Cynon Valley - - FOOTBALL -


THIS AVAFL Premier Di­vi­sion en­counter saw AFC Aber­cynon en­ter­tain Gadlys Rovers in a league clash at Y Parc for the first time since Septem­ber 2008.

From the word go the home side looked in the zone with Kevin Hughes and Leon Grant both sharp in at­tack and James Davies and Tom Fournier dom­i­nat­ing the cen­tral third. How­ever, it was the vis­i­tors who es­tab­lished the lead on 20 min­utes af­ter match of­fi­cial Marco Grif­fiths awarded them a penalty af­ter Steve Hart brought down his op­po­nent in­side the Cynon 18-yard area. And with the sub­se­quent spot kick beat­ing debu­tant Lee Thomas in the AFC goal, it was 0-1 to the vis­i­tors.

Rovers then went look­ing to ex­pand the score­line and put the AFC de­fence un­der some ex­treme pres­sure and only some cool de­fend­ing from teenager Jor­dan Baker and left back Gary Willis pre­vented a sec­ond goal on 25 min­utes. AFC then ral­lied and grad­u­ally forced the vis­i­tors onto the back foot with Jor­dan Beasley and Gareth Nor­ris mak­ing great head­way down their re­spec­tive flanks. In­deed, on 35 min­utes Kevin Hughes found him­self with time and space in­side the Gadlys penalty area and pro­duced a deft fin­ish to re­store par­ity.

With the in­ter­val fast ap­proach­ing, both sides ex­changed de­cent goalscor­ing chances. But when the half-time whis­tle blew, hon­ours re­mained even.

Fol­low­ing the turnaround the home side came out with re­newed re­solve and re­ally took the game to the vis­i­tors. And their en­deav­our was richly re­warded on 55 min­utes when James Davies rose to neatly head home from Gareth Nor­ris’ driven cor­ner. Cynon’s Kevin Hughes then made way for teenager Adam Davies as the home side looked to kill the game. And min­utes later young­ster Leon Grant saw his cross-shot de­flect in off a Rovers de­fender to make it 3-1. At this point Geraint Brown and Gareth Nor­ris made way for Ryan Ash­ton and David Lloyd re­spec­tively.

Just af­ter the hour mark the home side were them­selves awarded a penalty for hand­ball and Leon Grant made no mis­take with the re­sult­ing spot­kick to make it 4-1. But Rovers dug deep and pro­ceeded to throw them­selves an un­likely life­line on 75 min­utes cour­tesy of a well-taken goal in the wake of an ex­cel­lent, sweep­ing move.

How­ever, the last word went to Aber­cynon when sub­sti­tute Adam Davies burst into the Rovers’ penalty area to cul­mi­nate his run with an out­stand­ing strike.

Leon Grant makes no mis­take from the penalty spot

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