Carmarthen Town left stunned as three-goal blitz carries Bala home
Bala T 3, Carmarthen T 0.
CARMARTHEN Town were given an object lesson in finishing as previously winless Bala romped to a comfortable victory over their lacklustre visitors.
Town's encouraging start to the Welsh Premier League season now seems a distant memory as their series of disappointing results continues.
Town created the first scoring opportunity only seconds after the start as Jonathan Hood pounced on a poor defensive clearance and fired a 20-yard shot that drew a fine save from keeper Ashley Morris.
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But Bala quickly got into their stride and began putting the visiting defence under extreme pressure.
After three minutes Mark Jones shot just wide from the edge of the area and moments later a Stephen Brown effort was diverted away for a corner.
Town's defenders struggled to deal with the swift, direct strikers who were the focal point of Bala's long-ball system and it was no real surprise when on 10 minutes a deep crossfield pass cleared the defensive line and dropped nicely for the unmarked Lee Hunt, who volleyed home.
Yet Carmarthen soon went close to equalising when Paul Fowler's 30-yard free-kick seemed destined for the net, only for Morris to turn the ball away at full stretch.
From the ensuing corner the ball fell to Carl Evans in a crowded goalmouth, but from close range he stabbed it wide.
On 19 minutes Liam Thomas made ground down the left before cutting in and threading a fine pass to Tim Hicks in the area, but he was denied by Morris who was quickly down to smother his shot.
Bala regained control and after 21 minutes only a smart save from Town keeper Kerry Nicholas prevented Ian Sheridan increasing their lead.
Shortly afterwards, two goalbound shots were blocked by Town defenders before Matthew Rees headed another effort off the line.
But on 28 minutes Rees misjudged an attempted header and allowed the ball to reach Hunt, who was free to drive it past Nicholas from 15 yards.
And 10 minutes later the home side increased their lead when Town's defenders again failed to deal with a long ball into their area, leaving Kenny Lunt to find the net with a fine strike from 15 yards.
At the start of the second half Carmarthen manager Mark Aizlewood freshened up his side, bringing on substitutes Danny Thomas and Sam Wilson for Hicks and Hood.
But while Town seemed better able to compete with Bala in midfield and limit their threat, it did not have the desired effect of creating scoring opportunities.
In a further attempt to increase Town's firepower, Aizlewood moved central defender Evans upfield. After 75 minutes this ploy nearly paid off when Craig Hanford's deep cross found Evans at the back post, his volley just cleared the bar.
This prompted the home side to renew their efforts and twice in quick succession Nicholas was called on to make saves from Sheridan and Lewis Codling.
As full time approached, Rees came close to snatching a goal for the visitors when, following a Corey Thomas cross, his header from close range grazed the bar.
For long periods Bala were the better side, quicker to the ball and positive and creative when in possession.
Carmarthen appeared laboured and lacked conviction in their forward play.
Town: Kerry Nicholas; Corey Thomas; Matthew Rees; Carl Evans; Craig Hanford; Jonathan Hood (Sam Wilson sub 46); Paul Fowler; Liam McCreesh; Liam Thomas; Tim Hicks (Danny Thomas sub 46); Leon Jeanne (Ian Hillier sub 72). Unused subs: Steve Cann; Neil Smothers.