Llanelli Town 1-1 Carmarthen Town: Old Gold rescue a point at Stebonheath
A Luke Bowen goal 12 minutes from time rescued a point for Carmarthen Town, who drew 1-1 with strugglers Llanelli Town at Stebonheath Park.
The result means that Andy Hill’s Reds remain six points behind the Old Gold in the Welsh Premier League.
Michael George had put Llanelli in front in the second half, but his were unable to hold on to their lead.
The Reds had conceded 11 goals in their previous two league games, and put in a stronger defensive showing to limit Neil Smothers’ side to one goal.
James Loveridge found early success out wide, dragging the defence out of space and cutting inside down the left. The Reds forward swivelled inside, watching as his effort slipped past the right post.
Michael George was next to push home the Reds bright start, forcing stopper Lee Idzi into a brilliant save early on.
The midfield man was the recipient of some neat build-up play outside the box, with a curled effort forcing the stopper into an acrobatic save to keep the scores level.
It took time for the Old Gold to settle into the game, but their high pressure slowly began to take effect.
Their pressing forced a mistake from the home side just outside their area, as they failed to clear their lines from a throw-in.
A quick ball to the middle of the park found Declan Carroll in acres of space just outside the box, but his effort was scuffed, and a glorious opportunity was wasted for the visitors as the ball trickled into the hands of Oliver Davies.
Loveridge looked lively throughout the first half, with the forward pushing hard for the opener.
The Reds front man picked up the ball outside the box, shifting onto his right to fire a curled effort towards the centre of goal, but Lee Idzi jumped high to pluck the ball from the air.
Neil Smothers’ side went close to taking the lead just after the hour mark.
Luke Bowen broke through, leaping high to head a ball just over the bar, as the visitors looked to make their chances count just after the hour mark.
Liam Thomas was on the end of plenty of chances for the Old Gold but couldn’t break the deadlock.
The ball fell invitingly for the number seven inside the area, with virtually an open net, the midfielder skied his effort with just enough defensive pressure from the Reds being enough to keep the score level.
Despite their pressure, it would be the Reds that grabbed the lead.
Llanelli had found success from the wings all afternoon, and that was where they would find their goal. A ball whipped in from the left found the head of Michael George, who slammed an effort into the right of the net to give the home side a valuable lead.
Their lead, however, would be relatively short-lived.
Ten minutes after the restart, the game was all-square once more thanks to a superb solo goal from Luke Bowen.
The forward latched onto a long through ball on the edge of the area, cutting inside to lose his defender. With just stopper Oliver Davies to beat, a well-timed fake-shot sent the keeper to the floor, leaving the striker to pass the ball into the open net.
Neither side could muster a grave enough threat to trouble either keeper from there on out, and so the Boxing Day derby ended all square.
Both teams will face-off once again on New Year’s Day.
(Featured Image: Llanelli Town FC)