ABERYSTWYTH Town battled to a valuable away point against Carmarthen Town at Richmond Park on Sunday afternoon, in a thrilling finale that saw the hosts score two stoppage time goals to keep their slim survival hopes alive.
Declan Walker appeared to have stolen the show with a brilliant hat-trick for Nev Powell’s side, but late goals from Dwayne Coultress and Lee Surman saw the Old Gold snatch a point deep into stoppage time.
Aber manager Nev Powell named an unchanged side after last weekend’s draw with Prestatyn Town, and his team started brightly on a freezing afternoon at Richmond Park.
Aber’s first half-chance of the game came after just seven minutes as John Owen played in Declan Walker down the right flank, but the full back’s whipped cross landed safely in the arms of home goalie Lewis Thomas.
Soon after though, Aber did find the breakthrough as Walker stepped up and drilled a low free kick through Carmarthen’s wall and into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The visitors grew into the game, and on 19 minutes almost extended their lead as Joe Phillips saw his effort blocked inside the penalty area before Damien Allen headed over with the follow up.
However, as the half wore on, Carmarthen began to find their feet and on 26 minutes, Chris Mullock had to be alert to save Luke Bowen’s goal bound effort.
But on 28 minutes, the hosts were level, as Luke Bowen rose highest inside the penalty area to head home Keiran Lewis’ in-swinging free kick to make it 1-1.
Aber did not let that setback knock their confidence, and continued to create chances as first John Owen and then Malcolm Melvin saw their efforts sail narrowly wide of the post.
The first half came to a close with the teams still at level pegging, but with both attacks looking threatening at either end.
The second half started with Aber playing on the front foot, and just three minutes into the second half they were awarded a golden opportunity to go back in front as Declan Walker was tripped inside the penalty area.
Aber’s full back duly stepped up and hammered home the spot kick to regain the seasiders’ lead and make it 2-1.
Town suddenly looked to be in the driving seat again, with the hosts struggling to adapt to the increase in tempo shown by Nev Powell’s side.
Whilst Aber looked a threat in possession, the hosts looked dangerous themselves on the counter attack, and on 62 minutes they very nearly found an equaliser as Mullock produced a fantastic instinctive save to deny Keiran Lewis.
Soon after, Aber were back on the attack as Damien Allen stole possession in midfield before playing in John Owen, who squared the ball for Declan Walker to finish superbly into the bottom corner and grab his hat-trick to make it 3-1.
Aber were in dreamland, and were being roared on to what looked like a sure-fire three points by their loyal supporters.
The hosts, to their credit, continued to battle for their Welsh Premier League lives, and forced another outstanding save from Mullock on 79 minutes as he tipped Mark Jones’ effort on to the crossbar.
Substitutes Geoff Kellaway and Luke Borrelli were introduced for Aber in place of Malcolm Melvin and Ryan Wade as they looked to see out the victory. However, as the game entered stoppage time, Carmarthen began to pile bodies forwards in search of a late consolation goal.
In the third of four additional minutes, they found their late goal as Dwayne Coultress pounced on some loose Aber defending to tap the ball into the net and make it 3-2.
Then, as the game entered the final minute of additional time, Keiran Lewis hooked a looping ball into the Aber penalty area, where the ball ricocheted to Lee Surman who half-volleyed into the bottom corner to make it 3-3.
The action wasn’t finished there, as the hosts launched one final ball into the Aber penalty area in the sixth minute of what was scheduled to be four additional minutes; and the ball fell to Luke Bowen, whose shot was somehow saved by Mullock on the goal line before bouncing off Mark Jones and over the crossbar, and Aber escaped with a point.
A frantic finale to a game that Aber had controlled for long periods, and manager Nev Powell will be extremely frustrated at the way his side conceded two stoppage time goals to surrender two points.
However, Aber’s manager will also have many positives to take into next Saturday’s JD Welsh Cup Quarter Final tie against this afternoon’s opponents Carmarthen Town, back at Richmond Park.
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
Exercise Referral Scheme doing more for health intervention than ever before
A record 35,069 participants attended Exercise Referral classes during 2640 hours of health classes in 2019.
The National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) is an evidence-based health intervention scheme which incorporates physical activity and behavioural change techniques to support referred clients to make lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being.
NERS Ceredigion has seen a dramatic increase in demand over the past year. A coordinator and four full time exercise professionals work to deliver the scheme, delivering 73 classes per week. The age of participants range from 16 years old, with the eldest participant in Ceredigion being 95.
Exercise class options include Gym, Circuit, Postural Stability (seated), Spin Bikes, Aqua Aerobics, Tai Chi and Pilates. Venues include council and community centres in Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, Lampeter, Tregaron, Cardigan and Llandysul.
Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure, highlighted the benefits of the scheme, “There are many physical, psychological and social benefits to being part of the scheme, including confidence-building, better self-esteem, meeting new people and being generally fitter and healthier. Ceredigion Actif’s highly qualified Health Intervention Team provide opportunities to exercise that are fun, rewarding and that can be incorporated into everyday life.”
NERS Ceredigion targets people with a medical condition through various pathways including generic, cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary, PSI falls, stroke rehabilitation, mental health, cancer and weight management. The 16 week tailored programme of exercise is delivered by a team of specialist Level 4 qualified exercise professionals who guide referred participants towards realising their individual goals.
A participant in Aberystwyth said, “This has been the best thing I have ever done. I have thrived from doing different activities and pushing myself out of my comfort zone which has not only helped my self-esteem but also my depression and everything else including my pain. I have also made new friends which I didn’t even consider would happen and we’re not only being social but we’re having fun too which is a bonus”.
There is ongoing monitoring from the instructors with follow up assessments at 16 weeks as well as on completion at 52 weeks. Long-term ‘maintenance’ options are available post 16 weeks which include the continuation of exercise classes as well as opportunities to join clubs such as walking basketball, walking football, golf sessions and walking rugby.
During 2018-2019 there were 913 referrals to the scheme. To gain access to the scheme, a person needs to be referred by a Health Professional, usually a GP, Practice Nurse or a condition specific Physiotherapist.
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