Aberystwyth Town 3
Airbus UK Broughton 1
TWO goals from the hard-working Luke Borrelli (35th and 75th minutes) and an 80th minute penalty, earned and scored by the effervescent Chris Jones, earned Aberystwyth Town a huge and potentially season defining victory over Airbus UK Broughton, in a close game, with Johnny Spittle responding for the visitors in the 57th minute before being sent off after conceding the penalty.
The victory catapults Aber up the table to fifth position in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League with 16 points from 13 games to date, and six of their remaining nine games before the split are at Park Avenue.
Starting with an unchanged side for the third game running, Aber started well with Borrelli bringing a great save from visiting keeper Ryan Nield with a glancing header from a right wing cross.
The lively Borrelli went close again soon after but his low shot crept wide, than back came Airbus to make a full contribution to an entertaining first half.
Ryan Fraughan was denied by Aber’s Chris Mullock from a good position, and went close again soon afterwards.
Borrelli again leapt like a salmon to meet Dan Alfei’s cross but missed the target, then at the other end Tony Gray and Ryan Edwards both sent shots wide of Mullock’s goal.
In a tight game, a crucial moment came 10 minutes before the break when Chris Jones sent in a peach of a cross from the left, and Borrelli arrived late at the far post to convert from six yards to gain Aber a crucial lead.
Town had to defend doggedly at times but were doing so as a team, and they saw out the half with their lead intact.
Aber upped the tempo after the break with Joe Clarke and Chris Jones sending long range efforts over the bar, and Fraughan also went close with a free kick.
Jones then hit the crossbar with a smashing volley, and Geoff Kellaway flashed a shot over the bar with Aber so close to killing the game.
They were then punished on 57 minutes when Spittle rose to head home Jamie Menagh’s corner for the equaliser, and for a time the visitors were on top.
Menagh played Gray in down the right channel with a brilliant ball and Mullock made a superb save to keep the scores level.
The importance of the save was underlined on 75 minutes when Man of the Match Borrelli hounded visiting keeper Neild into a terrible clearance before tapping in from a difficult angle for 2-1, much as he had against Rhyl two weeks ago.
Kellaway again went close and then, with 11 minutes left, Jones went on a thrilling run down the left and cut inside the box, only to be brought down by the errant Spittle, who was booked for the foul and then booked again for dissent – and dismissed.
Once Jones had confidently smashed home the penalty for 3-1, there remained time only for the peerless Sherbon to head over the bar, Gray to necessitate a tip over from Mullock with a goalbound free kick and the result was done – and what a huge result it was for the Black and Greens.
Saturday’s game was a tight and tense but very watchable affair, with the hosts edging things in front of goal and at the back.
They now have some real momentum with seven points from three games – and there is no better time to face second placed Gap Connah’s Quay on Saturday (Nov 5) at 2.30pm.
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.
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