Saturday 17th July
Penybont 1 Aberystwyth Town 1
Aberystwyth Town overcame a lengthy absentee list and a heatwave to emerge with a draw away to Cymru Premier Fourth placed Penybont yesterday afternoon, and although this was Town’s third consecutive 1-1 draw with their hosts, and the fourth in six meetings between the two sides, Town Manager Antonio Corbisiero will be happy with the outcome in trying circumstances.
The Black and Greens travelled to Bridgend without the injured Lee Jenkins, and Jamie Veale and Rhys Davies were also unable to travel, so Jack Rimmer filled in at centre half, with Owain Jones and Jon Owen leading the line. Trialists Owen Orford and Sam Phillips combined down the right side, and indeed livewire Phillips it was who created Aber’s second minute opener, surging down to the byline before crossing expertly for evergreen Jonathan Evans to blast home from inside the box. With the Return to Spectating regulations updated on the day, it was great to hear the Bont Bank signing, and the homesters were soon into their rhythm with Nathan Wood curling wide, and drawing a good save from Alex Pennock. An Ian Traylor effort scooted across the goal line but didn’t drop in, but the Blues equalised on 14 minutes when the ball rebounded to Lewis Harling, who fired home with customary gusto. Matty Jones headed a Kane Owen effort off the line, and Mael Davies was also denied by Pennock. A water break helped the visitors regain some strength after a strong rearguard action and Phillips nearly created a second goal, picking out Owain Jones who couldn’t quite finish off a nice move. Rimmer headed wide from a Matty Jones corner, but after a first half when the hosts were on top Aber were glad to go in level at the break.
Bont started the second half strongly and Owen found Pennock again with a free kick. Owain Jones then burst through the home defence and earned a corner from a one on one with home keeper Ashley Morris. Pennock then denied a home trialist from close range and Ian Traylor hit the crossbar in the ensuing mayhem, but Aber held firm. Harry Franklin and Jon Owen then combined in a thrilling move but the former couldn’t quite reach the latter’s deep cross, then back came the hosts with Mael Davies bringing yet another save from Pennock, and Lewis Clutton finding the woodwork, and once again the water break came at a good time for Aber. Academy products Joseph Saunders, Richie Ricketts and Lucien Evans were all thrown into the fray and all contributed to an impressive defensive performance in which Jack Rimmer particularly stood out. Franklin headed wide from Matty Jones’ corner with Aber still threatening on occasions, then at the other end Owen crossed and Harling headed wide. Franklin had another shot blocked, and in injury time Town repelled yet another Owen ball into the box, and as the full time whistle went Aber could reflect on a job well done.
It is often said that results in friendlies do not matter, but the Black and Greens worked really hard to earn a draw on a baking hot day in South Wales, and the players deserve credit for a solid performance. Moving forward Antonio Corbisiero’s men will have a training session next weekend before welcoming Haverfordwest County to Park Avenue on July 31st, with the season officially kicking off the weekend of August 7th with a Nathaniel Cup Second Round tie, still to be decided.
Aber Town: Pennock, Orford, trialist (Saunders ht), Rimmer, M Jones, Phillips, Franklin, Thorn, J Evans (Ricketts 70), O Jones (L Evans 70), Owen.