Friday 12th February
Rhyl 0 Aberystwyth Town 1
Craig Williams’ deft lob in first half injury time won this evening’s game at Rhyl for Aberystwyth Town, earning Interim Manager Wyn Thomas a second consecutive victory in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League Play Off Conference, and sending Aber past the thirty point mark for the season.
On a clear but cold evening the hosts started slightly the stronger, with Chay Dysart heading wide before John Owen tested Mike Lewis’ handiwork. However after the first ten minutes Aber found their form and went on to take the initiative through the remainder of the first half with a confident performance. Williams played in Geoff Kellaway who saw his shot blocked, Williams and Rhys Griffiths also had efforts on goal and then Williams set up a chanced with a great run down the left, but Griffiths fired just over. Zac Corbett and Corey Williams sent tame efforts off target for Rhyl, and then Levi Mackin burst through the middle and sent in a piledriver which was kept out by a great right handed stop from Lewis. Rhyl however were looking the shakier at the back and Stuart Jones almost scored with a header from a Williams free kick, but home keeper Terry McCormick touched the ball to safety. Then in the second minute of injury time came the best moment of the game, as the returning Chris Venables showed superb desire to win the ball in his own half before unleashing a peach of a diag towards Williams loitering on the right wing. Spotting McCormick off his line and rushing towards the ball Aber’s super winger got there first and lofted the ball past the despairing keeper, to fall beautifully into the net for a crucial strike on a night low on clear cut chances.
The visitors started the second half in good spirits, and with Rhyl gifting them the ball, Aber were soon creating chances again. The imperious Venables picked Kellaway out down the right wing, but his low shot was parried by McCormick before Jonathan Evans fired over from the edge of the box. Dysart set up Connor Bell, who hit the side netting for Rhyl, but then Aber underlined themselves as the more dangerous attacking side, as Evans set up Kellaway again down the right, but his low effort fizzed just past the post. Evans then played in another great ball, but McCormick cleared the danger just before Griffiths could nip in. After a good hour of dominance from the Black and Greens Rhyl came back once again towards the end of the game, and forced a number of corners and free kicks in dangerous areas: however Town’s back four of Antonio Corbisiero, Jones, Lee Surman and Cledan Davies defended stoutly, with excellent support from their other six colleagues, and prevented too many clear cut chances, the best of which fell to Rhyl sub Josh Gordon who brought a save from a Mike Lewis happy to gather the ball at the second attempt. Aber were still coming though: Venables headed yet another quality Williams free kick at McCormick and then saw a late attempt trickle just past the post, and Aber held out through four minutes of injury time to see the job through.
The Black and Greens will be extremely pleased to have gained three hard earned points in their first away game of 2016, and this result coming after another tough win at Park Avenue two weeks ago gives Wyn Thomas some positive momentum to work on as Aber turn their minds to another away game at Conygar Bridge Meadow, Haverfordwest next Saturday (ko 2.30pm). Seventh place, and a UEFA Europa League Play Off spot, currently only a single goal away, is still very much within Aber’s grasp. With your support the Boys Can Do It!