Tom Donegan scored his first goal for Rhyl
Ten man Lilywhites climbed into the top six with a deserved 2-0 victory over Carmarthen Town at the Corbett Sports Stadium on Saturday (21 December), writes Alex Bartrley.
Second half goals from Tom Donegan and Dave Forbes gave the home side victory, despite a first half penalty miss by Steve Lewis and the 25th minute dismissal of full-back Liam Benson.
The game started scrappily with both teams losing possession cheaply and the wind playing havoc with high balls, twice causing Alex Ramsay to rush off his line and clear the danger as balls blew over the Rhyl defence.
A spat in the 19th minute saw Benson and Bassett both receive yellow cards and five minutes later, after Thomas had forced Ramsay into a save, Benson received a second yellow and the defender was dismissed, leaving Rhyl down to 10 men.
Carmarthen instantly looked to take advantage as Bassett found space in the area for a shot but saw his strike parried by Ramsay.
Rhyl were not out of the game however and were rewarded after a good passing move when Thomas conceded a penalty, just before the half hour mark.
Lewis stepped up but his spot kick was smashed down the middle and Cann was able to punch the ball clear. Chris Rimmer then replaced the injured Tom Roberts.
With half time approaching the match became an end to end affair, with both goalkeepers being called into action, but the teams went in level at the break.
The second half began with Carmarthen now feeling the pressure of playing against the wind. It soon told on the visitors as Tom Donegan gave Rhyl the lead four minutes in.
His low shot across goal took a wicked deflection, before flying past Cann into the net. Minutes later, McManus nearly made it two as his 20 yard strike curled around the diving Cann and struck a post. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Lilywhites were the better side and soon had a second.
On 57 minutes, Steve Lewis headed the ball onto the unmarked Dave Forbes who fired his shot across the face of the goal and saw the ball nestle in the bottom corner. In the remaininhg half hour a determined Rhyl defence soaked up all the pressure from Carmarthen, who lacked enough quality in the final third and rarely tested Ramsay.
Rhyl now occupy sixth place in the Welsh Premier League, having climbed above Aberystwyth Town, who lost to Port Talbot on Friday night.
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