CONTROVERSIAL DECISION COSTS LLANELLI DEAR
A controversial refereeing decision after an hour of this top of the table clash, led to a complete reversal of fortunes.
The home side were reduced to 10 men when influential midfielder, Andrew Mumford, was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Mumford had received a caution in the first half, but was then felled by a challenge on the edge of the box resulting in him needing treatment and having to retire to the touchline.
As he returned to the game, referee Mark Whitby indicated that he had not given permission and then produced a yellow card, resulting in Mumford being sent off.
The decision shocked and incensed the home supporters as the player seemed to be the innocent victim of a misunderstanding which could have been dealt with in a more commonsense way, but more worrying it led to Llanelli losing control of a match in which they were more than holding their own up to that point.
As if to prove the point, Saints scored within four minutes of Mumford's departure when a cross from Leon Gierke rebounded off home defender Richard Jenkins into the net.
Gary Davies failed to convert an early chance for Llanelli when he put the ball over the visitor's goal from a Chris Watkins corner, while at the other end, Glyn Garner made a good save to deny Gierke at the near post and Mark Parfitt with a saving tackle prevented Anthony Wright from getting in a shot on the home goal.
Mumford sent a lob narrowly wide of the TNS goal after a good build up and then met a centre by Watkins, but his header to the far post was narrowly missed by Davies.
As the home side lost their shape in the final half hour, Davies cleared off the line when Gierke sent in a shot on goal, while Garner with an outstretched leg kept out another attempt by the same player.
Five minutes from time, with Llanelli pushing forward for the equaliser, they were caught out when Wright found himself in space in the box before beating Garner with a low shot into the bottom corner. The win keeps TNS in second place in the table and hot on the heels of current leaders, Barry Town.