ball into the goalmouth where Town’s all-time top scorer sent his close-range header narrowly over the bar.

After the interval Briton Ferry made an explosive start and put the Town defence under immediate pressure with a stream of penetrative raids – and after only two minutes of play they were back on level terms.

A swift move through the midfield opened up the home defence and finished with a fine cross from the left flank into the goalmouth where Bowen, at the far post, fired the ball past Knott and into the corner of the net.

And worse was soon to follow for the Old Gold – on 53 minutes another rapid break led to the ball being crossed into the packed penalty area and Tyler Brock forcing it beyond Knott’s reach and into the net.

Stunned by that swift turn of events Town at last managed to respond after 57 minutes when Gibbings burst into the penalty area and struck a fierce drive only for Evans to race out of his goal and kick the ball clear.

But moments later the visitors made victory a realistic certainty when in the 62nd minute another cross into the packed goalmouth gave Bowen the opportunity to complete a hat-trick against his former club.

Yet Carmarthen continued to search for goals. On 65 minutes Rickard made a dazzling run, passing 3 bewildered defenders, before releasing a powerful shot that slid narrowly wide of the post,

Then after 71 minutes Rickard again struck with 20 yard volley that Evans, at full-stretch, turned around the post. And on 83 minutes Gibbings once more tested Evans with a 15 yard drive that the ‘keeper was quickly down to claim.

But this flurry of activity was too little, too late – the game was effectively lost in that 15 minute period of miserable defending at the start of the second-half.

This disappointing result has caused Town to drop down to fourth in the League – and further worryingly, all the Clubs around them have played one game fewer.

Carmarthen’s next fixture is away against current League leaders Barry Town on Saturday, November 26, k/o 2.30pm