Manager Mark Jones made a changes for this derby match following his sides weekend defeat to Carmarthen as Matthew Thompson made his first Principality Welsh Premier League start of the season and Nicky Holland and Gareth Phillips were both named in the starting line-up.
Port Talbot started brightly but it was Llanelli who had the first controversial incident of the evening as a penalty appeal against Port Talbot in the opening ten minutes. Despite lacking any real quality in their football Llanelli opened the scoring on 15 minutes when an effort from Rhys Griffiths hit the bar and bounced onto the goalline for Lee Jarman to slot the ball into the net. Offside protests from the visitors saw Daniel Thomas and Lee Kendall booked for dissent and nine minutes later Thomas was shown a second yellow card for a high challenge on the touchline.
Despite having just ten men Port Talbot played the better football with the pace of Scott Barrow and Lloyd Grist a constant problem for the Llanelli defence and it was no surprise when Michael Howard was replaced by Owain Warlow at half-time as the home side struggled to take control of the game. Martin Rose had a chance to level the score just before the break but he could not reach a cross from the left by Scott Barrow. Port Talbot continued to take the game to their opponents in the second half but it was referee Kevin Morgan who became the main talking point as he showed a total of eight yellow cards and two reds during the match.
The introduction of Drew Fahiya caused further problems for Llanelli and especially for substitute Warlow as he was shown a second yellow card on 83 minutes for a foul on Fahiya. As Port Talbot continued to push forward for an equaliser Llanelli were offered the chance to extend their lead on the counter-attack but squandered efforts from Rhys Griffiths did little to inspire the home side while at the other end Fahiya came close to scoring a deserved equaliser on 87 minutes but could not stretch far enough at the back post for the vital touch. Llanelli held on for the win despite a poor performance in a competitive derby match spoilt by unnecessary key decisions by the referee.
9th March 2010 – www.llanelliafc.org
Reds win but only just!
A 15th minute goal by Lee Jarman proved sufficient to secure the Reds another three points, which ensures they remain ahead of The New Saints on goal difference at the top of the table as their nearest rivals recorded a 2-1 win at Carmarthen. Overall, however, it was a below par performance by the home side who struggled for much of the time to string together some worthwhile passing movements, relying instead on route one tactics, which with the calibre of players in the team amounts to a neglectful waste of talent. They also played against ten men from the 24th minute onwards after the dismissal of Daniel Thomas for two yellow cards, but failed dismally to force home the numerical advantage.
In fact, the visitors were by far the more dangerous of the two sides, enjoying plenty of possession but lacking a cutting edge in the final third, and when home goalkeeper Ashley Morris took the man of the match nomination, it just about summed up the overall display. He kept out the visitors attack with some safe catching both from crosses and set pieces, and generally inspired confidence in his defenders. An early Rhys Grifiths strike led to a good block by Scott Barrow, and when the Reds pushed forward again, a cross by Stuart Jones into the box appeared to lead to a hand ball, but the penalty appeals were waved away by referee Kevin Morgan.
They did take the lead after 15 minutes when an Andy Legg free kick deflected goalwards and was initially met by Griffiths whose attempt rebounded downwards off the underside of the crossbar before Jarman made sure by driving the ball into the roof of the net. Nine minutes later, Port Talbot were reduced to ten men when Thomas was sent off, and the Reds almost snatched another goal with Jones seeing his header from a Legg corner cleared off the line. Owain Warlow replaced Michael Howard at the start of the second half, and the home side again went close with a Legg free kick coming back off the post with goalkeeper Lee Kendall beaten. The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession but found Morris in good form, cutting out many dangerous balls into the middle and goalmouth. Craig Moses had his shot deflected clear by Barrow, and then had a great shooting chance but elected instead to find Legg who blasted well wide.
When Martin Rose got clear for Port Talbot he squared a pass into the middle but the defence eventually scrambled it away from danger. A run by Griffiths saw Warlow meet the ball ten yards out with only Kendall to beat, but he somehow contrived to hit the bar when it seemed easier to score. Legg just managed to deflect a ball meant for Matthew Thompson close to the Reds goal, before the numbers on both sides were evened up when Warlow was dismissed on 83 minutes for two cautions. Griffiths saw two late attempts sail just off target, before the final whistle signalled the end to a match which the visitors could well have got something out of, given the Reds mediocre showing.
Principality Welsh Premier League
Tuesday, 9th March 2010
at Stebonheath, Llanelli
Llanelli 1-0 Port Talbot Town
Lee Jarman (15)
Port Talbot Town
Referee – Mr Kevin Morgan
Team – Ashley Morris, Lee Jarman, Michael Howard, Chris Venables, Stuart Jones, Wyn Thomas, Andy Legg, Antonio Corbisiero, Rhys Griffiths, Stephen Evans, Craig Moses
Subs – Andrew Mumford (rep Evans – 72), Owain Warlow (rep Howard – 46), Lee Phillips (Unused), Craig Frater (Unused), Declan John (Unused)
Yellow Cards – Rhys Griffiths (19), Wyn Thomas (48), Owain Warlow (49), Antonio Corbisiero (87)
Red Cards – Owain Warlow (83)
Goalscorers – Lee Jarman (15)
Port Talbot Town
Team – Lee Kendall, Leigh De-Vulgt, Lloyd Grist, Scott Barrow, Matthew Rees, Lee Surman, Matthew Thompson, Gareth Phillips, Martin Rose, Daniel Thomas, Nicky Holland
Subs – Drew Fahiya (rep Holland – 69), Lee John (rep Thompson – 77), Gary Bansor (rep Phillips – 88)
Yellow Cards – Daniel Thomas (15), Lee Kendall (16), Leigh De-Vulgt (51), Lee Surman (90)
Red Cards – Daniel Thomas (24)
Goalscorers – None
Attendance – 382