REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS Town travelled to Llanrumney to meet  STM and it proved a stroll in the park for the league leaders as they consolidated their place at the top as Aberdare fell to a fifth straight defeat and remain perilously close to the trap door. Without the suspended Elliot Morris, manager Wayne Powell recalled Tomos Morris with Jon Phillips returning up front for Myles Case.  They began brightly with long range efforts from Seb Haggett and Shaun Chapple bringing routine stops out of home keeper Chris Golton  though he had to be a little more alert to save from a Phillips hook. Chapple was producing his usual well directed mid field passes to set up attacking plays with however little  final threat and as the half progressed, STM began to show why they are top of the pile with some crisp midfield play creating openings in the Town defence and the silky running of Lamin Conteh  and the midfield promptings of Joey Evans , prominent features . With the visitors maintaining a high line Sports were frustratingly, for management and  home supporters, continuously flagged for offside, with Rhys Williams, Luke Davies, Matthew Glassey and Killian Kingston stepping up to catch  them out time and time again. On one of the rare occasions when Town were able to construct an attacking move Rhys Tandy set up Morris who volleyed over, with minutes later, a John Phillips cross desperately cleared via defender and keeper Golton . After several further STM attacks foiled again by the operation of a well- organized defence producing  yet another flurry of off side decisions , they finally beat the trap but not keeper Harris who bravely fell at the feet of the onrushing Conteh to deny the tall striker. With the next move again splitting the Town defence there was to be no saviour with Conteh finding the overlapping full back Michael Hodge who smashed home for a deserved lead. Half Time: STM Sports 1-0 Aberdare Town The first half had seen early niggles for Levi Jones and a little later for Tomos Morris and they were both substituted at half time with similar thigh pulls. Daniel Riddiford made his debut and Dai Gregory replaced Jones but the reshuffle had little time to develop as Town were lucky to escape with a Conteh header striking the bar and within minutes seeing themselves two down as Ben Ahmun sped down the right flank and crossed for Josh Graham to stab home.  With Aberdare in the middle of a barren run , hopes were thin for a successful response though Riddiford did make a good thirty yard run into the STM penalty area before being dispossessed and a Haggett effort struck the side netting. He went closer with a rasping drive well saved by Golton but these were rare chances with STM ,without having to get out of third gear, creating several good openings with Kingston clearing off the line and Harris making a few good saves with a few other chances almost casually squandered by the home team. In truth, STM were cruising to a victory  and with a second for Graham and STM’s third , Wayne Powell gave a run out to young Rhys Thomas . To make matters worse Aberdare having used up their quota of subs , lost Gregory to a foot injury playing out the last ten minutes with a one man disadvantage during which time STM hit the post twice and were denied by a superb Harris save. Referee , Neil Stephens who had officiated well , blew for time  to the relief  of Town’s  players and supporters alike. Next up is a midweek visit to fellow strugglers Croesyceiliog  and a trip west to mid table Pontardawe on Saturday and Town will be looking to eke out a few points  which should secure safety. Certainly pleasing in patches, Aberdare are unable to maintain sustained pressure on opponents, with unaccountably, a visible lack of energy at times plain to see . The squad really have to raise their game for the run in , as a drop to the third division is a situation, no one at the club had contemplated at the beginning of the season . Adding to this,  imminent changes to the league structure  a doomsday scenario looms but is ,with a little more self- belief , one that can be avoided. Man of the Match: Rhys Williams
Team Line-Up 1 James HARRIS 2 Matthew GLASSEY 3 Killian KINGSTON 4 Rhys WILLIAMS 5 Luke DAVIES 6 Levi JONES 7 Shaun CHAPPELL 8 Tom MORRIS 9 John PHILLIPS 10 Seb HAGGETT 11 Rhys TANDy Substitutes 12 Myles CASE 14 Dai GREGORY 15 Daniel RIDDIFORD 16 Ryan THOMAS 17 -
Aberdare Town
STM Sports
Welsh League Div 2
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