ABERDARE EARN POINT AT LEAGUE LEADERS
ABERDARE produced their best performance of the season earning a welldeserved point after a tremendous tussle with league leaders Caldicot.
Showing one change from the previous week with the return of Elliot Morris, it was the hosts who started brightest with an early succession of corners and keeper Clint Forbes pulling out the stops to deny Ben AhMun and Ashley Palmer. The latter is well known on the circuit as a long throw specialist and is invariably used as a weapon for any throw-ins within 20 yards of goal. He was to have a direct impact on the final result providing an early threat setting up a strike cleared off the line by Matthew Flynn.
Aberdare began to find their way into the game with a Morris drive well couched by home keeper Gareth Wesson and a strong appeal for a goal as a Seb Haggett effort from a tight angle appeared to cross the line at the near post but not given by the linesman. But the visitors did not have to wait much longer for the opener with Josh Powell finding the non-stop Ross Daniels who, as he entered the penalty area, was bundled over by central defender Matt James with referee Schofield pointing at the spot. Flynn powered home for a 23rd-minute lead.
Caldicot should have been level minutes later but Ah-Mun skewed wide from feet out.
The same incident saw a head injury to Flynn who was immediately replaced by Andrew Ellis.
Young Levi Jones, who was again displaying his versatility in a midfield role, reverted to central defence to accompany man of the match Rhys Williams.
It had been an excellent first-half performance with Rhys Tandy a constant menace to the home defence and Matthew Glassey in only his second game for the club already proving a great addition to the squad.
Aberdare thought they were two-up within minutes of the restart but from a set piece the referee blew for pushing as Morris drove home.
Despite the endeavour showed by both teams in a pulsating second half, the game will be more remembered for referee Schofield brandishing no less than 10 yellow cards in a game where it would be hard to remember a nasty challenge with few fireworks and flare-ups, even on Guy Fawkes night eve.
The odds were that Caldicot were only going to score from one of Palmer’s projectiles and this came to pass just after the hour, as the ball found the sixfoot-plus frame of Jacob Guy who headed home for the equaliser.
The game continued end to end giving the spectators great value for their entrance fee. The hosts had thought it would be a relatively easy afternoon consolidating their position at the top of the pile but the only resort appeared to be for Palmer to keep peppering the Aberdare box with his throws as things became more desperate.
Clint Forbes was equal to the task but James, who was not having a day to remember, did head and fire wide from close range.
At the other end, Haggett forced Wesson into an excellent save and Rhys Tandy was pulled down as he approached the penalty area with Palmer fortunate only to be shown a yellow card.
Exciting prospect Corey Thomas was introduced late on and he was soon in the action setting up Ellis whose effort was well held by Wesson.
So Aberdare returned from the shadows of the Second Severn Crossing with a well-deserved point and can now look forward with optimism and belief to a Friday night home game against another Monmouthshire outfit, this time Abergavenny fresh off a winning seven-goal thriller.
If Aberdare can maintain the commitment shown here against the table toppers then there is every reason to hope for a much needed first league win of the season in front of their long suffering fans, with a 7.30pm kick off at Aberaman Park.