REPORT BY RICHARD ROWLANDS
A management switch had taken place midweek with ex Bristol Rovers player and Swansea City head of Youth Development director, Wayne Powell taking the reins
with Gareth Harbord as Assistant in an attempt to halt the slide which had begun at the end of the previous season and continued for far too long into this.
But this also heralds a plan to create a clear pathway from the successful junior section to youth football and beyond with a parallel plan to encompass Girls and
Ladies football. Everyone at the club is keyed into this programme and look forward with optimism to traveling this road.
The immediate future is to climb the table with the team for the visit to division newcomers Llantwit Major, seeing Matt Flynn return for the absent Rhys Williams and
returnee Jordan Coles in midfield.
And what a crazy game it was with three sendings’ off and two missed penalties just the icing on a bizarre confection.
On a wild and windy day the first half gave the advantage to Aberdare but the weather conditions were irrelevant with a twenty five yard screamer from man of the
match, Elliot Morris, opening the scoring for the visitors in the 22nd minute.
Within five minutes Major were level following a scramble in the Aberdare penalty box and Kris Smith prodding home.
Town could have regained the advantage minutes later but the aerobatics of home keeper Jack Lansdown denied a Ross Daniels header finding the net.
In the 35th minute Coles took advantage of a defensive muddle to slide home. Things looked even brighter when a stamp on the same player by Sam Snaith saw the
striker immediately dismissed but Llantwit possess a proud home record and a slick move saw Rob Jones hit narrowly over as they pressed for an equalizer.
Half Time: Llantwit Major 1-2 Aberdare Town
With the hosts having the advantage of the elements for the second half it came against the run of play when Aberdare increased their advantage. Rhys Tandy’s
footwork saw him outwit his opponent and set up Ross Daniels who powered into the area and cross to the feet of top scorer Seb Haggett who finished clinically.
A brilliant Lansdown save denied Morris his second but what was to prove in retrospect the turning point on what has already been a luckless campaign, arrived on
the hour. John Phillips who had replaced Haggett delightfully chipped the onrushing Lansdown but cruelly a strong gust of wind literally blew the final bounce of the
ball backwards as it reached the line to the despair of players and the travelling support.
This twist of fortune seemed to rejuvenate the hosts and five minutes later they had reduced the arrears with a long wind driven ball finding the head of Lee Jones
who buried it beyond the despairing reach of Clint Forbes.
With Flynn still carrying an injury from previous encounters his replacement caused some disruption to the back line and Major took advantage of the reshuffle with
yet another high ball into the box being eventually bundled in by Lee Jones.
Worse was to follow in this bizarre game with Levi Jones bringing down a player inside the box receiving a second yellow but Rob Jones firing wide from the spot.
Shortly after it was Major defender, Sean Williams picking up his second yellow and thus reducing them to nine men against ten. With five minutes to go it was
another penalty for the hosts and this time Rob Jones made no mistake so that from 3-1 down they now found themselves 4-3 to the good.
But this unforgettable game still had twists and turns ahead and this time it was Aberdare to receive a slice of luck. Substitute Richard Ingram was brought down in
the box and he stepped up to take the resultant spot kick. His effort was saved by Lansdown but he parried back into the path of Ingram who fired home for the
equaliser. Heart flutters must have affected both sets of supporters but with seconds left further palpations arose as the hosts found the net but to the despair of
Llantwit and the relief of the visitors the linesman had flagged for offside. What an end to the most pulsating of games.
Man of the Match: Elliott Morris
Aberdare Town Football Club
Aberaman Park, Aberaman, Aberdare, CF44 6HA
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