REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Aberdare made a Sunday afternoon outing  to Gorseinon for their final league match of the season under the helm of  new manager Simon Jones , and came back with the three points that guaranteed an 11th place finish. Everyone at the club wishes Simon well with  facing him, a short period of relaxation before the serious work begins of assembling a competitive squad for a vital season ahead. For this game, reserve team players Ieuan Stephens and Daniel Riddiford were given their first starts with Rhys Williams captaining the team. There was an early scare for the hosts with a misdirected back pass to keeper Jacob Ireland , spilled  and allowing Killian Kingston an unexpected chance only to see his hooked effort scream narrowly  of the gaping goal. As the game settled there was evidence of the system, even in these early days, of what Jones is trying to achieve with neat football  from the back making the ball do the work and creating space. Rhys Tandy and Levi Jones were showing up well in a style of football that suited them with Stephens up front pressing well and using the channels  to unsettle the Village back line. The hosts were finding it difficult to establish a foothold on proceedings with the industrious Tomos Morris often stifling  their smart build up play but one quick break saw James Harris in the Town goal bravely deny the onrushing Mikey Morris and followed this up moments later, following a lapse of concentration in  defence, with an outstanding save from  the sharp Callum Silcox . Other than these quickfire scares there was little to ruffle the Aberdare defence but  as half time approached there was an uneasy period of play demanding some resolute defending with veteran Phil Clark and young Andrew Fenaroli , ably supporting the now established central pairing of Williams and  Luke Davies to see off the late pressure. Half Time: Garden Village 0 Aberdare Town 0 The second half began somewhat like the first with their keeper in early action to nervously clutch a Kingston drive from the edge of the area. It had been an eventful  and busy debut for Ieuan Stephens but he blotted his copybook when, after being substituted by Rhys Harries , words were relayed to a linesman. The next few minutes saw Town lose their shape somewhat and Harris gained his man of the match award with a series of top drawer saves as Village gained brief ascendancy. It was Town who took the lead  when a defence splitting through ball from Levi Jones saw Harries beat the offside trap, run through and exhibiting great coolness , drill home, as Ireland scurried in vain to narrow the angle. Village notched up the pressure with Tandy yellow carded following a midfield coming together and thus joining Levi Jones, awarded for a first half “professional foul”, in the book . With the pressure beginning to abate, Town were caught out by a long throw finding  Mark Howells whose flicked on header caused havoc in the Town rear guard allowing  substitute, Josh Bradshaw, who had only made his entrance seconds earlier on to the field prior to that set piece, to stab home with his first touch of the ball. Rhys Thomas replaced Phil Clark as the game entered the last fifteen  but he did not have to wait long to celebrate with his team mates as a Rhys Tandy corner was headed home by Luke Davies to the delight of the new management and the away support. Town saw out the remaining with few alarms bringing the curtain down on an eventful season , a lot best forgotten as the club move onto the challenges of the next, with the emphasis on stability and a team maybe more representative of the ideals to which the club strives of playing for the badge and the aim of being truly a community club. The signs have certainly been there in the past few games and there is certainly in place a solid bedrock on which the future can be structured. Man of the Match: James Harris
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Team Line-Up 1 James HARRIS 2 Andrew FENAROLI 3 Phil CLARK 4 Luke DAVIES 5 Rhys WILLIAMS 6 Rhys TANDY 7 Levi JONES 8 Tom MORRIS 9 Killian KINGSTON 10 Iuean STEPHENS 11 Daniel RIDDIFORD Substitutes 12 Rhys THOMAS 14 Rhys HARRIES 15 Nicholas CHAPPELL 16 - 17 -
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Welsh League Div 2