REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Following the previous week’s laudable display at league leaders Caldicot Town, hopes were high for this floodlight fixture against mid table Abergavenny. These thoughts were dashed with an insipid second half performance and the manner of defeat yet again in concert with Groundhog Day that when the opposition strike back, the team’s fragility shows, displaying a visible drop in confidence resulting invariably in final capitulation. With Matt Flynn an absentee following the head injury sustained at Caldicot, Richard Ingram returned to the starting eleven with Levi Jones, who was to produce the man of the match performance starting in central defence. The opening fifteen minutes produced little cohesive football with both sides guilty of sloppy distribution and only the visitor’s Nathan Davies showing creative designs  with some neat passing and control in striving to unlock the host’s defensive barrier. Aberdare slowly began to test the visitor’s defence but the chances that came their way and not converted would come back to haunt them. Seb Haggett drilled wide of the far post and Elliot Morris blazed over from a similar advantageous position moments later. But Haggett redeemed himself shortly after picking up an excellent through ball from Matthew Glassey and lobbing expertly over the advancing Abergavenny keeper, Tom Indge for the opener. Aberdare were the dominant force now with Rhys Tandy a constant threat and Morris and Rhys Williams, up for a set piece, going close. Frustratingly, Aberdare were being constantly flagged for off side where the tactic of playing off the last man has to be carefully and cleverly deployed. There was little to enthuse the decent home crowd up to the break and were only partially content  to take their half time refreshment with their team enjoying a one goal lead when it should have been more. Half Time: Aberdare Town 1-0 Abergavenny Town But the optimism of the fans was to turn to despair despite a bright opening when a Tandy cross traveled into the danger area and cut out desperately by a retreating defender and a speculative Haggett effort going inches wide. But as has been the running theme throughout the campaign Aberdare are unable to see things out and a series of defensive lapses saw the visitors and especially Sean Feeley take full advantage. A long ball saw the home defence caught on the back foot allowing Feeley to sneak in and score. With no wins in thirteen league games, including the latter end of the previous season, confidence is understandably fragile but this does not excuse the lamentable display following the equaliser. Abergavenny were now well on top with Feeley’s second goal coming in the 77th minute being allowed two bites of the cherry in rattling home. The visitors third and with it Feely’s hat trick arrived three minutes later with the home defence opening up like the Red Sea allowing the striker to casually slot home. Aberdare are now firmly entrenched in the relegation places and early season thoughts of a challenge for promotion scuttled and the aim now only to extricate themselves from the league basement and find mid table comfort. A period of soul searching  is  certainly on the cards with Aberdare’s next game an away encounter at newly promoted Llantwit Major Man of the Match: Levi Jones
Aberdare Town
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Abergavenny Town
Team Line-Up 1 Clint FORBES 2 Matthew GLASSEY 3 Josh POWELL 4 Rhys WILLIAMS 5 Richard INGRAM 6 Lewis HOLDER 7 Elliott MORRIS 8 Levi JONES 9 Ross DANIELS 10 Seb HAGGETT 11 Rhys TANDY Substitutes 12 Ben GIBBS 14 Cory THOMAS 15 Mitchell BOYCE 16 Jon PHILLIPS 17 Andrew ELLIS
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