Saturday 11th February
Cefn Druids 2 Aberystwyth Town 1
Aber succumbed to a disappointing defeat to Cefn Druids on a snowy day at the Rock, as goals from Nathan Peate (18 minutes) and Ashley Ruane (47 minutes) eclipsed John Owen’s 44th minute strike for the Black and Greens.
Manager Matthew Bishop named an unchanged side following last weeks’ win, but in truth the hosts started looking more purposeful. Ryan Wollacott headed Ruane’s goalbound lob clear, and Michael Pritchard and Jordan Barrow both saw shots deflected to safety. The effervescent Malcolm Melvin had the visitors’ first effort on target saved by Michael Jones, but then Corey Roper’s corner was headed home decisively by Peate to open the scoring. A tactical switch by Aber moving Owen up front heralded an impressive recovery before the break. Owen intercepted a wayward goal kick only to curl his shot wide. The quicksilver striker from Llanystumdwy then went on a superb weaving run to win a corner, and saw two shots blocked in a period of Black and Green dominance which gladdened the hearts of loyal visiting supporters on a cold afternoon. Sam Rodon then saw a goalbound header deflected over and Jamie Crowther sent a free kick just over the bar. Dafydd Jones fired wide at the back post and Owen was blocked again, but he was not to be denied and when Luke Sherbon sent through a threatening ball down the middle Owen managed to nick in ahead of keeper Jones to slot home an equaliser which was fully deserved by Aber. Dafydd Jones drew another save from Michael Jones and a good response to conceding left the Seasiders in a positive mood going in 1-1 at half time.
Alas uncertainty at the back allowed Ruane to slot home ninety seconds into the second half, allowing the Druids to follow their preferred deep lying game plan, and although Town enjoyed plenty of possession after the break there appeared no way through the massed Black and White shirts – and indeed Druids created the better chances. The visitors had a huge let off when Roper fired wide at the back post after Mike Pritchard’s shot was saved, Ruane was denied by an excellent Mullock save in a one on one, and Matthew Eckersley fired wide from a good position. Owen sent an effort past the post for Aber at the other end but then Peate nodded another header just wide. In seven minutes of injury time Owen again went close with a snapshot from inside the box, but the Druids held on for a deserved win.
Cefn Druids move above Town into seventh place on goal difference but a win next Saturday at home to Llandudno will put Aber right back into a commanding position in the race for a seventh place finish. Kick off at Park Avenue is at 2pm.