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Reds clinch promotion

Briton Ferry Llansawel: 1st Team

Opposition: Cwmamman Utd

Result: Won 1-0 Scorer- Jones

Date: Saturday 22nd April 2017 14:30

Venue: Away

Competition: Welsh League Div 1

Team: ???, ???, Keiran Williams, Ian Hillier, ???, Rory Healey, Thomas Da Silva, ???, ???, Gareth Jones ●1, ???

Subs: ???, Sam Baker, Daniel Kingdom, Luke Probert, ???

Reds clinch promotion - Briton Ferry Llansawel AFC

The players celebrate promotion at full time(above)

The mission set out by the club back in August was to bounce back from what many felt was an injustice to be relegated.

The task in hand was duly completed on Saturday at promotion rivals Cwmamman Utd with a 1-0 win sending the Reds back up into Division One of the Welsh Football League.

And there was no more fitting winning scorer than the club's all team leading goal scorer Gareth Jones who showed nerves of steel to convert an 82nd minute penalty.

The Reds were dealt a blow on the morning of the game with Steve Davey falling ill, this opened up a late call up for the returning Daniel Kingdom to take his place on the bench.

Another player missing was midfielder Warren Hudson who was away and in his place manager Carl Shaw favoured ex-Cwmamman midfielder David Brown to form a trio in midfield with another ex-player Steven Hughes and club stalwart Rory Healey.

On the wings either side of lone forward Jones were Ryan Griffiths and Tom Da Silva with a solid defence of Ryan Kostromin, Kieran Williams, Ian Hillier and Joshua Cockings in front of goalkeeper and club captain Steve Cann.

There were plenty of options on the bench alongside Kingdom with sub keeper Luke Probert joined by Sam Baker, Mark Napierella and Rob Cann.

The Reds opponents who enjoyed a 2-1 win at the Old Road in the reverse fixture are themselves in the hunt for promotion and now need eight points from their remaining four games to join the Reds and Llanelli Town next season.

On a beautiful day at Grenig Park referee James Shiels started proceedings in front of a good crowd buoyed by a healthy away support and the quality of both teams was evident from the offset.

In a very entertaining first half with some excellent football being played both defences were standing firm to deny any clear cut opportunities for either team.

The Ferry were dealt a blow with ten minutes remaining of the first half when Steve Hughes pulled up after shooting and was unable to continue with a foot injury.

On came Kingdom to take his place on the left wing with the lively Da Silva being shuffled into the number ten role.

The Reds then nearly broke the deadlock twice in the space of five minutes before half time with Gareth Jones denied both times, firstly by the crossbar after a powerful effort from the edge of the area that had keeper Mark Snell beaten, then minutes later Snell pulled off a superb point blank save after the Sawel nine had manoeuvred well in the box to make space to shoot from six yards.

HT 0-0

With both teams returning unchanged it was the turn of the hosts to step up the pressure and they had a great spell in the first twenty minutes after the interval that needed keeper Steve Cann to show all his quality with two excellent saves to deny them taking the lead.

With twenty minutes remaining the visitors were again forced to make a change this time Dai Brown limped off with Rob Cann the replacement to make it more of a conventional 4-4-2.

The change although forced caused instant problems for Cwmmaman with Cann's powerful hold up play setting the Reds off on a string of counter attacks, and it was from one of these that winger Ryan Griffiths was felled inside the box, after hesitation Shiels agreed with the raised flag of assistant Paul Meredith to point to the spot.

With regular taker Davey missing club talisman Jones took the responsibility onto his shoulders and made no mistake hitting the left hand corner of the net past Snell for 1-0 with eight minutes remaining.

Sam Baker was then introduced minutes later to give much needed legs in place of Jones and to the joy of the visiting fans and all involved the Reds were able to hold on for the win needed in a superb team effort.

FT 0-1

M.O.M- STEVE CANN- A superb team effort with everyone able to hold their heads high, but two vital saves from the captain after the interval give him the award.