St Athan 2-0 AFC Rhoose
St Athan took the derby spoils in an enthralling encounter with a 2-0 victory.
Josh Harfoot and Aaron Rogers hitting the back of the net in either half to secure the 3 points.
Saints came into the game without tailsman Jordan Mortimore who was on humanitarian work in Minehead and Jamie Robinson who was lost at sea. But Saints welcomed back into the squad Ryan John, Lee Reid, Adam Howe, Reece Lewis, Paul Lucas and Aaron Rogers. St Athan finding themselves in unchartered territory of having four subs.
Rhoose started the better and lolled for an early goal as St Athan failed to settle.
Rhoose went close early on and had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside. The protests went too far for one Rhoose player who’s choice of words to the referee earned him a red card and the away side were down to ten.
Saints began to play and earned a corner which Karl Steel narrowly poked wide.
Ryan John and Kieran Ashton began to click in midfield and started to cause problems along with Joe Laing and it was Laing who started the move that led to a fine chance.
Laing’s excellent work won the ball back and he fed Steel, he teed up Craig Howells to cross for Harfoot who fired over.
Harfoot didn’t have to wait long for another chance and this time made no mistake. Captain Brad Young’s clever header intercepted a Rhoose attack and found Tony Pugh, Pugh’s pin point ball in behind found Harfoot’s darting run into the right side of the area and he finished with aplomb to put the home side in front.
Saints saw long range efforts from Lewis and John but Rhoose edged back into the game.
Nicky ‘The Cat’ Cox was called into action between the posts and pulled off an exquisite low save to deny the Rhoose forwards shot across goal.
Saints went in leading as the half came to an end.
The second half started as a cagey affair but the home side let their foot off the gas and Rhoose got themselves into the game.
Rhoose found themselves in good positions in the Saints final third but found the home sides back four of Pugh, Reid, Young and Lewis in sublime form repelling the onslaught.
Then a glimpse of goal was seen and Cox tipped the strike over.
Saints needed an injection of fresh energy into the game and manager Bill Laing introduced Lucas, Rogers and Leigh Lewis off the bench.
The new introductions worked a treat and Saints regained their foothold in the game.
Two of the substitutes combined as Leigh Lewis set up Lucas but couldn’t convert the opportunity.
Finally Saints doubled their lead with 16 minutes remaining. The ball found its way out to Pugh on the right and his cross was perfect and Rogers brilliantly cushioned the header back into the top corner.
Rhoose looked to desperately pull a goal back but were restricted to a free kick that fired over.
Saints could have made it three late on but Lucas saw his effort cleared off the line.
A great result for St Athan as they take a break from league action next week as they travel to Llanharan in the SWFA Cup.
St Athan: Cox, Pugh, R.Lewis, Young, Reid, Laing, Steel, Ashton, John, Howells, Harfoot. Subs – Lucas, Rogers, L.Lewis, Howe.
Meanwhile the second team got their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw with BV, impressive youngster Seth Talbot getting his first goal for the club.
Many thanks to our sponsors Llantwit Car Valet and Kinsale Stone Co (Wales) Ltd. If your company is interested in sponsoring the club contact the club by email firstname.lastname@example.org