Aberystwyth Town 1
ABERYSTWYTH Town were brought back down to earth with a bump at the Belle Vue Ground as a promising 11th minute lead, thanks to Blake Davies’ first goal for Aber, was transformed into a two goal defeat in 20 first half minutes.
Stung by heavy defeat last time round, Rhyl started in a determined mood and put Aber under early pressure. Centre backs Sam Rodon and Will Bell did well to block efforts from Alex Jones and Kristian Pierce, and Ryan Wollacott also cleared a corner.
Then, however, the tide turned; the visitors found their feet and started to purr. Joe Clark picked out Chris Jones in a good position and his low effort brought a good save from Owen Evans, then Luke Borrelli’s deep cross was headed back across goal by Geoff Kellaway but Clarke’s headed goal was unluckily disallowed.
Some imperious play in central midfield from Clarke and Luke Sherbon led to Davies being picked out in space 20 yards out and his low shot skidded into the bottom corner for a sweet finish which put Town in control. Aber now grew in confidence and set out to control proceedings.
Jones out left set up Clarke who headed over again, Borrelli’s free kick was tipped over – just – by Evans, and Bell had a shot cleared off the line – and Aber looked to be cruising.
Then, however, the game turned completely as Oliver Buckley burst down the left flank and scored low past Dominic Richards for an improbable 24 minute equaliser.
Two minutes later, a simple free kick into Aber’s box saw Carl Lamb leap highest to earn a 2-1 scoreline.
Back came Aber with Wollacott heading goalbound from Jones’ corner, bringing another save from Evans.
James Brewerton could have made it three for Rhyl but then, down the other end, Ricky Watts brought out another save from Evans.
Kellaway then picked out Jones whose delightful curling effort went inches wide, and two minutes before the break, Lamb curled Rhyl’s third from a free kick at the edge of the box and the turnaround was complete.
There was still time in a breathless half for Jones to curl another 25 yarder just past the post, but the score stayed at 3-1.
The second half failed to live up to the excitement of the first 45, but Aber did keep on going in search of an elusive comeback.
Lamb missed a great opportunity to complete his hat trick, and then sub Jonathan Evans put Owen Evans back to work with a low volley.
Greg Walters, another sub, had a shot blocked, then Jones picked out Davies in the box, and he shielded the ball before turning to unleash a volley which was blocked.
Jones brought about another last gap clearance with a low cross, and determined Rhyl had earned a win which, in truth, they did deserve over the balance of the 90 minutes, while Aber were left to reflect on a failure to take advantage of the litany of chance they created at Belle Vue.
Despite this, setback results elsewhere leave Town in fourth place in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League, which makes Saturday afternoon’s (Sept 3) game at second placed Bangor City all the more mouth-watering. Kick-off is at 2.30pm and the coach leaves Park Avenue at 9.45am.
Swans still sweet on Premier League survival
By Jonathan Twigg
SWANSEA’s clamber through the trials and tribulations of the Premier League can be compared to that of a child running amok in a sweet shop, so many tantalising favourites to devour, with the occasional reminder that not all sweets are sweet.
A retro walk down the Bridge Meadow Lane would have taken a child past the shop run by Connie Clarke, renowned for her welcome on the bell clanging. Supporters of Haverfordwest County and their opponents on match day, welcomed with few words but with the knowledge her confectionary delights never failed to deliver.
Following Saturday’s (Apr 14) 1-1 draw with Everton, who arrived without former Swans stars Ashley Williams and Gylfi Sigurdsson in their line-up, supporters left knowing the sweet taste of success held by the Premier League is still within their grasp.
With two of the bottom three to visit the Liberty in the final week of the season this point is one gained in search of extending their Premier League status to an eighth season, although manager Carlos Carvalhal nearly led his side to five consecutive home wins, something no other manager has done since the heady days of John Toshack in 1981.
Swansea welcomed Jordan Ayew back from a three game suspension to partner elder brother Andre as Bolton based referee Lee Mason began the game in front of 20,933, the returning brother setting the tone alongside Andy King at a sun drenched Liberty Stadium.
Carvalhal has worked some magic since his arrival on the cusp of Christmas, tactically leaving opposite number former England supremo Sam Allerdyce to venture to the touchline with his pocket ball side kick Sammy Lee to stem the tide; the blues were overrun in midfield, Jordan Ayew having a wonderful chance cleared off the line as was captain Frederico Fernadez header from the resultant corner, before Andre’s sight of goal was saved by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Alfie Mawson has grown to be imperial at the back for the Swans, attracting the interest of Manchester United, one of those mints that the longer you savour, the better it lingers. Luciano Narsingh however can be likened more to a quickly dissolving peppermint cream, releasing the taste with speed, rousing the Jack Army with an immediate hit, succulent whilst it lasts, inspiring the Swans to drive forward.
Former England captain Wayne Rooney had one of those games, like an aniseed ball, many unable to relish his taste as he left his mark, literally with some raking tackles; his class, undoubted, when it finally came to the fore.
An opening goal came with the aid of goal line technology, just before half time, Lucas Fabianski brilliantly making a double save from Bolasie, before a ricochet off Kyle Naughton and a half time lead, Fabianski thankfully however saving from Cenk Tosun a minute later.
