Friday 29th January
Aberystwyth Town 1 Port Talbot Town 0
Attendance - 172
Aberystwyth came out on top in the driving rain against Port Talbot as the first games of the second phase kicked off at Park Avenue. Rhys Griffiths' late winner was enough to ensure three vital points as Aberystwyth aim for that all important 7th position.
The home team were dominant for the majority of the match, with Ross Stephens, Sion James and Jonathan Evans controlling proceedings in midfield. Geoff Kellaway proved an useful outlet down the wing as his surging runs, pace and trickery made things exceptionally hard for the Port Talbot full backs. The visitors struggled to forge an opening throughout the first half, the only real efforts coming from Martin Rose who, when found free in the 6 yard box, failed to score when it seemed harder to miss. However despite the dominance and the odd test of Port Talbot keeper, Steven Cann's goalkeeping ability, the sides went in level at half time.
The second half was very similar to the first, but as the pitch started to deteriorate, Port Talbot came into the game more. Rose hitting the first meaningful shot on target forcing a top drawer save from Aber's man between the sticks, Mike Lewis. Jonathan Evans failed to find the net with a curling effort mid way through the half though his performance alone was as important and he was rightfully greeted with a standing ovation towards the end of the match. The break through finally came in the 78th minute courtesy of a powerful Rhys Griffiths header, sending the Dias into raptures.
It was clear to see that this was a much improved Aberystwyth side to the one that faced Newtown in the last game before the split and they were well deserving of the victory. Credit to the famous Port Talbot fans who, once again, cheered their team until the end in spite of the torrid conditions. Next up for the Black and Greens is an away trip to Rhyl in February as the team looks to build on the vital 3 points gained here.
Report by Tomos Ings
Photo courtesy of Chris Howells