Aberdare came away with the three points in what turned out to be a feisty encounter at Aberaman Park on Wednesday night.
Both teams started brightly despite the difficult conditions under foot but it was Aberdare who took the lead in the 2nd minute thanks to a goal from former Black Dragon, Merthyr Town and Cardiff City player Luke Jones. The ball was played into the box and Jones fired past a hapless David Burnett in the Afc Porth goal to give Aberdare the upper hand early on.
There were some great chances for both sides but the final ball didn’t seem to quite be there until the 17th minute. The ball was played to Nicky Fish who struck the ball past the Aberdare keeper Clint Forbes only to see his shot cannon off the post and rebound to safety. Aberdare then began a period of dominance, wave after wave of attacks towards the Porth goal however they couldn’t get the second goal.
As the half went on the Porth players and backroom staff were getting ever more frustrated with the referee’s decisions, some of those frustrations seemed justified from the stand as there were some soft looking free kicks being awarded.
Eventually Aberdare’s dominance paid off in the 30th minute. The ball was whipped into the box after some great work by Rob Blatchford but Porth failed to clear their lines and Ross Daniels was on hand to prod home from five yards out to give Aberdare a two goal cushion. The half came to a close with Aberdare leading comfortably but the points were definitely not sealed at this stage.
The teams came out for the second half with the game still anyone’s to take thanks to the tricky playing surface. Afc Porth came out much better and had a few chances to equalise on the break which they were unlucky not to take. Aberdare indeed had a series of their own chances to potentially kill the game off but it was Porth who would get the next goal and set up an exciting end to the game. Striker Ben Ah-Mun coolly slotted home to make it 2-1 in the 63rd minute and leave it all to play for going into the final quarter of the game.
The pitch seemed to be getting more and more difficult to play on which resulted in a bit of a scrappy contest in the last 20 minute, players were losing their footing and both sides were failing to string a series of passes together.
As the game was coming to a close the referee made a decision which infuriated Porth. The coaching staff and players could be heard from the stands expressing their frustrations, then a period of madness ensued. Aberdare midfielder Lewis Holder aired his frustrations at the Porth coaching staff, this resulted in a red card and Aberdare were down to 10 men.
As Holder left the field of play he made his way over to the coach and continued to show his frustrations, the red mist had well and truly descended.
He eventually made his way to the changing rooms but as he was, a scuffle broke out on the pitch and there was a flash of another red card, this time to Porth player Jason Davies for leaving the field of play without permission.
The players eventually gathered their composure and the game restarted, for a few minutes at least. Aberdare took a throw and there was a big challenge from one of the Porth players which once again resulted in a mass of players confronting each other, this time however, the referee brandished the yellow card and both sides on with 10 men.
The game began to fizzle out until the final minute or so where Porth pushed looking for a late equaliser. They had a great chance to snatch a point but the ball went out for a corner, shortly after there was a terrific volley struck directly at the Aberdare goalkeeper who did well to make the save and secure three valuable points for Aberdare which draws them level with Afc Porth on 34 points in the Welsh League Division 2 table.
Next up for Aberdare Town is a tough game away to Cwmamman United on Saturday and for Afc Porth, it’s an away game at Garden Village who are currently fighting at the wrong end of the table.