JD Cymru Premier
Tuesday 30th August
Aberystwyth Town 0 The New Saints 2
Aber Town fell to defeat against the rampant Champions TNS yesterday night, but worked extremely hard to keep the scoreline respectable against a hugely polished opponent, for whom Ben Clark (49 mins) and Declan McManus (79 mins) made the difference will match winning strikes.
On a pleasant late summer’s evening the Black and Greens made a few changes from Saturday’s line up, with Jack Rimmer, Steff Davies and Jonathan Evans returning to the starting eleven, and Harry Arnison making his debut for the Seasiders. Anyone expecting anything other than a dominant performance from TNS were disappointed from early on as McManus tested Lewis Webb’s handiwork. Clark volleyed wide as the visitors dominated possession around the home box, with the Seasiders working ever so hard to head clear, block and tackle a series of corners and balls into the area. Harri Horwood intercepted the ball and went on a blistering 60 yard run before sending a thrilling dipping volley inches wide. Charley Edge then sent in a free kick which Sam Litchfield headed goalbound, but then normal service resumed with Webb out excellently to deny McManus, before punching clear and catching the ball high up to safeguard the clean sheet. Edge also cleared off the line, John Routledge and Clark were both denied by Webb in the home goal, and although Iwan Lewis sent a volley flying over TNS’s crossbar the disciplined hosts did extremely well to go in level at half time, given TNS’ territorial dominance.
Could Aber survive a second half onslaught? Sadly the answer was no as Dan Redmond’s expertly played deep ball from TNS’s left wing was knocked back by Dan Davies for Ben Clark to snuffle up a vital opener just four minutes into the second half. Redmond sent in another cross which Webb gathered, then at the other end another Litchfield header from an Aber free kick was cleared. Keston Davies fired over for TNS, with the visitors masterful in possession and continuing to dominate the play. Livewire Sam Phillips came on for Aber, sent in a dangerous free kick with his first touch and a low volley (saved) with his second before Litchfield saw a far post shot parried for a corner, with defiant Aber threatening an unlikely equaliser. Back came TNS with Davies’ long range effort tipped over by Webb, and Webb denied the visitors twice more before resistance was finally broken in spectacular fashion as McManus gathered the ball in space 30 yards out, and sent in a superb stunning volley, which arrowed into the far corner to double the lead. Phillips did so well to create space and sent in a left wing cross which Lewis just failed to convert for Aber, and the wonderful Webb denied McManus and Ryan Brobbel in injury time to keep the final score to a respectable two nil.
The hosts were applauded at the end for their hard work and dedication in restricting the Champions to two goals, and threatening on occasions themselves. It was a tough night for Aber, but better days lie ahead and Anthony Williams’ men will go again on Friday night with the visit of Bala Town (ko 8pm). We hope to see you there!