Aberystwyth Town • 1
The New Saints • 2
ABERYSTWYTH TOWN fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of JD Welsh Premier League Champions The New Saints on a wet and windy Friday night (Oct 27) at Park Avenue.
In what was another spirited performance, Aber deservedly took the lead on 16 minutes after Declan Walker converted Ryan Wade’s cross-come-shot, however the visitors equalised on 41 minutes thanks to Greg Draper. The Saints secured all three points in the second half as John McKenna deflected Jamie Mullan’s cross into his own goal on 48 minutes.
Town started the game in a similar fashion to the way they ended last weekend’s victory at Llandudno, imposing their high-pressing game on the current league champions and passing the ball superbly.
Ashley Young delivered a couple of early set pieces which came to no avail, as Aber battled against the fierce wind throughout the opening stages. The first shot on target came after 11 minutes, when Ryan Brobbel tested Chris Mullock in goal for Aber, but soon after came the opening goal that Town’s play deserved.
A brilliant flowing move started with Ryan Wollacott and Matthew Jones at the back before Ryan Wade picked up the ball in midfield and ran at the Saints defence.
Wade played a neat one-two with Luke Borrelli before firing a cross-come-shot across the penalty area where Declan Walker was on hand to prod home the opening goal for Nev Powell’s men to make it 1-0.
Town continued to press high up the field, with duo Ashley Young and Malcolm Melvin marshalling the midfield excellently.
The Saints struggled to find their usual passing rhythm, but did have a golden opportunity on 29 minutes when Greg Draper dragged his shot wide of the post after being played clean through on goal.
Aber survived another scare on 37 minutes as Matthew Jones cleared off the line from a corner, but the visitors found the equaliser on 41 minutes.
Greg Draper pounced on a loose ball in Aber’s penalty area and after a fine save by Mullock, managed to convert the rebound to make it 1-1 on the stroke of half time.
Aber came out for the second half with the wind at their backs looking to build on an encouraging first half performance, but their confidence took an early blow as The New Saints made it 2-1 on 48 minutes.
Winger Jamie Mullan went on a weaving run down Aber’s right flank before fizzing a low cross across the six-yard box where John McKenna was placed to unfortunately deflect the ball into his own net. The visitors almost added a third goal soon after, as Chris Seargeant sent a free kick towards the top corner only to be denied by a great save by Chris Mullock.
Aber battled their way back into the game and continued to cause problems, with Ryan Wade shooting straight at ‘keeper Paul Harrison and standout youngster Matthew Jones providing excellent width down the left flank.
Striker Craig Hobson was introduced in place of Borrelli on 74 minutes as Town pushed for an equaliser, and on 82 minutes they almost found one as Declan Walker stormed in at the far post only to head John Owen’s cross agonisingly over the crossbar.
Ashley Young again tried his best to create an opening for Town in the dying seconds, as he launched a couple of long throws towards the penalty area, but the visitors stood strong and held out for victory as champions often do.
A slightly cruel result for Nev Powell’s men after what was another encouraging Aber performance in front of the Park Avenue crowd.
Town will be able to take many positives from their performance against the current JD Welsh Premier League champions and only full-time side in the league, and must now carry those positives forwards into Saturday’s (Oct 28) clash away to Prestatyn Town.
Street through in Central Wales Cup
BOW Street made it through to the third round of the Central Wales Cup on Saturday (Jan 5) as they beat Llansantffraid 3-2 after extra time.
The game was played at Aberystwyth Town’s Park Avenue and Street were keen to pick up victory to start 2019 in style.
Ben Jones scored for the Magpies to make it 1-1 after 90 minutes before the game came to life in extra time.
Llansantffraid took the lead but Dylan James scored to level the scores and he then provided the assist for Jones to score his second to make it 3-2 and send the Street through.
Street will be keen to carry on their good cup form on Saturday (Jan 12) as they travel to Cefn Albion for a fifth round tie in the FAW Trophy.
Elsewhere, Aberaeron bowed out as they were beaten 4-1 at home by Llanilar.
Ceredigion League Division 1 side Ffostrasol were also knocked out as they lost 3-0 away at Hay St Marys.
Llandysul suffered a 5-0 defeat to Kerry while Penrhyncoch conceded their tie with Llanidloes, having played a league game the day before.