Jordan became the first recipient of a yellow card in the second half, substitute Nathan Dyer creating a stir as the game went up by a level with a sugar surge, the vocal chords tingled with honey from a locket, in the form of striker Tammy Abraham’s arrival.
Full backs McNaughton and Martin Olsson created chances, Tom Carroll serving buckets of sweet balls, to no avail; Dyer driving forward over from twenty yards, Abraham and the Ayews creating half chances, Mawson’s header cleared off the line before the full quarter was served, Jordan levelling the game with a right foot half volley.
The final fifteen minutes rocked the stadium once more, after dinner mints were all Swansea’s, although Seamus Coleman thundered a shot against the woodwork, Abraham missed a gilt edged opportunity at the other end, whilst a tall and well positioned defensive wall directed Rooney’s set piece opportunity over the bar.
Extra strong mints were needed, alas unavailable as the toffees held firm, not fudging their lines with Beni Baningime taking a yellow card for the team, the games conclusion seeing a share of the spoils.
Carvalhal’s magic stars will have to be at their best to out fox and unwrap three points on Sunday (Apr 22) when opponents Manchester City will have champagne liquor chocolates on hand, having been crowned Premier League champions.
Swansea then have the opportunity to welcome Chelsea to ‘fortress’ Liberty the week after; wispa it quietly, as many have their eyes on the final weeks’ trio of games, starting with a trip to the South Coast in search of the bounty available at Dean Park, Bournemouth, before a starburst performance at home to Southampton on the Tuesday and Stoke City for a final day picnic. There can be no wine gums on show, just the everlasting gobstopper which is Premier League football.
Street reserves reach cup semis
BOW Street Reserves progressed to the semi-finals of The Len and Julia Newman Cup following a very competitive quarter final against a very good Bont team on Monday night (Apr 9).
A closely contested first half saw both sides create and miss chances but Ryan Evans and Shaun Jones converted two of the home side’s opportunities.
The second goal coming after a superb tackle by John James in his own area stopped a certain Bont equaliser.
Bont piled the pressure on at the beginning of the second half but were unable to convert any chances.
Then, the game’s outstanding player, Joe Williams scored a splendid individual goal to clinch the tie.
Osian Burrell then scored the fourth, before Bont responded with a consolation. Jac Williams with a header scored the final goal of an entertaining evening.
Manager Rhodri Jones was satisfied with the evening’s work adding: “I am delighted with the performance and the result and I feel that all the boys did extremely well against a good Bont side”.
Team: R Evans, Osian Rees Jones, J James, M Williams, S Dewdon, S Harrison, J Williams, R Evans, G ap Dafydd, S Jones, I Evans. Subs: O Burrell, J Quinn, Jac Williams, N Burrell.
Borth well beaten
WITH no sign of an improvement in the wet weather Borth entertained Llanrhaeadr at Park Avenue’s 3G pitch on Saturday (Mar 31), with the visitors arriving in second position in the league and well placed with five games in hand on Division 1 leaders Welshpool.
It took them only ten minutes to score the opening goal with Joe Vaughan netting through a crowded goalmouth and they nearly doubled the lead on twenty five minutes but Khyam Whytton’s bullet header bounced off the crossbar to safety.
To their credit Borth responded well and Ryan Edwards’s free kick wasn’t dealt with by the visitors hesitant defence and Dale Lloyd was on hand to score on his first team debut.
Slowly but surely Llanrhaeadr took control in the next few minutes with Mark Griffiths scoring twice plus an unlucky own goal by a Borth defender gave the visitors a handy 4-1 lead at the interval.
Borth resumed the second half with purpose and within five minutes reduced the lead as Dale Lloyds’s ferocious free kick was fumbled by visiting keeper Harri Matthews and the alert Ryan Edwards scored from the rebound.
However, in the next few minutes Llanrhaeadr took firm control of the match with Khyam Whytton scoring two headed goals.
As the match reached its conclusion Dan Graham scored a well-deserved hat trick for a comprehensive 9-2 win for Llanrhaeadr.
The score doesn’t complement Borth’s all-round team commitment against a well-organized Llanrhaeadr team, but the visitors run up play and clinical finishing proved to be the difference on the day.
Machynlleth picked up a victory on Saturday, Borth now slip to the bottom of the table on goal difference and they are ten points from safety.
With two home games coming up on Saturday (Apr 7) and the following Saturday (Apr 14) against the sides third and fourth from bottom respectively in Kerry and Churchstoke, Borth will be targeting two wins as they look to make up that gap.
Popular This Week
News1 week ago
Wanted man has links with Aberystwyth
News2 weeks ago
[UPDATED] Police appeal following discovery of bodies on coastal path
News7 days ago
Two charged over serious Aberystwyth assault
News1 week ago
Terrified student hid in wardrobe during burglary
News1 week ago
Dog thefts up 200% in Dyfed-Powys region
News4 days ago
Men appear in court over serious assault
News3 days ago
Aberystwyth to Cardiff Bus service upgraded and fully reinstated
News20 hours ago
Another man charged in Ifan Owens assault case