REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Manager Wayne Powell selected the same starting eleven victorious against Dinas Powys, for this evening fixture for what, as always, would prove to be a tough encounter with Pontardawe. On a sticky surface the long ball was the preferred option of both sides early doors and there was little goal mouth action to report with both keepers restricted to dealing with some hopeful attempts causing them little trouble. It would take a quick decisive move to unlock either defence and this came about in the 26th minute. A ball out of defence was headed on by the impressive Jon Phillips  finding Seb Haggett whose sprinted toward goal  before slipping an accurate pass to the motoring Killian Kingston slotting home superbly into the right hand corner for his third goal in three games since his move from Risca United. The new found confidence of this Aberdare team was apparent to all with Kingston again to the fore, firing just wide from an angled shot as the hosts ramped up the pressure. It was no surprise when they added a second on 35 minutes. The non- stop Elliot Morris won a tussle in midfield before finding the dangerous Rhys Tandy, enjoying a great run of form,  and taking a few strides before finding Haggett to his left who proceeded to cut inside . Onlookers were expecting him at his angle, to deliver across goal but he had other ideas and hit a thunderous shot past the disbelieving keeper Steve Reeve  again  into the right hand corner. But as games against these West Walians have always proved they do not keel over easily and five minutes before the break, reduced the arrears. A disputed decision leading to a free kick on the edge of the box was expertly delivered into the mix by veteran Gary Taylor and returnee to the club, Craig Davies nodded home. Half Time: Aberdare Town 2-1 Pontardawe Town Aberdare began the second half on the front foot and  excellent work by Haggett down the right saw him cross to Kingston who unfortunately headed over. Full back Matthew Glassey, who was to vie with man of the match Jordan Coles for the accolade was making some penetrating runs as was Tandy on the other flank as the game opened up with Aberdare looking for that killer third and the visitors to regain parity. In fact it was now the visitors looking the most likely with old heads Taylor and Sam Brown driving them forward. Home keeper James Harris, who had had little to do up to this juncture was now showing what a great signing he had been from Port Talbot,  saving bravely after a Taylor free kick had thudded against the cross bar back into play and dealing superbly with high crosses now being regularly pumped into the home box. Recent signing Tom Rees and debutant Miles Case were introduced by Powell and fitted in seamlessly as pressure mounted, but the back four of Coles, Glassey , Phil Clark and Rhys Williams who was forced off with injury following yet another trade mark tackle to deny a snap break on goal, were rocks at the back. Levi Jones who is developing so quickly ,easily fitted back into a defensive role with the injury to Williams with Morris and Phillips able to display their versatility in attack and defence mode. These factors were vital ingredients It was now becoming the defence of the Alamo, but the visitors did themselves no favours in the 87th minute with Brown spotted by the linesman using his elbow as Aberdare formed a defensive wall to counter a free kick award. After discussion with referee Mr Russell a red card was brandished and a not so early bath for the miscreant. From the free kick the ball was partially cleared but finding centre back Callum Poland, up for the set piece he ballooned over from five yards. Aberdare still had to endure a full seven minutes of injury time as the siege continued but their resilience and tenacity saw them over the line and with it a vital three points .Yet another superb team performance with every player bar none, putting in a honest shift- what a change from only a month or so ago. Man of the Match: Jordan Coles
Team Line-Up 1 James HARRIS 2 Matthew GLASSEY 3 Phil CLARK 4 Rhys WILLIAMS 5 Jordan COLES 6 Levi JONES 7 Elliott MORRIS 8 Rhys TANDY 9 John PHILLIPS 10 Seb HAGGETT 11 Kilian KINGSTON Substitutes 12 Kevin DAVIES 14 Myles CASE 15 Tom REES 16 - 17 -
Pontardawe Town
Aberdare Town
Welsh League Div 2
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