A decent sized crowd of hardy Carmarthen supporters turned up at Richmond Park on Tuesday evening (Dec 6) in near freezing conditions hoping to witness the kind of impressive performances recently seen against top League teams Llanelli and Barry Town but fearing the disappointments suffered at much lower placed Abergavenny and Cwmbran Celtic (Welsh Cup tie) – such are the inconsistencies endured by the Old Gold faithful.
Yet the match began brightly and quickly developed into a fast-paced, end-to-end affair – however initially the two respective defences were coping well and no significant scoring opportunities emerged. But then, in the 12th minute, Town took the lead when Sam Parsons sent a well-flighted corner-kick towards the goalmouth and saw all-time top goal-scorer Liam Thomas swiftly peel away from the crowd of players and plant his subtle glancing header into the roof of the net.
Stunned by that set-back the visitors began to put more pressure on the Old Gold defence but, under the guidance of experienced central defender Lee Surman, they coped well – initially. Gradually the visitors were making progress towards the home goal and on 30 minutes they seemed likely to draw level when David Lyon burst through the defensive back-line only to be denied a clear scoring opportunity by goal-keeper Nick Jones who raced out to the edge of the penalty area and claimed the ball at the striker’s feet.
But Taffs Well maintained that pressure and in the 39th minute eventually they drew level – deservedly so, on the balance of play up to that time. Lyon once again sprinted into the penalty area only to be brought down by Parsons’ clumsy tackle – the lively striker himself stepped forward and confidently drove the spot-kick beyond Jones’ reach and into the corner of the net.
After the interval the visitors straightaway resumed their clear intent for more goals as they swarmed upfield and put the Old Gold defence under notable pressure. In this regard it was evident early on that while Taffs Well were making the better use of the ball whereas Town, on occasions in possession, appeared to be at an often a loss for ideas.
But, as in the earlier stages of the match, the home defence proved to be difficult to penetrate and only twice was it under threat. On 76 minutes Jordan Carey burst clear into the penalty area and from 15 yards struck an angled volley which the increasingly busy Jones resisted with an impressive reactive save – then after 81 minutes Carey was again involved when he was well placed in the penalty area to meet a left-wing cross only to send his 10 yard header over bar.
So once again this season the Old Gold have failed to produce the quality of football which they have demonstrated on many other occasions – and this has cost them precious League points.