JD Welsh Premier League
Friday 9th February
Aberystwyth Town 3-1 Llandudno
Aberystwyth Town maintained their excellent recent home form as they beat Llandudno 3-1 in an entertaining Friday night JD Welsh Premier League clash at Park Avenue. Goals from John Owen (5), Declan Walker (26, pen) and Craig Hobson (90) secured Aber’s sixth win in eight home games in all competitions, despite Marc Williams’ second half strike threatening a comeback for the visitors. The victory sees Nev Powell’s side climb to within three points of ninth placed Llandudno, and to within just five points of seventh place in the JD Welsh Premier League Play Off Conference.
Aber manager Nev Powell made one change to the starting eleven that lost away at Barry Town last weekend, with Malcolm Melvin replacing Craig Rogers, resulting in Ashley Young dropping back to the centre back position. On a freezing night at Park Avenue, Aber started like a team on fire. Within just five minutes, the hosts took a deserved lead as John Owen gathered a loose ball on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area, before making space for a low, right-footed shot that flew into the bottom corner of the net beyond the reach of goalkeeper Alex Lynch. It was evident that the early goal had given Town a boost, as they pressed for a second goal with Malcolm Melvin seeing his tame effort easily collected by Lynch in goal. However, on 21 minutes the visitors were handed a golden opportunity to get back into the game as Tom Dix was fouled in the penalty area and awarded a penalty kick. Sam Hart stepped up, but dragged his spot kick wide of Chris Mullock’s post - much to the relief of the home supporters. Soon after, drama ensued at the other end as Aber were awarded a penalty of their own, with Hart adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area. Declan Walker stepped up this time, and thumped home the spot kick into the top right hand corner to make it 2-0. Aber began to take control of the game as they exerted continued pressure on the visitors back line, with Damien Allen and Melvin controlling the midfield expertly. On 34 minutes, Ashley Young whipped a dangerous cross into the penalty area that was cleared in the nick of time by Llandudno defender Danny Shaw, as Aber saw out the first half comfortably to go into the break with a two goal lead.
Visitors Llandudno started the second half in much brighter fashion, evidently buoyed by the half time team talk of assistant manager Matty Williams. On 48 minutes, with their first attack of the second half, they found a way back into the game as Danny Hughes played in Wes Baynes, who crossed for Marc Williams to convert at the near post and make it 2-1. Suddenly the momentum of the game swung in favour of the visitors, as they began to commit more players forwards in search of an equaliser. On 50 minutes, they very nearly found a second goal as Danny Shaw’s header clipped the crossbar, before Danny Hughes saw his brilliant half-volley sail inches wide of Chris Mullock’s far post. Aber were hanging on to their slender advantage, as Ashley Young and Ryan Wollacott battled for every ball in the heart of the defence. On 63 minutes, Craig Hobson was introduced for the hosts in place of Damien Allen, and Town almost immediately regained some control of the game thanks to a tactical switch from Aber’s management team. On 67 minutes, Hobson latched on to a brilliant pass by Melvin to race through on goal before being denied by an outstanding fingertip save from Alex Lynch. Soon after, Aber’s number 9 was again in the thick of the action as he came close to converting after a goalmouth scramble, before seeing his back post header cannon off the base of the post and out for a goal kick. The visitors refused to go down without a fight, and on 84 minutes they again went close as Chris Mullock produced a brilliant save to deny Sam Hart. As the game entered the final minutes, Town used all their game management nous to see out the win. And in stoppage time, the victory was duly sealed as John Owen scampered down the left wing before cutting into the penalty area and putting the ball on a silver platter for Hobson to bury his fourth goal of the season and make it 3-1.
Another fine victory at Park Avenue for Nev Powell’s side, who will be glad to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s away defeat at Jenner Park. With their eyes now firmly set on 7th place in the league table, Town will prepare for another tough home game against Prestatyn Town next Friday evening in the JD Welsh Premier League.