REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Aberdare returned to winning ways narrowly defeating  AFC Porth, opponents who displayed great tenacity and commitment, and who certainly belied their position at the foot of the table and it could be argued, were unfortunate not to leave with their first points of the campaign. Aberdare were without the inform midfield pair of Killian Kingston and Elliot Morris with the veteran Kevin Davies and recent signing Myles Case making their starting debuts. This game had been scheduled as a Porth home game but weather issues affecting their changing facilities led to a switch of venue so thanks to the Secretaries of both teams and the League for turning this fixture around so quickly. On a freezing afternoon and in front of the lowest  gate of the season, Aberdare kicked off playing against a biting breeze and with the visitors providing the neatest football. One attack, instigated by the tricky Dan Collins saw him take a knock for his troubles as he cleverly set up a dangerous attack which went unconverted .But it was Aberdare who took the lead and it was Case the scorer after Davies had fed Rhys Tandy whose accurate cross found Case who hooked in with a deflection of a covering defender.  But Porth, to their credit came snapping back with Connor Ray who was to produce an excellent performance , setting up several attacks but unlike the easterly wind swirling around the ground, with no cutting edge. Aberdare prospect Levi Jones pulled off a well- timed block to prevent what would have been a certain goal  denying Nicky Louch as Porth continued to press but Aberdare keeper James Harris had little to trouble him with the back line of Jones, Rhys Williams , Phil Clark and Matt Glassey relatively comfortable. Glassey , as he would continue to do ,was finding time and space to make sorties into the attacking third with man of the match, midfielder Tomos Morris  always available to pick up the pieces. Overall though , an underwhelming half with the spectators happy to retreat to the warmth of  the clubhouse for a hot half time brew. Half Time: Aberdare Town 1-0 Aberbargoed Buds The second half was to produce a similar pattern with the visitors having enough possession but unable to do much with it and Aberdare content to play on the break up to Seb Haggett and Case but with neither really causing concern to a solid back line . The most dangerous attack saw Haggett do well to drive to the byline and cross to Case who with a yawning net saw his tame effort blocked and cleared to safety. A glorious chance to seal things up had been spurned and this could certainly have come back to haunt them especially when within minutes , Aberdare were down to ten men. Callum Webber had seen a shot go narrowly wide for the visitors but with the next attack , resulting from a poor cross field pass Levi Jones was committed to taking out Dan Collins who although thirty yards  from goal was deemed the last man by referee Burgess meaning a red card and suspension for the young defender. Manager Wayne Powell gambled in bringing on fresh legs in the shape of reserve team players Scott Griffiths and Sam Phillips but both were to acquit themselves well to the last quarter of a tense affair. Porth now ramped up the pressure but may be that is the reason they are the bottom club as their attacks lacked any real penetration and high balls lumped into the box were just fodder to the imposing James Harris in the Aberdare goal. It was Aberdare on their several breaks into the Porth  half who appeared the more likely to get that vital goal with Rhys  Tandy a constant threat. One such run saw Jon Phillips make a lung bursting run into the penalty box to meet a Tandy cross only to see his effort on the stretch go so agonizingly wide. With pressure mounting there was a booking for Phil Clark but ironically on a bitterly cold day, as the  temperature gauge amongst the players  reached boiling point it even stretched to the dug outs with Aberdare Assistant Manager, Gareth Harbord dismissed to the stands by Mr Burgess. With Harris not called upon to make other than routine saves and  other efforts flying well wide Aberdare saw off the final minutes and took the three points which sees them move eleven points clear of the last relegation place and with two games in hand  of the occupant of that spot, Dinas Powys. After the midweek encounter with Llantwit Major, Dinas away is the next game up on Saturday and a result  would probably remove any lingering doubts of the drop. Man of the Match: Tomos Morris
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Team Line-Up 1 James HARRIS 2 Matthew GLASSEY 3 Phil CLARK 4 Rhys WILLIAMS 5 Levi JONES 6 Kevin DAVIES 7 Rhys TANDY 8 Tom MORRIS 9 John PHILLIPS 10 Seb HAGGETT 11 Myles CASE Substitutes 12 Scott GRIFFITHS 14 Sam PHILLIPS 15 Rhys HARRIES 16 - 17 -
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