Street edged out by Llani
BOW Street suffered a narrow defeat on Saturday (Dec 29), as they were beaten 1-0 by Mid Wales League Division 1 leaders Llanidloes Town.
Having been held to a 1-1 draw with Aberaeron on Boxing Day, Street welcomed the leaders looking to cause an upset.
Credit must go to the Cae Piod groundsmen who ensured the overnight downpour didn’t affect the game.
After an even start, Llani were given a penalty with just over half an hour gone but Alex Pennock made an excellent save to keep the scores level.
However, just moments later the visitors did take the lead as they grabbed the only goal of the game with ten first half minutes still to play.
Llion Jenkins’ pile driver cracked the cross bar from 25 yards but the ball fell to George Clarke who tapped in the rebound to make it 0-1.
In the second half, Ryan Biggs saw red for a foul but both sides agreed that the punishment was a little harsh.
Bow Street threw everything at their opponents as they looked for the equaliser in the last half an hour but were unable to find a way through.
Llani defended well to keep their clean sheet intact and despite seven minutes of added on time they held on for the win.
Street currently sit second from bottom in the table but will take a break from league action on Saturday (Jan 5), as they welcome Llansantffraid in the second round of the Central Wales Challenge Cup.
Aber’s top six hopes dented
ABERYSTWYTH Town’s hopes of securing a top six finish in the JD Welsh Premier League took a blow over the festive period following two defeats to Newtown.
The first, on Boxing Day, saw them slip to a 2-0 defeat at Park Avenue after goals from Steve Leslie and Nick Rushton.
Then, on Sunday (Dec 30), they were beaten 2-1 at Latham Park after a first half goal from Neil Mitchell and another from Rushton in the second half.
Manager Nev Powell made three changes to the side defeated by the Robins on Boxing Day, with Alan Goodall, Geoff Kellaway and Rio Ahmadi entering the starting line-up.
In similar fashion to the Boxing Day clash, it was Newtown who started the game faster, and they took the lead with their first meaningful attack of the game as Callum Roberts crossed for Neil Mitchell to head home within the opening 90 seconds to make it 1-0.
Despite the early setback, Aber fought their way back into the game and tested home keeper Dave Jones with long range efforts from Wes Baynes and Rio Ahmadi.
On 13 minutes, the Seasiders carved out their best opening yet as Geoff Kellaway forced jones into a fine save after breaking free on the left side of the penalty area. But as the first half wore on, the game became a closely contested affair with neither side able to carve out any clear opportunities and the hosts would enter the break with the advantage.
The Black and Greens started the second half in much brighter fashion, and very nearly equalised on 50 minutes when Paulo Mendes saw his header smartly saved by Jones in goal.
Then, on 56 minutes the visitors went closer still, as Rio Ahmadi cut inside and fired a low effort from outside the area against the base of the post. It seemed a matter of time before Aber were back on level terms, but on 60 minutes came the sucker punch that all but sealed three points for the Robins.
Sam Phillips broke free on the edge of the area before playing in Nick Rushton, who rifled a shot into the bottom corner of the net to make it 2-0 very much against the run of play.
Soon after, they almost well and truly buried the Seasiders as Luke Boundford went through one-on-one with Terry McCormick, but the Aber keeper stood strong and produced an excellent save to smother the shot.
Substitutes Ash Ruane and Joe Phillips were introduced in place of Kellaway and Ryan Edwards, and soon after Aber went close once more as Ryan Wollacott met Mathew Jones’ corner, only to see his header cleared off the line.
As stoppage time approached, Aber did find a way back into the game as Declan Walker flicked the ball through for Ahmadi, who produced a neat chip into the corner of the net to make it 1-2 with five minutes of additional time remaining.
In the very last minute of stoppage time, Paulo Mendes appeared to be fouled in the penalty area, only for his appeals to be waved away by referee Cheryl Foster, and the Seasiders would leave Latham Park empty handed.
It was an improved performance from the Seasiders’ previous defeats, but manager Nev Powell will be disappointed his side were unable to convert the chances they carved out at Latham Park on Sunday afternoon.
Town now face a real uphill battle to finish in the league’s top six as they welcome Conah’s Quay Nomads to Park Avenue on Friday evening (Jan 4) in the JD Welsh Premier League.
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