Saturday 17th November
Bala Town 2-3 Aberystwyth Town
Aberystwyth Town secured their fifth straight JD Welsh Premier League victory as Declan Walker's injury time header secured a phenomenal 3-2 win at Maes Tegid on Saturday afternoon. The hosts had taken a first half lead through Steven Tames (28), before the Seasiders turned the game on its head with goals from substitute Geoff Kellaway (58) and Ash Ruane (64). Tames (77) got Bala back on level terms once more, before Rio Ahmadi chipped an inch perfect cross to the back post where Declan Walker was on hand to power home a 93rd minute winner and secure another mammoth away win for the Black and Greens.
There were three changes to the Aber starting line up that beat Cardiff Met last weekend, with Alan Goodall, Paulo Mendes and Ash Ruane replacing Lee Jenkins, Geoff Kellaway and Rio Ahmadi. Neither side were able to stamp their authority on the opening stages of the game, with clear cut chances at a minimum in the first 15 minutes. On 21 minutes, Aber created their first opening as Mathew Jones’ whipped corner kick was headed wide by Declan Walker. At the other end, Henry Jones wasted a good opportunity for Bala as his scuffed effort struck the post, before Steven Tames gave the hosts the lead on 28 minutes when he converted Evan Horwood's free kick at the back post to make it 1-0. The visitors struggled to find their usual creativity in the final third, as Ryan Edwards tried his luck from range but saw his effort fly over the crossbar. On the stroke of half time, Aber went close to finding an equaliser as Paulo Mendes flicked the ball on for Ash Ruane, who saw his header bounce just wide of the post and the hosts would enter the break with a slender advantage.
At half time, manager Nev Powell and assistant Gavin Allen opted for a change in formation as Rio Ahmadi replaced Mendes and went to play through the middle with Ruane. There was an instant improvement from the Seasiders as they began to force the play with an increased tempo and intensity. On 53 minutes, Ruane darted into the penalty area before seeing his dangerous cross well cleared by Danny Gossett. Soon after, the visitors made their second substitution as Geoff Kellaway replaced Joe Phillips, and no more than 60 seconds later the Aber wingman was in the thick of the action. In the 58th minute, Steff Edwards surged down the left flank before curling an inviting ball into the penalty area where the Kellaway Express was waiting at the back post to volley home and make it 1-1. The goal sparked great celebrations with the players and travelling supporters, who suddenly sensed something special could be happening at Maes Tegid once more. No sooner than 6 minutes later, the Seasiders took the lead as Wes Baynes swung in a right footed free kick towards Ruane, who looped a brilliant header over Bala ‘keeper Morris and into the far corner to make it 1-2. Suddenly, the visitors were dominant as the hosts began to bombard Terry McCormick’s box with long balls and throw ins. On 77 minutes, Bala's sustained pressure told as Mike Hayes played in Sean Smith, who’s low cross found it’s way to the back post where Tames was on hand once more to tap home for 2-2. It was cruel on Aber who’d deservedly gone in front after an excellent second half performance. The Seasiders could easily have sat back and began to hang on for what would have been a creditable point, but instead they continued to press forward with courage and purpose. Henry Jones wasted another good opportunity for the hosts on 86 minutes, as his header bounced wide of the post, before the fourth official indicated a minimum of 4 minutes added time. In the third of those four minutes, Rio Ahmadi held the ball up superbly in the channel before skipping beyond Stuart Jones. The Aber number 9 surged into the penalty area before teeing up an inch perfect cross to the back post where Declan Walker rose highest to power the ball into the net and send the away supporters into raptures and make it 2-3.
It was another fantastic victory for Nev Powell's side, who enjoyed their celebrations once more with their supporters at full time. The victory lifts Aber up to fifth place in the JD Welsh Premier League table, level with Bala and just three points off the top of the table. The Seasiders now enjoy a 2 week break before they return to action against Carmarthen at Park Avenue in another crunch clash on Friday 30th November.
Bala Town : Morris, Burns, S Jones, S.J. Jones, S Smith, Horwood (46), Gossett (67), Burke, Venables, H Jones, Tames. Subs: Hayes (67) Sheridan, K Smith (46), Miley, Charles, J Jones, Edwards.
Aberystwyth Town: McCormick, Baynes (90), Wollacott, Goodall, S Edwards, Phillips (56), Walker, Jones, Mendes (46), R Edwards, Ruane. Subs: Rimmer (90), Kellaway (56), Ahmadi (46), Jenkins, Blake, Rowe, Morgan