Radnor Valley took advantage of their game in hand on title rivals Hay St Mary’s to move five points clear at the summit of the MMP with Norman Lloyd Central Wales League (South) following a 1-0 victory over Knighton Town at The Bypass on Saturday afternoon.

The Radnorshire rivals served-up an equally tight encounter at Bryn-y-Castell, back in late November, when the Goats eventually prevailed 2-0 to secure local derby bragging rights. However, in the reverse fixture, an Elliot Morris first-half strike was enough for the New Radnor men to complete a league double over the Radnor Robins.

Elliot Morris Radnor Valley
Morris strikes the winner (Barcud-Coch Photography)

The hosts looked to take the match to Knighton Town as Jack Price went on a surging run in the third minute, before exchanging passes with Elliot Morris on the edge of the penalty area, but saw his ensuing shot blocked.

The Radnor Robins responded four minutes later when Kieran Dovey was unable to keep his effort on target from Callum Stead’s pullback.

Gareth Bull tried his luck from nearly 30 yards out in the 10th minute but his long-range shot was comfortably saved by Will Fowden in the Goats’ goal.

Callum Matthews was picked out in space on the right flank five minutes later and his low driven cross took a wicked deflection that was kept out by Nick Cadwallader in the Knighton Town goal.

Veteran Radnor Valley forward Geraint Lloyd headed wide of the far post after the home defence had failed to clear a deep Lewis Morris 17th minute free-kick played into the visitors’ penalty area.

Ieuan Price’s low 30-yard drive was saved by Cadwallader six minutes later before Declan Beddoes went on a driving run into the Goats’ penalty area after 25 minutes but was beaten to the ball by the onrushing Fowden.

Stead cut inside from out on the left wing three minutes later but his near post effort was kept out by the home custodian.

Matthews’ close-range effort was blocked in the 31st minute before Stead went another run into the Radnor penalty area two minutes later but this time was denied by a well-timed challenge from Jack Williams.

Goats’ player/manager Elliot Morris went close with a low 30-yard shot in the 34th minute and that was to prove a warning shot to Knighton Town.

The only goal of the match arrived eight minutes before the half-time whistle when Jack Price picked out Morris in space and his low 20-yard drive nestled in the bottom corner of Cadwallader’s goal.

Dovey was denied a 44th equaliser when his shot on the turn was saved by Fowden following a Beddoes pull back into the path of the former Ludlow midfielder.

The league leaders held a slender advantage at the interval and knew their local rivals possessed the ability to bring themselves back on level terms. Therefore, it was imperative for Elliot Morris’ charges to add a second goal to their tally and add some much-needed breathing space in this competitive Radnorshire derby.

Jack Davies went close four minutes after the restart when he saw his effort from the edge of the penalty area fly narrowly over Fowden’s crossbar.

Radnor valley suffered a blow on the hour mark when Ieuan Price had to leave the field of play due to a knee injury after falling awkwardly when attempting to win a header from a set-piece.

Geraint Lloyd headed wide of the target four minutes later from a Matthews cross on the right before the hard-working Charlie Beaumont saw his 66th minute effort blocked from a Lewis Morris pull back on the right.

Knighton Town always posed a threat during the second-half, particularly on the counter-attack, as they always remained in the derby and looked to fashion an equalliser.

Fowden had to be alert in the 80th minute to come out of his penalty area and beat Dovey and Jack Hoyle to a long ball played forward by using his head. Dovey was unable to keep his volley on target two minutes later following a deep free-kick played into the Radnor Valley penalty area.

Lewis Morris went close with an 85th minute free-kick from just outside the Robins’ penalty area before the visitors were kept out by the Goats’ defence deep into stoppage time following a goalmouth melee.

The New Radnor men moved five points clear of Hay St Mary’s, with both teams having five matches to play, but Elliot Morris will know his team have some tough fixtures to come if they are to land the title this season.