Friday 10th December
JD Cymru Premier
Aberystwyth Town 2 Newtown 4
Aberystwyth Town suffered a bad day at the office on a cold and blustery evening, as Newtown prevailed at Park Avenue by 4 goals to two. Nick Rushton’s hat trick (4, 18 and 67 mins) proved decisive and although the hosts threatened a comeback with Sam Phillips’ low strike on 50 minutes, Jamie Davies scored a fourth for the Robins with fourteen minutes to go, so that Rhys Davies’ 89th minute near post header was nothing more than a consolation.
Barely five minutes of the game had passed when Newtown’s James Davies intercepted the ball in midfield, rushed down the right wing and crossed for Rushton to claim his first from close range. In response Matty Jones hit the foot of the post from outside the area, but the visitors were adapting to the blustery conditions much better and only a heroic Jack Rimmer challenge prevented a second with a three on one breakaway. Jon Evans was played in by Jon Owen, but Dave Jones saved his near post effort, and then at the other end consternation at the back allowed Rushton to cheekily lob Gregor Zabret for Newtown’s second, and Aber were really up against it. Craig Williams fired a shot in at Zabret which the Slovenian Stopper dealt with comfortably, before the dangerous Fumpa Mwandwe hit the side netting with three unmarked colleagues howling for the ball across the middle. With the rain blowing in a scrappy period ensued, though Rimmer pulled out another super tackle to deny Rushton, and had to come off with an ankle injury. The hosts were struggling to create any meaningful opportunities, and just before the break Alex Darlington was next to make a crucial interception to keep the scoreline at two nil.
A response was needed and to be fair the home supporters got it, albeit temporary. Mwandwe again tested Zabret’s handywork but then Dave Jones rushed out of his goal, was dispossessed by Phillips, and Aber’s hardworking wingman joyously rolled the ball into an empty net to halve to deficit and give the Seasiders hope. Rhys Davies sent a left wing volley wide, and then a good cross from Raul Correia somehow evaded everyone in Black and Green. Then at the three quarter point, the game was decided when Aron Williams hit the post with a header and the ball fell perfectly for Rushton to blast home a third. Correia was injured in an unsuccessful penalty shout, but had to play on with three subs already on. Zabret saved from James Davies but then a long throw from the right allowed Davies to sneak in at the far post, and make the score 1-4. Lee Jenkins headed wide from a free kick for Aber, and after hard work by Phillips to earn a corner, Matty Jones’ ball in was headed home by Rhys Davies to at least reduce the deficit, however the outcome of the match had already been decided with time to spare. There was no disguising the fact the Newtown adapted better to the conditions and were worthy winners on the night.
In a crucial game this was a bitterly disappointing Aber performance, especially from a defensive point of view, and with three more points on offer Manager Antonio Corbisiero will be demanding much better at Caernarfon Town on Friday evening (ko 7.45pm).