Sunday 10th January
Aberystwyth Town 1 Port Talbot Town 3
Aberystwyth Town lost at home to a resolute Port Talbot Town on Sunday in a vital Dafabet Welsh Premier League tie played in heavy conditions. In an entertaining first half, goals from Jonathan Hood and Kostya Georgievsky on 17 and 22 minutes gave the Steelmen something to hang on to. The Black and Greens pummelled Steve Cann's goal in the second half, and Cledan Davies pulled a goal back with 19 minutes to go. Rhys Griffiths then had an injury time header disallowed for offside before Chris Jones broke down the other end and got a 94th minute clincher for the visitors.
New signing Jonathan Evans went straight into the starting line up, and made a very positive impression. He had the first shot of the game from the left side,saved by Steve Cann, but then in a desperately open game the visitors went close as James Loveridge shot straight at Mike Lewis from a good position before Chris Jones fired a shot narrowly wide from distance. An excellent moved from Aber then led to Chris Venables attempting an audacious lob from 35 yards, which Cann just about tipped over the bar. Evans then burst through to lob the ball over Cann, but was called offside. Then alas came five minutes of madness which ultimately cost Aber the game. First Georgievsky sent over a left wing cross which feel for Hood at the far post, and his scuffed shot trickled fortunately just inside the post for the opener. Then Cann gathered the ball from an Aber corner, sent Georgievsky off down the right wing with an excellent kick, and the diminutive winger pushed on before slipping the ball into the net under Lewis for the killer second. The game continued to entertain however: Craig Williams' cross was headed just wide by RHys Griffiths from a good position, Hood fired wide, then Venables' free kick was scuffed off the line and played through to Evans who hot the post with a clever shot which, alas, rebounded to safety. Lewis had to parry another effort from Hood wide, and despite more late pressure Aber could not make the breakthrough before half time.
Knowing this was a game they could not really afford to lose Aber came out firing in the second half with sub Cledan Davies prominent down the left flank, sending in dangerous crosses at will, one of which was headed agonizingly wide by Griffiths. Lewis made a brilliant save to deny Loveridge in a one on one, before Evans had a shot cleared off the line. Venables fired over and Antonio Corbisiero sent a shot wide by Port Talbot were defending stoutly and somehow managing to get bodies in the way time after time. Then finally, with 19 minutes to go a goal kick from Mike Lewis went straight through to Cledan Davies, who touched the ball past Steve Cann to reignite belief in the Black and Green camp. Lee Surman fired over from a promising position, then Geoff Kellaway sent in a brilliant right wing cross which was begging to be touched in, but to no avail. A cross ball fell for Jonathan Evans whose half volley cleared the cross bar, Venables and Evans had yet more attempts blocked, and finally in injury time Rhys Griffiths headed the ball in the net, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Then in the fourth minute of injury time Aber committed everyone forward, and Talbot broke through Chris Jones, who easily notched a third which gave the score a very unfair appearance.
Aber were certainly unlucky yesterday evening and deserved a draw at the very least, but on the day Talbot defended better which probably earned them a slice or two of fortune. Ian Hughes' men now need to beat Newtown by two clear goals on Saturday to have any chance of making the Top Six, and the deciding game will be played at Park Avenue next Saturday with a 5.15pm kick off. The high profile game has been chosen by Sgorio for their live TV broadcast.