Llanelli AFC Scorers
Martin Rose (32')
Nomads storm back with a vengeance as Llanelli suffer a major collapse.
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"This ground, is coming like a ghost town, the club has been crushed down, this place, is coming like a ghost town, they won't play no more. Too much rubbish from the boardroom floor". Apologies to the specials for mangling the lyrics of their June 1981 Worldwide No 1.
Driving into Stebonheath Park used to be one of the highs of a WPL season, bright, cheerful and loud. The first WPL club to use banners, flags and signs to create an impact. The bright lights from the welcoming social club, always packed with locals, many of whom didn't go on to watch the match but were there for a good cheap pint and a well presented meal. The impressive stand facing you as you entered and a pitch that was as good as ours is now. I was raving about the place as the group of four I took to Sunday's game headed to the match.
What we arrived to was like a shadow of its former self. No people about, no officials to welcome us, no banners or signs. We went into the social club, no customers, only one light on, empty shelves were the stock should have been, heating turned off and no food on offer. So we went in and I was greeted by an already downbeat Andy Legg who said that he only had eleven fit players and that things were so bad that this might be their last game. He promised this as bad news for us, because his fired up squad would want to go out on a high.
Llanelli were missing Venebles, Kellaway and Luke Bowen, but had such WPL royalty as Grist, Jason Bowen, Moses, Rose and skipper Corbisciero amongst a very experienced outfit. We were without Ricky Evans, Michael Robinson and Dean Canning but welcomed back Danny Dobbins.
From the start two things were obvious; Llanelli were dangerously "up for it" and the pace of the Nomads across the front was too much for them. On eight minutes Ryan Edwards took a pass from Jamie Petrie and threaded a ball exquisitely between the central defenders for RHYS HEALEY to take round the keeper and net. By the tenth minute the pattern of quick passing and rapid Nomads raiding was countered by lunging fouls particularly by Jenkins and Ashley Evans who were struggling to cope with Ryan's inventiveness and Rhys pace. By the quarter hour referee Fisher had given Evans two warnings. A minute later he lost control of the ball which ran away from his poor touch and an evil stud's first forward lunge over the ball took out Craig Jones completely. It would have drawn Red in any level of football. Our skipper was lucky that shin pads had been invented and he escaped injury. It was Rob Jones turn to send a pass into RHYS HEALEY on twenty minutes. The young forward simply drifted past Kris Thomas and slotted the onrushing keeper Craig Morris as if it was the easiest thing in the world. His finish outstanding, but a better one from him was yet to come. Hardly had we settled than Kris Thomas lunged into Thommo's back, it was another awful two footed assault, referee Fisher should have produced Red but showed the be-sieged hosts mercy with a very lenient yellow. Nomads responded with a third goal by JAMIE PETRIE, it was all his own work. He picked up the ball wide on the left and ran across the areas edge before surprising Morris with a shot that the keeper though was going wide until the last second curl took it home. Llanelli were stung, they are still a classy side and came back with a very good goal of their own. Kris Thomas made a surging run from right back and beat Danny Dobbins with a neat move before cutting back to MARTIN ROSE who finished with a clipped powerful volley past John Rushton. 3-1, fight back on? We might have thought so but two goals for Nomads in two minutes just before the break ended the match as a contest. First an eight pass move engineered by Ryan Edwards ended with Rhys slipping JAMIE PETRIE in on the left to shoot under Morris. Next the goal of the match; Chris Rowntree lofted a pass forward and Rhys left defenders in his wake as he approached goal. Morris was advancing at pace and the vastly experienced Lee Surman was at his side but RHYS HEALEY by-cycle kicked a lob over the keeper and into the net , a truly mature finish for such a young player.
Game done. 5-1 at Half-time.
Nomads came out for the second half and simply passed Llanelli out of the play. We saw lots of lovely interchanges as we kept ball and moved effortlessly through the middle to the flanks. Jamie Wynne came on for Alan Hooley and the youngster won just about everything the hosts pumped forward. The frustration began to boil over from Llanelli and near the hour Corey Jenkins scythed through Rob Jones from behind. Another truly awful and cynical foul. Referee Fisher was given no choice other than to show a straight red card. We might have gone on to Double figures but the nine men were brilliantly regrouped by the excellent Corbisiero. We brought on Jordan Beck for Ryan Edwards, who had been in complete control of the middle of the Park. They gave up on fighting back and held firm, it was all they could do. Lee Grist moved across to put his pace against Rhys. We simply played keep ball as they sought to get Rose away up front. On 75 minutes the former WPL young player of the year hit a great low shot that John Rushton did very well to save. Llanelli died as a forward force as he held that drive. The relentless Nomads keep ball went on until in the 90th minute a clever Jamie Wynne back heel fell for Rhys to send in JAMIE PETRIE to hit a sixth. Such had been our level of keeping hold of the ball that it felt like losing possession as it hit the net!!!
Only 134 had attended and those include a small group of us and a host of South Wales managers and players. A great win for an excellent Nomads, a day on which Ryan Edwards and Rhys Healey truly announced themselves to the league, but it was very sad to see Llanelli reduced to this.