Llanelli take all 3 points after Druids second half collapse.
Cefn Druids 2-3 Llanelli Town The Rock Cefn Druids scorers: Dean Rittenberg 6’, James Davies 34’ Llanelli Town scorer: James Loveridge 47’, 74’, Chris Jones 90+3’
Referee: Tom Williams
Keen to get their first win on the board, Druids went for an attacking line up from the off in this fixture, with James Davies, Dean Rittenberg and Arek Piskorski in a front three for the Ancients, and it paid off as Huw Griffiths’ side took the lead inside six minutes, with Rittenberg getting his first goal for Druids on his home debut.
It was almost an even better start for the home side as they had the ball in the back of the net after 11 minutes, but the referee ruled it out for offside, and that decision sparked Llanelli into the game somewhat, as James Loveridge went down the other end and forced Michael Jones into a good stop from a tight angle with 20 minutes played.
Having weathered Llanelli’s first good spell of the game, Druids came out with two top chances of their own to extend the deficit, however Oliver Davies made some excellent stops between the sticks for the Reds – first to deny Ryan Kershaw as he tipped a looping strike onto the bar, and secondly from Jordan Evans after James Davies squared to him on the edge of the box to create a one-v-one with the keeper.
Evans found Davies on the run for a counter-attack midway through the first half, but the pass took him wide so the forward could only cross back into Evans, who dummied to allow the ball to run through for Piskorski, but Llanelli’s stopper pulled out another top save at the far post, and the visitors hung on in there at 1-0 down with Druids creating a barrage of chances.
A deserved second goal came with some 10 minutes left in the first half for Druids, as Davies broke clear for the home side and finished coolly beyond Oliver Davies in goal for the Reds and doubled the advantage to 2-0, which Druids were able to see through to the interval.
The Reds secured a perfect start to the second half as they caught Druids napping long enough for Loveridge to get in and score Llanelli’s first goal back in the JDWPL, and the Ancients were rattled. Jordan Follows tried his luck from a tight angle soon afterwards, but Jones made a good save, before Griffiths made his first change by bringing Alec Mudimu on for Piskorski and going back to two up front with Evans just behind, but the home side were still lacking composure.
Llanelli capitalised in the closing stages of the game, as Loveridge bagged his brace and made it 2-2 after he and Follows combined well on a counter-attack and Loveridge finished it off to draw the Reds level and set up a tense final 15 minutes for both sides. Llanelli were putting their bodies on the line and frustrating Druids as they searched for a goal that would have put them back in front.
James Davies had the best chance with a header at the back post which Davies parried into the path of Rittenberg, but he couldn’t connect with the ball as it rolled across him and Llanelli cleared, before completing a fantastic comeback with a penalty scored by Chris Jones in added time to give the Reds their first JDWPL victory of the season.