REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS
A depleted squad, consisting of just twelve players, travelled west to face second in the table Ammanford and on a heavy pitch matched
their opponents until the closing minutes, succumbing to two late goals, and with it, a flattering result for the hosts, a triumph created more
by dint of numbers than a reflection on the visitor’s application which proved first class throughout.
With the surface getting more sticky as the game progressed it was to the credit of the Town players that Ammanford, able to call on fresh
legs, did never dominate . Manager Wayne Powell restored Seb Haggett and Myles Case up front with Levi Jones and Shaun Chapple
coming into midfield in a 4-4-2 formation.
Things couldn’t have begun worse when in the 7th minute, Ammanford’s Richard Lewis latched onto a well- timed through ball, to rifle low
into the far right hand corner of James Harris’s net for the opener. Shaun Chapple , always capable himself of producing that defence
splitting ball did the same minutes later only for Elliot Morris’ s effort to skim the cross bar. Morris was soon again in the thick of the action
with yet another close effort .
With Killian Kingston and Matthew Glassey not afraid to venture forward from their full back positions, Aberdare were well in the game but it
took a fantastic Harris save to deny the hosts and shortly after he was there, ideally placed to couch a Brett Enoch shot.
Luke Davies, having his best game in a Town shirt was strong in central defence as was the consistent Rhys Williams, booked early for a
professional foul , who although suffering a knock , played on bravely through the ninety plus minutes well aware of the situation on the
bench. As the half progressed, Aberdare began to produce some telling moments with the equalizer coming after thirty four minutes.
Rhys Tandy delivered an inch perfect ball into that area of uncertainty between the keeper and front runner and James Kirkwood, so aware
of the danger overran the ball in his desperation to block allowing the onrushing Seb Haggett, cool as you like, to control and literally walk
into the net.
Both sides continued to carve out half chances and keep the decent crowd thoroughly entertained up to the half time whistle though
Aberdare knew with pitch conditions deteriorating ,that facing them was a second period that would prove difficult and long.
Half Time: Ammanford 1-1 Aberdare Town
The second half began with a succession of away corners that came to nothing and an excellent move involving Glassey, Case and Jones
saw the latter whip over a cross only for Morris’s header to shave the bar.
Haggett was bravely denied by keeper Kirkwood falling at his feet as he sped down on goal and minutes later the custodian produced a
wonder save from a point blank Luke Davies header created from a set piece.
The performance of both sides in such telling conditions was creditable with no player from either side shirking his responsibility. A Matthew
Glassey ball found Levi Jones whose deft pass to Haggett saw the striker cut inside and unleash a power drive which flew narrowly wide
with Kirkwood beaten to his right.
But as the game entered the last twenty minutes and with the centre of the pitch beginning to resemble my old school canteen’s serving of
treacle pudding , Shaun Chapple, who had given everything to the cause was replaced by Dai Gregory who joined Williams and Davies in
his specialist central defensive role as they now prepared for the inevitable siege on goal.
With no midfield back up to call on it was back to the walls stuff .
They held out until the 83rd minute with Matthew Fisher pouncing on a loose ball in the six yard area to fire home. It was such a cruel blow,
following on from Aberbargoed Bud’s late winner in midweek, and despair was probably at the root of Elliot Morris’s dismissal for a second
yellow and a suspension, which in the club’s present plight they can little afford.
To rub in further salt , a late Rhys Davies effort sealed the victory , producing a score line that hardly reflected the game just witnessed
between two hard working teams .
With no game for Dinas Powys ,the gap between the strugglers remains at eight points but with the Vale of Glamorgan outfit crucially
having a game in hand and with Aberdare now having to face the bookies two hot favourites for promotion in Pontypridd midweek at the
Parc and STM Sports with a trip to the St Mellons area of Cardiff this coming Saturday.
Man of the Match: -
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