Two late goals from Cardiff Met saw them come from behind to defeat Aberystwyth in the opening game of the 2020/1 season.
Aber had twice led after excellent goals from Jonathan Evans and Rhys Davies before Met equalised with Eliot Evans and a brace from Olly Hubert saw them leave the Ceredigion coast with all three points.
With Aber lining up with six local based players on the field and two on the bench, the first ten minutes allowed both teams to feel each other out before Aber took the lead on the 13th minute. A long cross field pass found Jonathan Evans in acres of space. The former Penrhyncoch man, now in his third spell with Aber, cut inside his man before rifling a shot into the top right hand corner to the delight of the supporters gathered on a double decker bus and on top of a white van at the far end of the ground.
A succession of corners, freekicks and long throws into the Aber box saw the Archers attempt to pressurise Pennock’s goal but the centre half partnership of Sam Barnes and Lee Jenkins dealt well with the pressure.
On a gloriously hot autumnal day, the temperature on the pitch threatened to overtake the conditions off it. A mix up over a throw in saw Jamie Veale and Chris Baker tangle resulting in a twenty man tussle in the Aber half; certainly not in keeping with social distance rulings. Harry Warwick and Veale were the recipients of yellow cards for their actions.
With two minutes to go until the interval, Aber were fortuitous to still hold the lead as Met carved out their best chance by some distance of the opening stanza. Barnes’ pass was intercepted in the Aber half. The ball was quickly worked out to the right hand side and crossed in the box but Warwick was only able to
On the stroke of halftime, the Seasiders were denied by a brilliant stop from away keeper Alex Lang and the cross bar. A freekick on the edge of the box was sweetly struck by Veale. His curling effort was saved superbly by Lang and who was able to force the ball onto the bar and away to safety to round off a positive half for the Seasiders.
The second half started much like the first with no real chances of note for either side. Both sides looked to utilise their respective right flanks and the visitors nearly saw some joy from one such move. The dangerous Eliot Evans cut in from his wing and saw his shot blocked. Despite strong protestations from the Archers, referee Rob Jenkins remained uninterested.
Met got their equaliser half way through the second half. Pennock was only able to parry the ball after a shot with the ball falling to the feet of the grateful Evans who tucked the ball underneath the Aber keeper to level the scores.
The goal rejuvenated the hosts as they nearly retook the lead immediately. The right hand side was again the avenue for the attack with Evans being the outlet. His shot was well stopped by Lang in the middle of the post but the rebound was hooked clear by the Met defence before the onrushing Rhys Davies could get a touch.
But just five minutes later, the Seasiders were in front. Some sterling hold up play from tireless Steff Davies upfront played in his namesake Rhys who took one touch to compose himself before drilling the home across the keeper to spark jubilant celebrations on and off the field.
Met were still dangerous and came close to a second leveller. Warman attacked down the left before crossing into the box however Pennock made amends for his earlier parried shot saving smartly and holding onto the cross ahead of the onrushing Olly Hulbert.
They did get their equaliser with less than ten minutes to play. Met deployed their long throw tactic from the arsenal of weaponry and a flick on at the near post allowed Hulbert to hook the ball home.
And it was heartbreak for Aber in the final few minutes. The long throw was again the method of attack. This time, Hulbert connected with the first ball. The ball hit the inside of the post and dribbled over the line despite Marc Williams’ valiant effort to keep it out to break the hearts of those in Black and Green.
This will be an undoubted disappointment for Gavin Allen’s men who deserved more from the final game. However, there will be no time to wallow in self pity as preparations begin for Tuesday’s trip to Penybont.