RADNOR Valley covered themselves in mud and glory as they came from behind to record a 2-1 victory over hosts Rhos Aelwyd on a wet afternoon at Ponciau Park.
Despite many fixtures in the region falling victim to the wet weather, this was one of only two fixtures in Lock Stock Ardal North East to survive the conditions on Saturday, as the Goats bounced back from the disappointment of their Dragon Signs FAW Amateur Trophy exit on penalties at the hands of Menai Bridge Tigers.
Joey Price scored twice in the second half as Radnor Valley made it five wins in a row in the the league.
The Goats found themselves behind when Aled Parry netted in the opening minutes, his effort beating Radnor manager, Adam Jones, who had to don the keeper’s gloves.
The hosts had Ryan Jenkins sent off early in the second half and Price levelled from the penalty spot on 53 minutes after being brought down before bagging the winner five minutes later.
The visitors had an early opportunity to take the lead in the third minute when Elliot Morris fired over from just inside the penalty area after the Rhos Aelwyd defence failed to clear the ball to safety following an attack from the New Radnor men.
But it was the Rhosllanerchruggog outfit who broke the deadlock five minutes later when Aled Parry cut inside from out near the left-hand touchline before striking a precise shot that nestled into the far corner of Adam Jones’ net.
The hosts came close to doubling their advantage in the 17th minute when a header from James Rumsey flew narrowly wide of the far post following a cross that was swung over from out on the left flank.
Despite a bright start from the New Radnor outfit, they were struggling to find a foothold in the game and both teams had to contend with the heavy playing surface at Ponciau Park.
Rhos Aelwyd went close in the 20th minute to doubling their advantage as goalscorer Parry struck a sublime first-time effort with the outside of the foot from 25 yards that fizzed narrowly wide of Adam Jones’ near post.
The Goats thought that they had levelled the scores three minutes later when Ieuan Price’s close-range header from a deep free-kick beat goalkeeper Joseph Guy, but the ball was scrambled away to safety by one of his defenders, much to the relief of the home supporters in attendance.
Aled Bayley headed over the crossbar from a 31st minute corner for Rhos Aelwyd before Radnor Valley goalkeeper Adam Jones had to make a smart save 12 minutes later to deny Rumsey when he was released on goal in the Goats’ penalty area. The New Radnor men knew that they had to improve their performance after the interval.
The Goats were given a helping hand, three minutes into the second-half, when Rhos defender Ryan Jenkins was shown a second yellow card by referee Aled Williams. Matters got even better for the Goats in the 54th minute when Joey Price, who went close with a 25-yard free-kick just three minutes earlier, saw one of his trademark surging runs into the penalty area illegally halted.
The Radnor valley talisman dusted himself down and successfully converted the spot-kick awarded to draw the visitors back on level terms.
The match was turned around five minutes later when Matt Croose’s deep pass from his own half picked out the run of Price before he poked the ball past the advancing Guy.
The pair of quick-fire goals gave the visitors a huge boost and their performance level was now looking appreciably better compared to the opening 45 minutes. Elliot Morris cut in from the left wing in the 62nd minute and saw his shot on goal blocked before Thomas Edwards poked the rebound straight at Guy.
Rhos goalscorer Parry saw an effort deflected wide of the target four minutes later after a free-kick into the Radnor penalty area was only partially cleared.
Joey Price was denied the opportunity to claim a hat-trick in the 74th minute, when he was poised to run through unopposed on goal, before an offside flag was shown by the assistant referee.
Home substitute Ian Hughes tried his luck from 25 yards four minutes later before Elliot Morris cut inside off the left flank in the 80th minute but once again his effort was blocked. Lewis Morris’ low drive was saved by Guy two minutes later after Joey Price pulled a corner back into his path before Scott Reeves latched on to an 86th minute through ball only to have his effort blocked.
Reeve drove inside from the left wing three minutes later but saw his ensuing shot fly narrowly wide of the far post and Taylor Wozencraft went close at the opposite end of the pitch in the 92nd minute with a shot on the turn that fizzed wide of the far post.
Rhos Aelwyd had a great opportunity to claim a point when Reeve was released through on goal, no more than 60 seconds later, but Adam Jones once again made a crucial save to ensurethe travelling Goats would record their fifth successive league victory.