Builth Wells snatched defeat from the jaws of a seemingly strong position when they went down 5-3 at Llanuwchllyn on Saturday afternoon in the Lock Stock Ardal North East, writes Stuart Townsend.
The Bulls appeared to be heading towards a vital three points midway through the second-half, courtesy of summer signing Tommy Rowlands’ strike at Cae Llan, but the hosts responded with three goals in the space of seven minutes to secure victory in what was a feisty affair at times.
Builth opened the scoring in fifth minute when Ollie Woods curled a low 25 yard free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner of Rob Dascalu’s goal.
Llanuwchllyn responded just three minutes later when Michael Pritchard saw his shot from the edge of the penalty area deflected behind for a corner after being played in on goal.
Summer signing Lyndon Jones saw his header comfortably saved by Dascalu from Rudi Griifiths’ 16th minute cross on the left.
However, the Merionethshire hosts were back on level terms when Joe Williams’ free-kick from nearly 30 yards out gave Zeke Vivian no chance of saving in the Builth Wells goal.
Llanuwchllyn nearly forged ahead in the 22nd minute when Pritchard saw his shot crash back off the crossbar after the ball was pulled back in his path by Llanuwchllyn captain Nathan Davies.
First-half substitute Aeron Powell delivered a teasing cross from the right side of the penalty area in the 31st minute but there was no Builth Wells player ready to attack the ball at the far post.
Lee James received a yellow card from referee Stephen Jones for a challenge that led to a fracas involving a number of players from both teams.
The Bulls came close to regaining the lead in the 35th minute when Lyndon Jones saw his effort on target blocked following some good work by Powell in the build-up down the right flank.
The visitors finished the opening 45 minutes strongly as Llan defender John Evans diverted Will Cleaton’s low cross towards his own goalkeeper.
Ollie Woods dragged his shot wide from the edge of the penalty area seconds later following some sloppy play in the host’s rearguard.
Sam Evans was played in on goal in first-half stoppage time but saw his shot blocked by James for a corner and the same player had another effort headed off the line from the ensuing set-piece.
Joe Williams saw his shot blocked two minutes after the interval following a pull back Sam Evans as Llanuwchllyn looked to take the match to their visitors.
However, it was the Bulls who regained the lead in the 53rd minute when Powell cut in from the right and his powerful low drive beat Dascalu.
Builth Wells were caught cold within 60 seconds of the restart when Joe Evans found the back of the net after being set-up by David Prysor Jones. The Llan goal scorer went close with a header from a free-kick on the hour mark before their opponents regained the lead seven minutes later.
The Bulls broke quickly from their own half and Richie Powell squared the ball across the penalty area for Tommy Rowlands to round Dascalu and fire the ball into an empty net. It seemed that the visitors were now in a prime position to push into the top-four of the league table.
Yet the hosts from near the banks of Lake Bala had other ideas and turned the match around in the space of fewer than 10 minutes.
Llanuwchllyn initially levelled the scores in the 76th minute when Sam Evans’ low shot beat Zeke Vivian at his near post following Nathan Davies’ quickly-taken free-kick.
Scott Rusell’s men appeared to be stunned by that goal as they conceded another just two minutes later when Joe Evans netted his second of the afternoon courtesy of a Joe Williams assist.
Matters took an even marked turn for the worse in the 83rd minute when Joe Evans was on hand to covert Williams’ low cross at the far post to complete his treble and seal the victory.
The Merionethshire outfit had opportunities to increase their tally before the final whistle. Williams saw his 90th minute free-kick deflected for a corner and his captain Davies saw an effort from the set-piece headed off the line before hat-trick hero Evans put the rebound over the crossbar.
Substitute Iolo Jones then spooned a stoppage time cross over the target but by then there was no way back for the Bulls apart from contemplating a long journey home.