REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Following Aberdare’s six match winless streak, manager Matt Driscoll stepped down after this local derby and the backroom staff of Gareth Harboard and Wayne Powell were appointed as the interim management team. It had been a unfortunate opening to the league season for Driscoll, having to endure an unprecedented run of injuries to the first team squad and being unable to put out the same starting eleven in successive matches. The club wish Matt all the best for the future and for his unstinting work during a difficult and trying period.  For this game Aberdare were yet again forced into several changes with Ben Gibbs and Jon Phillips recalled to defence. The crossbar came into play several times in the opening minutes with Liam Jones for the visitors and Ross Daniels for Town striking the woodwork. Jonathan Mason was giving Gibbs a torrid time and Ricky Carter was doing the same to the Phillips-Hartshorn central defensive pairing. With Llwydcoed looking the more dangerous, regularly opening up the Town defence with crisp passing and movement it came as a surprise when Aberdare opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. With a Richard Ingram free kick finding Hartshorn to the left of the penalty area his cross travelled into the danger area and striker Seb Haggett expertly slid home for the lead. It Should have been two nil minutes later with Haggett heading wide but the turning point came on the half hour with two goals for the visitors converted by Ricky Carter following speedy breakouts from defence and finished clinically by the ex-Aber striker. Town were never to recover from this quick one-two, with heads visibly dropping. Gibbs was replaced by the experienced Rhys Jones but with little effect on general play with Ioan Evans, Mason and Jay Woodford shining for the visitors. There was a golden chance for the latter just before the break but he scooped over when well placed. This followed shortly after Town’s Haggett had seen his shot on the turn whistle over from eight yards. Half Time: Aberdare Town 1-2 AFC Llwydcoed There was a scrappy start to the second period with neither side creating much of note until an Elliot Morris power drive was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Coed keeper Hargreaves. Aberdare were now enjoying their best period of the game but this left them exposed at the back and a long ball out of defence found Carter who sped toward goal before being manhandled by Phillips. Referee Vasilca Ciupela immediately showed a red card to the transgressor and to make matters even worse Carter converted the resultant free kick with aplomb to extend Coed’s lead and for Carter, a long to be remembered hat trick. Aberdare were rattled bringing on  Mitchell Boyce for Richard Ingram and as it was to turn out, Driscoll’s last direct act within the playing area as Town manager substituting Rhys Tandy for Andrew Ellis. These changes were to prove to no avail  with the rising frustration manifested in bookings for Lewis Holder, Haggett, Boyce and Josh Powell.  The result gave Coed deservedly the local bragging rights and leaves Aberdare one place above the relegation places. Man of the Match: None awarded
Aberdare Town
1-3
AFC Llwydcoed
Team Line-Up 1 Clint FORBES 2 Jon PHILLIPS 3 Ben GIBBS 4 Richard INGRAM 5 Lee HARTSHORN 6 Josh POWELL 7 Lewis HOLDER 8 Rhys TANDY 9 Ross DANIELS 10 Seb HAGGETT 11 Elliott MORRIS Substitutes 12 Andrew ELLIS 14 Mitchell BOYCE 15 Rhys JONES 16 - 17 -
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