Airbus UK Broughton FC's nightmare week continued with this disappointing home defeat to Carmarthen Town. The Wingmakers were looking to bounce back from their embarrassing Welsh Cup Semi-Final defeat to Cefn Druids while the visitors were in desperate need of points in their battle against relegation. Returning to the Airbus side after suspension and injury lay-offs were Adam Worton, skipper Glenn Rule and Ryan Edwards.
With a European play-off place still at stake, the Wingmakers began positively. There was an early header over the bar by Gavin Cadwallader from an Adam Worton free-kick. However, only a smart double-save from Andy Mulliner kept the game goalless after seven minutes. The visitors had made the brighter start and Nicky Palmer headed wide from a Jack Christopher cross on 10 minutes.
Paul Fowler curled a free-kick over the bar for the visitors before Mulliner caught a Christopher header on quarter of an hour. Mulliner was the busier goalkeeper in the opening stages with Airbus under a bit of pressure, but Mark Danks tested Jack Lewis in the Carmarthen goal on 22 minutes, forcing him into a low save.
The Wingmakers grew into the game and enjoyed a spell of possession. They were unlucky to see a decision go against them when what looked like a Carmarthen hand-ball in their own area went unnoticed by the officials. On 33 minutes Nev Thompson turned a Mark Cadwallader cross home at the far-post but the goal was disallowed for offside - a very dubious decision made by the officials.
Carmarthen's Paul Fowler was booked for a rash challenge on 37 minutes as the game became a gritty affair. It was fairly even but needed a spark to help it burst into life. Fowler had a sight of goal for the visitors but his shot was straight at Mulliner. Just before the break Jack Christopher dragged a shot wide of the far post with neither side looking likely to break the stalemate. It remained 0-0 at half-time.
Almost immediately after the interval Paul Fowler was booked for a late challenge on Mark Danks. Carmarthen's Jonathan Hood then volleyed over from close-range with the goal at his mercy - the missed chance seemingly indicating that it would not be their day. The Old Gold did enjoy a spell of the ball in the Airbus half but could not convert their possession into chances, and more importantly, goals.
Mike Lewis had to tip a dipping Adam Worton free-kick over the bar for the away side on 55 minutes. The Wingmakers were by now enjoying their best spell of the game and were keeping the visitors pushed back. Carmarthen were still lively on the break however, Jack Christopher slicing a shot wide but the opportunity relieved the pressure on his team.
On the hour Carmarthen took the lead when the Wingmakers failed to clear their lines and Paul Fowler found himself in plenty of space in the six-yard box. He took his time to coolly slot the ball low past Mulliner although there was a hint of offside about the goal but the away side had a 1-0 lead. The goal provoked a response from Airbus but they just lacked a bit of cutting-edge in the final third.
Nev Thompson went close for Airbus with a header just wide of the far post. The Wingmakers made their first change on 68 minutes when they replaced Adam Worton with Josh Roberts. With 20 minutes to go Mike Lewis had to make a stunning save from a powerful close-range Nev Thompson header. Shortly after Tommy Holmes fired a shot wide.
At the other end of the pitch Carmarthen's Jonathan Hood struck a half-volley at goal which just clipped the bar on it's way over. With quarter of an hour to go Lewis was again called into action - this time to turn a Nev Thompson shot around the post. At around the same time the Wingmakers made another substitution with Jon Bathurst on in place of Eddie Hope.
A Ryan Edwards long-range strike was unlucky to find the inside of the post as the Wingmakers pressed the visitors back to the edge of their own area - Danny Taylor going on to have a shot across goal. A minute later brilliant goalkeeping from Andy Mulliner denied Jack Christopher and Jonathan Hood when clear through on goal. The game had opened up with both teams anxious to get something from it.
Hood failed to take another good opportunity for the visitors when through against Mulliner - the goalkeeper calmly collecting his weak shot. With four minutes to go the Wingmakers made their final change with youngster Lee Jones replacing Ryan Edwards. At the same time Carmarthen made their only change as Sam Wilson replaced Nick Harrhy.
Mark Cadwallader headed over the bar for Airbus with three minutes to go but time was running against the Wingmakers. That proved to be the last real chance of the game as the away side held on for what would have been an unlikely win before the game.
The Wingmakers are still in prime position to earn a spot in the play-offs for Europe at the end of the season - but will be looking to get back to winning ways as soon as possible - with another home game against Port Talbot Town in just two days time.
Airbus - 1: Andy Mulliner 2: Ryan Edwards (L.Jones) 3: Adam Worton (J.Roberts) 4: Tommy Holmes 5: Gavin Cadwallader 6: Glenn Rule (c) 7: Eddie Hope (Bathurst) 8: Mark Cadwallader 9: Nev Thompson 10: Mark Danks 11: Danny Taylor
Subs - 12: Jon Bathurst 14: Josh Roberts 15: Shaun McCartney 16: Lee Jones
Carmarthen - 1: Mike Lewis 2: Corey Thomas 3: Cledan Davies 4: Neil Smothers 5: Tim Hicks (c) 6: Paul Fowler 7: Jonathan Hood 8: Dan MacDonald 9: Nick Harrhy (Wilson) 10: Jack Christopher 11: Nicky Palmer
Subs - 12: Julian Alsop 14: Steffan Williams 15: Matthew Whatley 16: Sam Wilson
By Rory Sheehan