A DEPLETED Wingmakers squad travelled to Carmarthen Town for S4C’s live TV WPL game and returned to winning ways with a 1-0 success against one of the league’s strongest sides.
Airbus got off to the best possible start when, after less than two minutes, a Tom Field free-kick from the left was glanced in by the Old Gold’s Paul Fowler. The own goal gave the Wingmakers a 1-0 lead and helped to settle them down early on – Steve Cann saving from another Field free-kick shortly after the goal.
The hosts Liam McCreesh and Carl Evans were booked after 10 minutes for late challenges, with Carmarthen eager to get back on level terms. Although the home side enjoyed a spell of possession, Airbus looked solid defensively in the opening half an hour.
On 34 minutes there was another booking for Carmarthen after Kyle Bassett caught Lewis Short late following a clearance. James Coates made a great one-handed stop from Liam McCreesh’s close-range effort on 37 minutes, the first time the Airbus goalkeeper had really been called into action.
A fairly uneventful first-half drew to a close with Airbus still in the lead and looking comfortable with it. The game followed a similar pattern in the second-half with shots from Mike Roddy and Steve Jones asking questions of the hosts defence, while Paul Fowler blazed over at the other end,
Carmarthen made the first change on 55 minutes with Corey Jenkins replacing Matty Collins. The Wingmakers worked hard to keep the game fairly even, with Carmarthen having few opportunities at goal and Airbus retaining their threat going forward.
With 20 minutes to go Carmarthen made another change with Corey Thomas replacing Kyle Bassett. Meanwhile, the Wingmakers were forced into a change themselves with an injury to Steve Jones requiring the veteran Northern Ireland international to come off.
Jones was replaced by Academy star Aaron Hassall, who became possibly the Wingmakers’ youngest-ever player in their Welsh Premier era - aged 16 years and three months old.
Christian Doidge had Carmarthen’s best chance of the game on 77 minutes when his header struck the near post and bounced to safety. The home side then introduced Jordan Follows in place of Liam Thomas.
Understandably the Old Gold applied a bit more pressure heading into the latter stages of the game but the Wingmakers were holding firm.
The home side were restricted to very few chances and Airbus saw the game out to take a great three points – taking into account the injury and suspension list of absentees. Just as importantly they had got back to winning ways – putting some distance between themselves and the chasing pack, while remaining within touching distance of TNS at the top.
By Rory Sheehan