Late winner from Caldicot sends Reds out of cup
LLANELLI Town were knocked out in round two of the Nathaniel Car Sales League Cup after Caldicot Town's controversial 95th-minute winner.
Jamie Evans powered home an 87th-minute header to record his first goal for the Reds this season and seemingly send the tie into extra time.
However, referee David Badger played a lengthy period of added time despite the fact there had been no injuries in the game.
That decision proved to be crucial, with Caldicot scoring the late winner.
And even then, the official added another five minutes before eventually blowing the final whistle.
Considering their opponents play in division two and were on a run of just one defeat in their last nine matches, the Reds gave a good account of themselves.
There was another raft of changes as the management team gave some fringe players a run out.
Caldicot were the first to threaten, with a well-struck shot by Matt Trottman from the edge of the area forcing goalkeeper James Vyse to turn it over, and from the resulting corner, a Matt James header was just off target.
A strike by Liam Samuel was safely held by Ben Davidson, before Vyse was again called into action, this time saving at the feet of Trottman after Dan Saunders set up the chance.
Caldicot eventually reaped their reward on 23 minutes after David Briggs found Simon Crook. He lofted a cross to Richard Lund and his firm header beat Vyse.
With the elements in their favour, the visitors were causing problems and, when Mitchell Slape played in Saunders for a run on goal, he might have done better than sending his effort wide of the near post.
A snap-shot by Dean Maynard fizzed across the grass but was narrowly wide of the home goal, and at the break the Reds were probably thankful that the deficit was not greater.
The second half proved to be more beneficial for the hosts, with a strong run and shot from distance by Rhys Powell causing Davidson to fumble before conceding a corner.
But there was also danger at the other end when a burst from Trottman led to him squaring the ball to the far post, where Lund was inches away from making contact.
When the Reds were awarded a corner, Samuel swung it into the middle and an attempted clearing header by Richard McKenzie went in the opposite direction, rebounding off the top of the crossbar and over.
Ross Jones then sent Samuel clear of the visitors' defence, and he got to the byline before directing his attempt across the face of the net and just wide of the far upright.
With just three minutes of normal time remaining, the Reds levelled matters following a Declan John corner which Evans met with a powerful header.
At that stage an extra 30 minutes seemed to be on the cards.
But Mr Badger had other ideas, and Caldicot got the winner when Saunders broke down the left flank before finding Trottman in space in the middle.
He made no mistake with his finish from close range.
Next Saturday Bonymaen Colts of the Swansea League are the Reds' visitors the third round of the FAW Trophy. Kick off is at 2.30pm.