Sunday blog: Carmarthen avoid Bala banana skin

Carmarthen continue to fly the flag for South Wales clubs in the Welsh Premier League after taking maximum points against lowly Bala Town, winning 4-2.

Don’t be fooled by Bala’s league placing, the fixture will have been one of the toughest away matches that Carmarthen will have to face in the first stage of the season. Maes Tegid is a difficult ground to visit for clubs travelling from the south and the playing surface – which is among the poorest in the WPL – will have struggled to hold up in the wet weather.

Bala’s squad has been assembled to compete in the upper reaches of the league, and in Mark Jones and Mark Connolly, manager Colin Caton possess two of the league’s best midfield players.

Recent history was also against Carmarthen prior to yesterday’s game. Mark Aizlewood’s side had come away empty-handed on their three previous visits, failing to score a single goal.

Carmarthen also maintained their rich vein of form in front of goal. After drawing their last two games 3-3 and then 4-4, the Old Gold have now hit 11 in three games.

Liam Thomas bagged his fifth of the season while Chris Doidge and Tim Hicks were also on the scoresheet as they sit in third place in the table.

Bala had taken the lead through Steffan Edwards but ten minutes later the game quickly swung into Carmarthen’s favour. Doidge levelled and Dave Morely put the ball into his own net within the space of a minute for the Old Gold.

Carmarthen came through a strong spell of Bala with their lead intact after Ian Sheridan’s effort came back off the bar and Steven Cann saved a Mark Connolly penalty.

Two goals in two second-half minutes from Thomas and Hicks strengthened Carmarthen’s grip on the game before Steve Brown netted Bala a late consolation.

Port Talbot picked up their first away clean-sheet of the season, drawing at Prestatyn whilst it was all rather predictable stuff once again for Afan Lido, who come away from The New Saints with a 3-0 loss and remain winless after ten games.

– The second round of the Nathaniel Cars League Cup meant a blank weekend in the Welsh League. Ton Pentre needed extra-time to overcome Ammanford after finishing 3-3. Tredegar Town upset Tata Steel, winning 2-1. AFC Porth, Aberdare Town, Aberbargoed Buds, AFC Llwydcoed, Pontardawe Town, Cwmaman United, Caldicot Town, Risca United, Garden Village, Penrhiwceiber Rangers, Ely Rangers and Treowen Stars also all advance to round three.

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