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Aber see off Blues in thriller

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ABERYSTWYTH Town secured their place in the Fourth Round of JD Welsh Cup draw as they battled to a 4-3 victory against a spirited Cwmmaman United side at Grenig Park on Saturday afternoon (Dec 8).

Rio Ahmadi’s (20) first half volley was cancelled out by James Bryan (37) as the sides went in level at the break, but a 13 minute second half hat-trick (47, 55, 61) from Ash Ruane put Aber in a commanding position, before the hosts pulled two goals (64, 90) back late on to give the Seasiders a scare in the final minutes.

Manager Nev Powell named an unchanged side from the one which drew 1-1 with Carmarthen last weekend, as Aber started the game on the front foot against their Welsh League opponents on a difficult playing surface.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors on 12 minutes as Ash Ruane rounded home ‘keeper Chris Curtis before firing his shot wide from a narrow angle. Soon after, Declan Walker found space in the penalty area but was denied by a fantastic save from Curtis, as the Black and Greens upped the pressure.

Then on 20 minutes, Town found the breakthrough as Mathew Jones whipped in a great cross for Rio Ahmadi who volleyed the ball into the roof of the net with a composed finish to make it 0-1.

As the first half wore on, the visitors continued to stamp their authority on the game as Ryan Edwards went close after a neat one-two with Walker, before Ruane rounded ‘keeper Curtis once more, only for his effort to be cleared off the goal line.

Then, on 37 minutes the hosts equalised against the run of play after Terry McCormick produced a fine save from a corner kick, only for Cwmamman defender James Bryan to head the ball into the bottom corner on the rebound and make it 1-1.

Aber very nearly went into half time with an advantage after Ryan Edwards curled an effort inches over the crossbar, but it was to remain level at the break.

Aber started the second half attacking their loyal supporters who’d positioned themselves on the grass bank above the goal at the far end of the ground, and were back in front just two minutes after the restart when Mathew Jones delivered another inch perfect cross towards Ruane whose flicked header beat Curtis and made it 1-2.

Soon after, the Seasiders extended their lead as they began to really put their foot on the gas; Ruane found himself in behind the home defence and cut inside, before unleashing a powerful strike that Curtis was unable to keep out, as the ball trickled over the line for 1-3.

The Aber target man wasn’t done there though, as just six minutes later he completed a perfect hat-trick (header, right foot, left foot) when he pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area and struck a left footed effort into the top corner of the net to make it 1-4.

To their credit, Cwmamman continued to battle and fight, and pulled a goal back on 64 minutes when Christian Allen found space in the penalty area and directed a powerful header beyond McCormick to make it 2-4. As playing conditions worsened, Aber continued to play in sensible fashion, turning the home defence with balls in behind for strike pair Ruane and Ahmadi to chase down.

On 70 minutes, Jack Rimmer and Joe Phillips replaced Ryan Wollacott and Ahmadi, before Declan Walker almost added to his recent goal tally with a long range effort.

The hosts continued to attack when they could, and Allen forced a fine save from McCormick on 85 minutes with a powerful strike inside the area, before right back Bryan ghosted in behind the Aber defence in the final minute of normal time and struck the ball beyond Aber’s ‘keeper to make it 3-4.

Despite the scoreline, the Seasiders never panicked, and saw the four minutes of added time out without much difficulty, as they secured their sixth win in eight games and ensured their name will be in the hat for Monday’s Fourth Round draw at 7pm on S4C’s Heno programme.

It was a professional performance from Neville Powell’s side to secure victory, but credit must also go to hosts Cwmamman United, who never gave in and provided a tough battle right to the final minutes.

Town’s attentions now return to JD Welsh Premier League action, as they travel to face Caernarfon Town on Friday evening (Dec 14) at The Oval hoping to take one step closer towards securing their place in the league’s top six.

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Sport

Street through in Central Wales Cup

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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.

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Street edged out by Llani

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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.

Photo by Colin Ewart

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.

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Aber’s top six hopes dented

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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.

Photo by Colin Ewart

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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