REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS
Manager Wayne Powell had the luxury for the first time this season to be able to field the same, consecutive starting line-up to face a rejuvenated AFC Porth, who
had claimed their first win of the campaign, midweek at AFC Llwydcoed.
The boost to confidence this victory produced was evident to all in the first twenty minutes with Aberdare making a stuttering start after two weeks of inactivity.
After twelve minutes the Aberdare defence who had begun hesitatingly, were all at sea as Connor Berry waltzed his way through, setting up in form striker Connor
Ray to bury his shot in the right hand corner past James Harris for a deserved lead.
Aberdare were finding it difficult to string their passes together and maybe a more proficient outfit could have put the game to bed by the thirty minute mark but the
hosts could not take advantage of their superiority, so slowly but surely ,Town began to claw their way back into contention.
Man of the Match , Rhys Tandy was beginning to torment his opposite number down the right flank but the equalizer arrived from a more direct route with a long ball
downfield headed on by a leaping Jon Phillips to Seb Haggett backing into a defender.
As Haggett held the ball up he may have taken a nudge from the crowding defender who was possibly harshly penalized , and a free kick left central to goal and on
the edge of the box was awarded.
Up stepped Phillips and as he has done so many times over the years, converted successfully driving hard and low into the right of goal for the equalizer.
The game was now taking a different shape with Town the dominant team and Levi Jones imposing himself in his preferred midfield role and Tandy and overlapping
full back Matthew Glassey working in concert to set up dangerous and uneasy moments in the Porth defence.
Half Time: AFC Porth 1-1 Aberdare Town
The half time whistle probably came too early for Town, now so much in the ascendancy but they did not have to wait long into the second half and within ten golden
minutes had added a further three goals to leave the final result in no doubt.
Tandy was the chief orchestrator, the glut beginning after one of his trademark runs earning a free kick from a foul committed as a last resort .
From his delivery there was Elliot Morris to head home for his seventh goal of the season.
Within four minutes it was Tandy again crossing this time from a corner seeing Rhys Williams heading across to Philiips whose effort was blocked but rebounding to
Luke Davies who gratefully drilled home for a three- one lead.
And to crown this episode Tandy again scuttled down the flank crossing to Phillips who unselfishly put into the path of the onrushing Haggett who rifled home to
extend the gap .
Haggett could have added a fifth and his second moments later only to see keeper, Morgan Davies block with his feet and deny him what would have been the top
scorer’s twelfth of the campaign .
Further heroics by Davies denied Jon Phillips as Town continued on the front foot.
As the game entered its final quarter , the Town engine began to idle, content that the three points were theirs and as such ,allaying any relegation concerns but this
can often be a dangerous game to play.
With fifteen minutes left on the clock , full back Phil Clarke was penalized for a high foot and Connor Ray struck the free kick home to reduce the arrears.
Porth were now winning the little midfield battles with Town having taken their foot of the gas but with no real threat on the Town goal.
Wayne Powell decided it was time for fresh legs, bringing on Myles Case and Shaun Chappel and latterly Sam Phillips and Town again began to look for another with
Killian Kingston , who after an indifferent start was providing midfield creativity and vigour, making a strong run into the area for keeper Davies to commit to a brave
and well timed dive to his feet to secure .
Case set up Morris whose strike from fifteen yards was well held by Davies with moments later the final whistle being blown and a happy contingent returning to the
Cynon Valley with the three points won and short of some miraculous results Second Division survival secure.
Man of the Match: Rhys Tandy
Aberdare Town Football Club
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