Aberystwyth Town 0
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN suffered a heavy home defeat last Friday night (Mar 10) as a hat trick from Jason Oswell (39, 56 and 88 minutes) and a further strike from Nick Rushton (54 minutes) earned Newtown a four goal win.
Black and Greens Captain Luke Sherbon was sent off on 57 minutes to compound the Seasiders’ misery on a bad day at the office.
On a pleasant evening the hosts named an unchanged team and almost took the lead within the first two minutes as Luke Borrelli won the ball in midfield to release Geoff Kellaway down the right, and his low shot drew an excellent save from visiting keeper Jack Perry.
A frenetic start to the game ensured an excellent atmosphere and the game developed into a good advert for the WPL.
Borrelli curled a shot over the bar but then back came Newtown with Oswell knocking the ball over the bar from Craig Williams’ right wing cross.
Oswell’s next effort was easy for home keeper Chris Mullock, and then Alex Fletcher fired wide for the visitors before that man Oswell again headed straight at Mullock.
However, with Mark Jones giving the visiting Centre Backs a nightmare with his presence up front, and the fleet footed Malcolm Melvin dancing around midfield Town were still pressing for a goal: Sam Rodon’s header just past the post from Melvin’s corner being their best opportunity.
The visitors however were gradually asserting themselves and they made the breakthrough when Oswell finally found the net five minutes before the break from another Williams cross. Dylan Rees sent a long range volley over the bar but Newtown deserved to be ahead at half time having looked the more composed side.
The second half continued on a knife edge with Aber enjoying a few dangerous free kicks before Mullock denied Williams with a free kick of his own at the other end.
Then came a disastrous four minute period which certainly cost Aber the game. A Melvin free kick led to an almighty scramble in Newtown’s box, and Borrelli was so unlucky to see his shot cannon off the post for a huge let off for the visitors.
Less than 60 seconds later Boundford’s long throw off on the right was nodded on by Sutton for Rushton to finish with a low volley for 2-0, then two minutes after that Oswell’s quick free kick lobbed the home keeper for three.
As if that was not enough, Sherbon was then sent off for a late tackle and Aber’s misery was unbounded.
With the game won the remaining 33 minutes was a tough watch for home fans. Mullock did well to deny the aptly named Tom Goodwin after a nice move, but at the other end Rodon aimed a headed at Perry, sub Jon Owen surged down the left to create a chance for Dafydd Jones, with Perry again in the right place.
Fletcher drew a super save from Mullock and Oswell missed a couple more chances before finally grabbing an 88th minute hat trick by beating the offside trap and running in to curl home at the far post.
Phil Baker surged to create another chance for Owen, before unleashing his own long range shot in injury time, but four minutes of madness just before the hour meant that the game was long gone, with Newtown looking certainties for the seventh spot on this form.
There is no getting away from the fact that this was an extremely disappointing home performance from the Black and Greens, and after such a resounding low Saturday’s (Mar 18) match away to Airbus UK Broughton can’t come soon enough.
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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