Aberystwyth Town 1-2 Carmarthen Town
Aberystwyth Town Scorer: Matthew Jones 90+4’
Carmarthen Town Scorers: Lee Idzi 66’, Liam Griffiths 90’
Well, what a way to start 2018 in The JD Welsh Premier League with - yes, you have read it right - Lee Idzi scoring the first goal of the year, with his goal kick being carried over and beyond Chris Mullock into the back of the net for the opening goal on 66 minutes.
Up until then, the game had been quite low on spark, with both sides creating a plethora of half-chances but being unable to capitalise and make a decisive opening, however Lee Idzi had been very impressive between the sticks for more conventional reasons, saving everything that came his way from the home attack.
After the goalkeeper’s opener, the game became quite frantic, with two goals late in second half stoppage time from Liam Griffiths and Matthew Jones meaning Carmarthen completed a double over Neville Powell’s side and pulled them right back into the mix at the bottom of the table as Phase One nears its conclusion.
Bangor City 0-1 Llandudno
The VSM Bangor City Stadium
Llandudno FC Scorer: Marc Williams 90’
It may not have threatened to light up the score line at all times during the game, but the first live Sgorio fixture of the year this evening between Bangor City and Llandudno certainly offered plenty of intrigue and excitement for JDWPL fans.
The first half hour was very cagey, with Bangor resorting to speculative shots from distance as a result of Llandudno’s deep defensive line and tactics to hit the Citizens, who were typically dominant in possession, on the counter.
Afterwards, however, the game opened up quite quickly as Llandudno - who had previously been unlucky with the final ball that would have set them free on their counter attacks - started to challenge in the home box.
Danny Hughes tried a speculative lob after 33 minutes which was quite a way off target, but Mike Williams and Shaun Cavanagh later forced saves out of Matthew Hall, with Dean Rittenberg and Luke Wall posing problems for Llandudno’s Dave Roberts down the other end, although neither side could find the breakthrough before halftime.
The second half became quite cagey once again, but Llandudno has a great chance to go 1-0 up with 20 minutes to go as a dinked pass fell into the path of Hughes on the edge of the box and he thumped an effort goal-bound, but Hall was equal to it, before Wall and Rittenberg combined to respond and create a decent opportunity for Bangor to take the lead down the other end, but the latter struck wide.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher had a superb opportunity as the game reached its closing stages to head the ball home from some six yards out, but - like on Boxing Day - Roberts was in great form between the sticks and stopped the header in it’s tracks.
Aaron Hassall went on a great run and struck from distance, which Hall has to be alert to keep out of the near corner of his goal, but he would soon be beaten by an incredibly persistent Marc Williams. The forward had run his socks off all game, feeding off very little service, before closing down a clearance by Hall, getting a lucky deflection on the ball and poking the rebound into the back of the net to give Iwan Williams’ side a 1-0 lead that they would see out until the final whistle.