Congratulations to Paul Evans and Liam Griffiths who have won the JD Cymru South manager and player of the month awards for November.
Best performance to date
This was easily our best performance to date. A Sean Hanbury shot was turned behind by the keeper and from the corner we took the lead on 8 minutes. The keeper punched the ball out but only to Ben Keen who was just inside the area and he fired home through a gap in the defensive set up. Carmarthen should have equalised on 16 minutes but former Lido youngster Noah Daley mishit his shot and Steve Cann collected. Both sides were strong in midfield and this is where most of the play took place, there were few goalmouth incidents in the first 20 minutes. Carmarthen had a goal disallowed on 26 minutes, Liam Thomas tapped home a cross but was adjudged offside. Ioan Evans set Liam McCreesh free but Liam Griffiths could only head the ball into the side netting. Chris Jones then hit the bar with a free kick on 28 minutes and chances now started coming with Scott Tancock heading just wide. Liam Griffiths had a chance on 36 minutes, the Carmarthen keeper raced off his line to close down Liam, he turned and shot but the ball went just wide of the target. In added time in a repeat of Liam’s previous effort he chased down a long ball forward and lobbed the keeper to make it 2-0 at the break. Carmarthen came out quickly in the second half but the Lido defence held firm. On the hour Lido created another chance with Liam Griffiths playing Ioan Evans through. His cross was cleared into the path of Griffiths but his first time shot went just over the bar. Within a minute Lido did score their third, Liam Griffiths picked up a defensive mistake and squared the ball in for Ioan Evans to tap into the empty net. Lido defended in depth now with Carmarthen searching for gaps to attack but the Lido back line didn’t offer much for the home side. With 13 minutes to go Carmarthen were offered a lifeline when Jackson Hall was adjudged to have fouled Liam Thomas in the area. However, Steve Cann guessed correctly and saved Liam Thomas’s penalty and with it went Carmarthen’s last realistic hope of getting something out of the game. Inside the last 10 minutes, Chris Jones set up Ioan Evans who closed in on goal but the Carmarthen keeper made a good save to deny Ioan a second goal.
Victory at a price
Chris Jones scoring from the penalty spot after Ioan Evans was fouled and Lido looked comfortable but once again were guilty of not taking the chances that they created. Then on 33 minutes Carlos was injured, which meant a reshuffle with midfielder Ben Keen dropping back alongside Jackson Hall and Sacha Walters replacing Ben in midfield. This allowed Ammanford a foothold in the game and a minute later they hit the post with a shot by Jordan Langley. Just before the interval it was Ammanford under the cosh and a Liam McCreesh shot following a corner was cleared off the line with the Lido players appealing for the goal. Ammanford came out for the second half in determined mood and equalised three minutes into the half. It actually followied a Lido corner which was cleared to Lee Trundle who played a great ball to Jordan Langley who spotted Steve Cann off his line and lobbed him from 30 yards. It was now going to be difficult for the Lido with Ammanford pushing forward but some resolute defending and good goalkeeping kept them out. With 20 minutes to go Jay Thomas replaced Liam McCreesh but initially it failed to stem the flow of Ammanford attacks and Callum Silcox tried a long range shot which Cann saved. Lido then came back into the game and Brad Flay tried his luck from outside the area, the ball took a slight deflection and was well saved by the Ammanford keeper. With 3 minutes to go Lido won a corner on the left, it went over everyone but Liam Griffiths beyond the far post made contact with the ball which somehow eluded everyone and ended up in the net. Ammanford threw on 4 substitutes, the match went into 5 minutes of added time but the Lido held on to win the three points. .
Progress in another cup
From failed favourites against Hakin United on Saturday to victors over Cymru Premier side Pontypridd in the Nathaniel Cup MG Cup on Tuesday. The side played with far more purpose and looked solid at the back. While accepting this was nowhere near Pontypridd’s strongest side, we made changes from Saturday and for most of the game we were comfortable. At half time it was difficult to see how we would score but two goals in a two minute spell early in the second half sealed the result. It was a cagey start by both sides, plenty of long balls being played to no real advantage with neither keeper being troubled. The opening goal when it came was from a poor defensive header intended for the keeper but it lacked power. Liam Griffiths latched on to the ball and with the keeper committed and in no mans land Liam lobbed him with the ball just dipping under the crossbar to give us the lead. Encouraged by this we again attacked and won a corner which Sacha Walters took and the ball ended up in the back of the net. Opinion was it went straight in giving Sacha the goal although some felt it was an own goal, but the goal counted which was all that mattered. Spurred on by these reverses Pontypridd pushed forward but some resolute defending kept them at bay. Steve Cann made probably one save during the game and was largely unemployed. With 20 minutes to go Lido replaced Michael McCalmon and Jay Thomas with Josh Webber and Ioan Evans, adding pace to both flanks. Inside the last 10 minutes Liam McCreesh replaced Ben Keen to add a little more experience for the final minutes.
