Kick off:14:30 Saturday, 15 Sept 2012
at Stebonheath Park, Llanelli
Fixture Type: Welsh Premier League
Referee: Andy Harms
Luke Bowen is sent-off by referee Andy Harms
Second half goals from Ian Edmunds, newcomer Nicky Ward and substitute Gareth Partridge, put the shine on a polished performance for the chirpy Robins, however it was frustrated self inflicted discipline, that added to off field problems for Llanelli at Stebonheath Park, with them completing the game with eight players, following a series of dismissals during the final eleven minutes (reports Robert Clement).
The Llanelli starting line-up showed one change with Jason Bowen having failed to recover from an ankle injury, with him being replaced by Luke Bowen, following the recent excellent 0-0 outcome against TNS, meanwhile for Newtown there were two changes with Zac Evans taking over from injured full back Max Penk while Steve Blenkinsop operated up front for Craig Whitfield, after their defeat against Connah’s Quay seven days previously.
It was the Powys visitors who produced a spirited start following a second minute opportunity, when Edmunds made swift progress into Llanelli territory, he then successfully delivered a piercing left sided cross, which was hooked over the top at the near post by the lively Blenkinsop.
There was a swift response to that threat from the Reds, with them being awarded a free kick after a foul on Bowen by Andy Jones, but Lloyd Grist’s thirty yard free kick drifted just beyond the reach of the outstretched foot of Chris Venables, on the edge of the six yard area.
A seventeenth minute run forward by Antonio Corbisiero allowed Llanelli the chance to grab the initiative, only for Barry Hogan to concede a corner. Mamadou Diallo delivered the flag kick into the goalmouth but Martin Rose directed his header narrowly over the top.
With six minutes of the opening half remaining, a neat precise pass from Blenkinsop allowed Zac Evans the opportunity to engineer sufficient space to burst swiftly forward, only for his vicious angled effort sail wide of the target.
It was the Latham Park visitors who made the breakthrough after fifty three minutes, stunning Llanelli, when a corner from Edmunds deceived goalkeeper David Richards, to drift into the far corner of the net.
Eleven minutes later, an untimely challenge right on the edge of the penalty area by Lee Surman on Blenkinsop provided the Robins with the option of increasing their lead, and it was Ward who curled his effort around the five man defensive wall and over the top of Corbisiero, situated on the goal-line.
Having suffered that second setback, circumstances began to look gloomy for Llanelli, which was highlighted eleven minutes from the end, with central defender Ashley Evans receiving a second yellow card, following a late challenge on Hogan.
Ian Edmunds scores from the corner
Foul and abusive language incidents added to Llanelli’s woe, with Venables swiftly following Bowen to the dressing room, as frustration continued to mount, with the Rhyl match official making firm decisions.
Newtown then profited from that massive handicap, adding a third goal to inflict additional misery on the home side, with Partridge delivering a twenty five yard shot home, following a tantalising cross from Hogan.
With the Robins having picked up their first points on their travels this season, manager Bernard McNally spoke with Robert Clement in the Stebonheath Park Media Suite, replying to the situation of being delighted to return to winning ways, following last week’s defeat against GAP Connah’s Quay.
“Yes, it’s been terrific that result today, the players have played well, they were magnificent, a great team performance and everything you could ask for as a manager”.
The former West Bromwich Albion midfielder was asked if he agreed that the opening goal, which curled in from a corner was a little bit special.
“I thought that all three goals appeared to be very positive, even the second one from a free-kick, but we looked very sharp today; I was delighted with the performance and how the players applied themselves”.
McNally was then asked about the team spirit and the introduction of a few fresh faces.
“We stick together and try to play through thick and thin, and thankfully we’ve bounced back from last week, so what a difference a week makes, today being elated compared to previously being down in the dumps”.
Llanelli's Ash Evans and Newtown's Nicky Ward in a tussle
He added. “I recently went to TNS and spoke with them, and I have been fortunate to get Barry Hogan, he wanted to come over to us, and then from under the noses of three or four clubs Nicky Ward also, so I’m absolutely delighted with that. It took ninety minutes for the first game, the second game they got to know the players, but today you saw what they could do, and they’ll make a massive improvement to our side, as has been proven by the result”.
He then commented to being happy with the way his team kept their heads under pressure, as Llanelli ended the match with eight players, with three red cards being issued within an eight minute period.
“Well Andy is going to have to say to his players one or two harsh words I presume, but they lost their heads and when you have two or three players being sent off it’s Mount Everest to climb isn’t it really. So from that point of view he’ll deal with that, he’s experienced, but I’m taking nothing away from our performance, because we did play exceptionally well”.
Red’s boss Andy Legg then responded with the unfortunate incidents during the ninety minutes, with it being a difficult period of time for him.
“I think so, it was a very disappointing performance, it’s been well documented with the problems here, and I think that it has shown today on the pitch, you can raise them one week, but the situation at the club is not helping”.
“I think that things haven’t changed, that’s the thing, you may get it out of them one week but the second week it’s all in their heads again. You can’t stop rumours, you can’t stop speculation, and I think that it’s affecting them massively, and on what you’ve seen today that’s not my team out there”.
He added. “I’m really disappointed, there’s no excuse really, they should still play with their heart and have a bit of pride, but I think that it’s affecting them”.
He was asked does that excuse three sending’s off.
“No, that’s indiscipline, it’s tough to deal with at the moment, because there are things I would like to say but I can’t, but it will be dealt with in-house, there’s other things I’d like to speak about but obviously I can’t, but it’s difficult right now at this club, and as you said it’s shown out there today”.