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Reds rescue a point against Celtic

FOR the third successive match late goals have become the norm when Llanelli Town are involved, with them benefitting at Carmarthen Town, losing out at home to Llantwit Major and rescuing a point at Celtic Park with a 97th minute equaliser.

Tim Parker gave them an early lead before the home side drew level in first half stoppage time through Lewis Iles, before going ahead after the restart when Thomas Meechan netted only for Thomas Hilman to restore parity for the visitors.

Meechan then completed his brace to put Celtic ahead again, and with the contest well into stoppage time Sean Cronin came to the Reds` rescue, nodding home at the far post to ensure a point.

The game was far from being a classic with an uneven playing surface not helping either side, and possession was coughed up far too easily coupled with some wayward passing, although the Reds` opener at least bore some semblance of positivity with Hillman doing well when found before setting up Parker wide on the left, and his lofted finish seemed to deceive Lewis Watkins in the home goal who could only watch as the ball cleared him before nestling in the net via the inside of the post after just seven minutes.

They went close to a second when Louis Gerrard directed his header from a corner just off target, before the hosts began to assert themselves putting their opponents` goal under pressure with a series of throw-ins and corners, although Scott Coughlan was not unduly tested in the Reds` goal.

Parker chased down a long clearance and beat Watkins to the ball before a defensive clearance alleviated the potential threat, and when the visitors won a corner the delivery was met by Jamie Baker whose well-struck shot was brilliantly turned over by the goalkeeper.

Iles fired well off target when the home side countered, but in first half stoppage time levelled matters when he met a Meechan cross into the six yard box with a powerful close-range header which gave Coughlan no chance of saving.

All square at the break, Celtic were awarded an early second half free kick on the edge of the box, but Meechan wasted the opportunity by firing against the defensive wall and the danger was averted.

The same player went close shortly after, forcing Coughlan to push clear his header from a corner, but was more successful on 58 minutes when he again stepped up to take a set-piece which this time he struck sweetly beyond the Reds` keeper and put the hosts ahead.

To their credit, the visitors did not allow this setback to faze them to any great extent and were back in contention within six minutes following a break up the left which culminated in the impressive Hillman getting into the area before lashing his finish past Watkins into the far corner.

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Following this, both sides went full out for the win with Adrian Maguire firing against the post when Celtic attacked, before they forged ahead again on 75 minutes with Meechan completing his brace but being allowed far too much room to turn before beating Coughlan with his finish.

With the clock running down it appeared as if the visitors would be making the journey home with nothing to show for their efforts, but seven minutes into time added on Cronin became their saviour as so often over the season, rising at the far post to power home his header and break the hearts of the hosts, who protested loudly to referee Daniel Richardson at the amount of additional minutes he had proscribed, to no avail.

A hard-earned point at the close for the Reds, who now face another tough assignment on Friday evening when they travel to meet Afan Lido who sit just above them in the table and are enjoying a long unbeaten run. Kick off is at 7.30pm.