Cup failure again
Hakin United can now be added to the list of clubs from the lower reaches that we have lost to in the Welsh Cup. They join Cwmbran Town and STM Sports who both beat us in Round 1 ties and last season Dinas Powys in Round 2. Yet again players are not available for cup matches and we fail to capitalise on what should be our strength. We dominated parts of the game but failed miserably in front of goal and paid the ultimate price. We started brightly and kept possession but failed to test the visiting keeper in the first twenty minutes. Nearest we got to a goal was a Sean Hanbury free kick which was just too high. After 25 minutes Hakin created their first chance and it took a fine save from Aaron Jones to deny them a shock lead. Lido responded almost immediately when Chris Jones fed Jay Thomas who beat his defender and from close range shot narrowly wide. On the half hour Hakin again attacked and fired in a shot that went over the bar. Having weathered the early Lido pressure Hakin were now looking to get a foothold in the game. They would have been the happier of the sides at half time going in all square. The second half saw Hakin start the better and they hit the crossbar on 50 minutes. They spotted Aaron Jones off his line but the lob from the edge of the area was just too high. Jay Thomas had another chance on the hour but couldn’t keep his shot from the edge of the area down. Hakin created another chance on 62 minutes but again Aaron Jones made a fine save. Lido had another opportunity on 64 minutes when Josh Webber met a cross but from a good position sliced his shot wide. On 67 minutes an altercation saw two players sent off, considering there hadn’t been a card of either colour this was something of a surprise but Ioan Evans for the Lido and Leon Luby were both red carded. With 10 minutes to go Hakin missed a golden chance to take the lead when Mark Jones headed wide from a corner when it was almost easier to score. The Lido attacked and won a corner, Josh Webber fed Carlos Indjai who netted but the Lino flagged for an infringement much to the dismay of both players and the Lido support. Disappointingly Lido then went down to 9 men, Aaron Jones did well to punch clear a through ball but was caught by the studs of a Hakin player. No free kick was given and Aaron was down on the floor, the referee blew up when Hakin next attacked and came to check on Aaron who was understandably annoyed at the injury. From this Aaron ended up being sent off giving Hakin a huge advantage. We then needlessly gave away a free kick in a dangerous position and the ball was floated in and headed in giving our replacement keeper no chance. Hakin saw out time and once again we are left to rue the day.
Reserves open their account
The Reserves opened their account at the second time of asking with a 5-1 win over Carmarthen Town. A couple of first teamers had a runout after missing Friday’s game and 1 of them, Josh Webber opened the scoring on 14 minutes when he scored from the penalty spot. Encouraged by this the Reserves continued to take the game to Carmarthen and Ioan Evans sped down the left, crossed a great ball in for Michael McCalmon who somehow from a couple of yards put the ball wide. Stand-in keeper D’Arcy Mizen made a fine save on 20 minutes turning a Carmarthen free kick onto the post and away for a corner. The incoming corner caused a lot of confusion as players tried desperately to clear the ball before eventually it was dealt with safely. On 35 minutes Josh Webber won the ball beat a defender and his shot cum cross went wide with no-one in the area to finish it off. Lido eventually scored a second on the stroke of half time, a free kick was headed out but played back into the 6 yard box for Steve Morrisr on his first appearance this season bundling the ball over the line. Carmarthen had the first opportunity of the second half but shot wide from a good position. Lido’s third goal was scored on 50 minutes, a great cross into a dangerous area was unluckily directed into his own net by a Carmarthen defender. The Carmarthen keeper then made a fine save of a Josh Webber pile driver before Michael McCalmon finally got on the scoresheet after 59 minutes. He picked up a loose ball 35 yards out, beat a defender and with options either side took on the keeper to score with a right footed shot. On 64 minutes a Lido attack involving a number of players saw centre back Jack Howe’s shot well saved by the keeper. In a rare attack Carmarthen pulled back a goal with a fine shot giving Mizen no chance. Michael McCalmon however restored the four goal advantage with 10 minutes remaining. A good win and today they play the return fixture hoping for a repeat result.
Through to Round 2
A comprehensive win in the League Cup to progress to round 2. Liam McCreesh opened the scoring with a penalty after 10 minutes after Travis James was fouled in the area. Two minutes later Ben Keen doubled the lead when he headed in a corner. Lido controlled the game and it wasn’t until the thirty second minute that Pontardawe threatened when Oliver O’Brien broke free and shot but Steve Cann closed down the space and made the save. On 40 minutes Carlos Indjai rose highest from a corner but he couldn’t direct his header on target and it drifted wide. Steve Cann again made a fine save on 42 minutes from Joseph Pelosi, his low shot was parried by Cann to again deny the visitors. Lido continued to dominate the game in the second half, Liam McCreesh was replaced on 63 minutes by Sacha Walters and within two minutes Lido made it 3-0 with a superb goal by Ioan Evans. Ioan raced onto a through ball and lobbed it over the onrushing keeper from the edge of the area. On 72 minutes Lido made a double substitution with young Ieuan Owen making his debut and Daniel Dima replacing Ioan Evans and Travis James Two minutes later Sean Hanbury made it 4-0 with a brilliant free kick. That was the signal for Toby Link-Jones to replace Ben Keen and another newcomer Daniel Nagle to replace Carlos Indjai. Lido safely saw out the game with no addition to the score, they now look forward to the draw for round 2.