Harding the hero as Rovers win

Cilgerran Rovers 3

Felinfach 2

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-09-45-01PRIOR to kick off, both sides held a minute silence in memory of the Aberfan disaster to show their respects.

Team news going into the game wasn’t brilliant due to the retirement of captain Gary Evans and brother Barry Evans following injuries. The Rovers had more unavailability in the likes of Craig Poole, Grant Colmer and Callum Plowright. However, Rovers were still able to name a full squad with many 16/17-year-olds able to get a chance to stake a claim in the squad.

A brand new kit, courtesy of Geth Davies of Grow it Mow it, was a fantastic morale boost for the Coraclemen. Diolch yn fawr Geth from all at the Rovers! Much appreciated!

Rovers took the game to Felinfach, eager to set the record straight, having been knocked out in a penalty shootout a couple of weeks ago. The high tempo start came at a cost as Oli Evans had to be withdrawn following a pulled hamstring.

This didn’t dampen Cilgerran’s spirits as Louis Harding managed to tuck the ball underneath the keeper to give Rovers the lead. More chances occurred for Cilgerran but they were unable to capitalise on the opportunities. Felinfach threatened very little; however, they were quick to get on any mistakes made by Cilgerran, forcing stand-in keeper Michael Williams into several great saves throughout the game.

Leading 1-0 at the break, the Rovers knew their lead wasn’t safe and Felinfach were capable of scoring, especially from set pieces.

The Coraclemen pressed for the next goal with numerous attacks but it didn’t come. The visitors were the ones to score the game’s next goal; it came in a shape of a direct free kick, which Michael Williams saved well but palmed it into oncoming traffic as Cilgerran left runners in to poach a tap in.

Annoyed at conceding such a sloppy goal, Cilgerran went direct from a free kick, taken by Steff Davies, to find the head of Louis Harding whose flick on managed to take the keeper by surprise straight through his legs.

With the lead intact, confidence grew and the hunt for the next goal was key. Louis Harding went in search for his hat-trick with full confidence, tearing the defence apart with tricks and flicks. It wasn’t long until Louis bagged his third goal of the game with a strike outside the box into the bottom left corner, having beat a couple of men.

Cilgerran were cruising and the back four looked solid from open play.

Management then began to give many youngsters a chance and valuable playing time went to Matty Williams, Jonathan Ridley, Dion and Joe ‘Pits’ Hill.

This made the game a bit scrappy, which suited Felinfach more. The youngsters worked hard but failed to be a focal point as striker Louis Harding had been rested. Felinfach got the goal they had wanted via a corner which went into the back post as it fell awkwardly to clear, with oncoming attacking players rushing in to bundled over the line.

However, stand-in captain Dan Bellis and his men managed to weather the storm and pick up the three points they deserved.

Next week’s fixture is home in the cup, where Newbridge-on-Rye travel down to Parc-Y-Dre.

About the author

Dayne Stone

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