REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Following the postponement of the previous week’s fixture with AFC Porth, Aberdare were keen to take the field and maintain impetus after breaking their duck two weeks earlier against Aberbargoed Buds.  And this certainly materialized after a tremendous display handicapped by playing out the last forty minutes with ten men in atrocious conditions and in that time moving from a 2-2 score line to a two goal win. Your scribe has been reporting on games for far too long to mention but for grit and determination this ranks up there with the best.  Josh Powell and Levi Jones returned after suspension and there was a debut for ex Carmarthen and Port Talbot keeper, Wyn Walters. The game kicked off on a lush green surface and finished in a scene of pure white and thanks must go to Mr Said and his officials for their officiating in such difficult circumstances.  The first goal came in the 11th minute with man of the match Ross Daniels beating the off side trap and cleverly rounding the keeper to rifle home. Aberdare were in control and several half chances were carved out including an Elliot Morris effort which flashed just wide. The weather was deteriorating fast as the vista began to resemble an arctic scene with two blows for Risca losing keeper Tom Chorley to injury to be replaced by Angelo Roberetti and Liam Head missing a glorious chance to equalize. But Head soon made amends, latching on to a delightful Josh Clayton through ball to finish with aplomb. Town’s Seb Haggett had a chance to restore the advantage minutes later but Roberetti managed to clear and the resulting corner saw a John Phillips header go narrowly wide. As with Liam Head for the opposition, Haggett did not have long to wait to redeem himself. Daniels broke strongly down the right edge of the penalty area, unselfishly crossing for the alert Haggett to strike home. As half time approached another Daniels-Haggett one-two saw ex Aber defender Lee Hartshorn desperately clear. Half Time: Aberdare Town 2-1 Risca United Both sets of players continued to produce excellent football in the second period with the snow showers unrelenting with ex Aber’s Lewis Hitchcock the Risca star. Just before and after the hour controversy, or maybe confusion, reigned as firstly Town’s Levi Jones was red carded for an alleged trip in the box with Dan Battle converting from the spot and just two minutes later, Haggett clattered by Roberetti as he entered the area but with only a yellow card brandished for the fortunate keeper. Richard Ingram struck home for a 3-2 lead. Amazingly the final half hour saw Aberdare in the ascendancy as Risca wilted under the new found confidence and belief of a team a million miles from that of only a month ago. The defensive display of Matthew Glassey, Powell, Rhys Williams and Phillips moving back to central defence after the dismissal of Levi Jones were immense  This was clearly epitomised in a rampaging charge by central defender Williams of fully seventy yards from his defensive position returning to rapturous applause from the home crowd.  Lewis Holder again displaying his true captain’s qualities and the vision and awareness of Ingram blunted most Risca midfield ploys There was an equally noisy accolade from the home fans for Luke Jones making his return after a long injury lay off and to put the icing on the cake he snatched the fourth and decisive goal in the 71st minute. An Ingram free kick found the irrepressible Daniels who crossed with defender and keeper,  colliding under pressure from the non-stop Morris and allowing “Scouser” Jones to prod home. Risca had clearly folded and keeper Roberetti pulled off a series of stops including a marvelous double save to keep the score line part presentable.  A victory the means and circumstances to which will remain long in the memory Man of the Match: Ross Daniels
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Team Line-Up 1 Wyn WALTERS 2 Matthew GLASSEY 3 Josh POWELL 4 Levi JONES 5 Rhys WILLIAMS 6 Richard INGRAM 7 Elliott MORRIS 8 Lewis HOLDER 9 Ross DANIELS 10 Seb HAGGETT 11 John PHILLIPS Substitutes 12 Luke JONES 14 Rhys TANDY 15 Ben GIBBS 16 Andrew ELLIS 17 -
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