Sunday blog: Afan Lido rue luck; gamble pays off for Scott Young; Carmarthen slump

Afan Lido remain rooted to the bottom of the Welsh Premier League table going into the festive period but Paul Evans’ side can take heart from a valiant display at Bangor City yesterday.

Bangor’s deadly duo of Sion Edwards and Les Davies combined deep into added time as the Citizens snatched a 1-0 win, after Afan Lido appeared to have done enough to weather a second-half storm from the hosts.

Lido themselves could’ve taken the lead at Nantporth as Alex Chrysanthou missed from close range but as Bangor stepped up the pressure, Lido were able to rely on the form of Craig Richards to keep City at bay.

The young goalkeeper turned in a huge second-half performance making a string of fine saves and seemed destined to claim a well-earned shut-out before finally being beaten by Les Davies’ late header.

Manager Paul Evans will be hoping his side can replicate the same level of defensive resolve in the big derby double-header against rivals Port Talbot.

The Steelmen fared better on Friday night with a dramatic 2-1 win against Aberystwyth lifting them out of the drop zone.

Port Talbot scored twice inside the final six minutes to overturn Craig Williams’ opener for Aber, with Rhys Griffiths again on the scoresheet and providing the assist for match winner Chad Bond.

Town boss Scott Young must be given credit for his attacking intentions on the road at top-six chasing Aberystwyth. The decision to play with two strikers – Martin Rose and Rhys Griffiths – was a clear indication of the confidence that Young has in squad. Young has faced some criticism from some sections this year but he will need no reminding that his side are currently three unbeaten in the league.

Both Afan Lido and Port Talbot will be going into the Boxing day and New Years’ derbies believing they can come away victorious and I have a feeling we could see two of the best derby games between the two clubs in recent years.

Out of the three south Wales managers, Mark Aizlewood will be the most concerned going into Christmas.

Carmarthen were handed a 2-0 defeat by Rhyl at Belle Vue despite the Lillywhites having full-back Liam Benson dismissed for two bookable offences inside the opening 24-minutes.

Not even a missed Steve Evans penalty deterred Rhyl, who struck twice early in the second period through Tom Donegan and David Forbes.

The defeat means Carmarthen have taken just one point from their last four outings. And after a strong run, Aizlewood will be under pressure to turnaround a slump in form and secure a top-six place in back-to-back games against Aberystwyth – the first of which is televised next Saturday on Sgorio.

RESULTS
Friday: Aberystwyth 1-2 Port Talbot. Saturday: Bangor City 1-0 Afan Lido; Rhyl 2-0 Carmarthen Town

Welsh League Div One: Aberdare Town 1 – 2 AFC Porth; Cambrian & Clydach 1 – 3 Taffs Well; Haverfordwest County 1 – 1 Caerau (Ely); Pontardawe Town P – P Cwmbran Celtic; West End 1 – 2 Goytre

COMING UP
Boxing day: Port Talbot v Afan Lido (2.30). Sat 28: Aberystwyth Town v Carmarthen Town (3.45).

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