REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Aberdare progressed to the First Round proper of the Welsh Cup after a tough battle in seeing off fellow Second Division side Dinas Powys. Still missing four regulars Aberdare gave starting debuts to new signings, ex Cinderford Town central defender Lee Hartshorn and Seb Haggett, arriving during the week from Afan Lido and both were to produce outstanding performances with Haggett nicking the man of the match award for his first half opener. The opening goal came in the sixth minute resulting from a neatly threaded through ball from Rikki Evans finding overlapping wing back Andrew Ellis whose neat cut back found Haggett who fired home from six yards. Dinas keeper Elliot Matthews was to have a busy afternoon, minutes later saving well from another Haggett strike and shortly afterwards collecting the ball from the back of the net, a neat one-two between Evans and Haggett seeing the latter briefly celebrating before being called back for off side, a decision strongly derided by the home fans. Aberdare continued to enjoy the majority of the possession and Evans saw a 12 yard effort crash against the cross bar but it was not all one way and Aber keeper Clint Forbes was forced into a fine save with his feet to deny the visitors and young Levi Jones recently returned from Western League side,Cribbs FC, had to be sharp to deny a chance falling to Kyle Lewis just yards out. Dinas squandered a few half chances but desperately poor defending allowed them back into the game as Lewis must have thought Christmas had come early as he was allowed to waltz through a static back line to drill home for the equalizer.  As the half wore on Aberdare inexplicably became quite disorganised and were more than happy to hear referee Wayne Tregonning’s half time blast. Half Time: Aberdare Town 1-1 Dinas Powys Strong words must have been emitted at half time and Rhys Jones another returnee, but unavailable since picking up a preseason knock against Clevedon Town was introduced at wing back. This gave a better shape to the formation and Jones was prominent in early forays the most positive seeing Haggett force an excellent save from Matthews. The momentum was now with Aberdare and John Phillips was moved to central defence with Kevin Davies brought on to add more steel to midfield in support of the attack minded Richard Ingram and Luke Jones. Davies showing his intent was booked within minutes of his introduction and it was Aberdare who were now dominating with Matthews making a superb double save from the head and foot of Rhys Tandy who covered his face in disbelief at the keepers reflexes,  which drew appreciative applause from both home and away supporters. Andrew Ellis was also denied by the keeper as was a speculative Ingram rocket moments later. But a goal was imminent and it came in the 77th minute with an Ingram corner headed home powerfully by John Phillips. Tandy was again involved with a close ranger cleared off the line and Kevin Davies struck the base of the post from 12 yards as Aberdare looked for the cushion of a two goal lead seen even more vital as a Powys header from a corner hit the cross bar and Hartshorn’s forehead cleared another strike off the line.  The closing minutes saw all out attack from the visitors but the back line held firm and with it the reward of a place in the pot for the next round. Man of the Match: Seb Haggett
Aberdare Town
2-1
Dinas Powys
Team Line-Up 1 Clint FORBES 2 Levi JONES 3 Andrew ELLIS 4 Lee HARTSHORN 5 Gareth JONES 6 Richard INGRAM 7 Luke JONES 8 Rikki EVANS 9 Rhys TANDY 10 Seb HAGGETT 11 John PHILLIPS Substitutes 12 Kevin DAVIES 14 Kristian COLLINS 15 Darren ANDREW 16 Rhys JONES 17 -
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