Llanfair United 2
Rhayader Town 1
LLANFAIR United survived a fierce late comeback bid to overcome Rhayader Town and claim a potential pivotal victory in the Huws Gray Alliance relegation battle.
Both sides played their part in an entertaining derby which was switched to Newtown’s Paveaways Latham Park to ensure the crucial fixture survived the weather.
The match was played in driving rain and hail which justified the decision to switch the venue to a 3G surface.
Rhayader did most of the early running with a Rhydian Davies free-kick saved by United No1 Lee Andrew who was also equal to a headed effort from the ex-Aberystwyth Town youngster moments later.
United’s best chances of the opening quarter saw defender Dan Jones twice head wide from Iain Edmunds’ corners while the latter’s dangerous deliveries also saw James Davies head wide.
At the other end ex-Caersws forward Dane Griffiths blazed over the bar from the edge of the area.
However United gradually got on top with talisman Davies once again central to breaking the deadlock on 44 minutes with his rasping shot cannoning off the bar for Joe Vaughan to pounce on the rebound.
Rhayader were still reeling from the set-back at the start of the second-half with hesitancy in their defence capitalised upon as Andrew Hughes released Davies who strolled through unchallenged to slot past goalkeeper Ashley Roberts.
United sat back on their two goal lead as Rhayader sought a route back into the game with Sean Powell testing Andrew from 20 yards before Griffiths disappointingly scuffed wide of the target.
Rhayader were up in arms when debutant Craig Harris was clattered on the edge of the area by Ryan Davies while clean through on goal with the United defender fortunate to earn only a caution while Rhydian Davies wasted the free-kick.
However on 70 minutes the Radnorshire side were back in the game with Christian Jones on hand to scramble home.
The goal set up a thrilling finale with Rhayader encamped in the United half but Llanfair posing a threat on the break.
United could have settled the outcome only for Andrew Hughes and James Davies to be denied by Roberts while the latter also fired wide from 12 yards when clean through on goal late on.
The misses almost came back to haunt United as Rhayader launched a last ditch effort to salvage a draw.
Gareth Hughes’ shot came back off the bar with Dafydd Carruthers’ follow-up effort blocked on the line by Vaughan.
In the goalmouth melee that followed Rhydian Davies also shook the bar while Christian Jones saw his shot blocked before United cleared to celebrate back to back wins in the Huws Gray Alliance for the first time.
LLANFAIR: L Andrew, A Hughes, M Jones, Griffiths, R Davies, D Jones, Vaughan, Gethin, Edmunds, J Davies, A Hughes. Subs: S Andrew, Spencer, Astley, Stephens, Richards
RHAYADER: Roberts, G Jones, Powell, Hughes, J Wozencraft, Ap Dafydd, C Jones, R Davies, Harris, Griffiths, Carruthers. Subs: T Davies, McPhee, T Wozencraft
See full story in the County Times