JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 18th February
Aberystwyth Town 3 Pontypridd United 3
Aber Town seemed on track for a huge victory this afternoon at Park Avenue against Pontypridd, but two late goals snatched a point for the visitors, and the Seasiders’ draw definitely felt like a defeat. Johnnie Evans scored his sixth goal in ten games to give Aber the lead two minutes before the break, and super sub Mark Cadwallader doubled the lead with eighteen to go. Owain Jones got a goal back nine minutes from time before Cadwallader made it three one on 86 minutes. However late strikes from Tom Davies (89 mins) and Elliot Richards (90+5 minutes) ensured the spoils were shared.
On a misty afternoon this crucial game started in a tight manner with very few chances of note. Free kicks from Aber’s Harry Arnison and Niall Flint were calmly gathered by Ash Morris, then John Owen headed wide from Billy Kirkman’s deep cross. Flint then did some excellent work down the left touchline to set up Evans who side footed just over the bar. A dangerous corner from Ponty’s Tom Davies resulted in a goalmouth scuffle which was cleared off the line, then Luke Cummings surged down the right but found the side netting, as the visitors showed their mettle. Ben Ahmun set up Kieran Lewis, but his low shot was saved by Matt Turner in Aber’s goal, then two minutes before the break Flint surged down the left flank, and his low shot rebounded off Morris for Evans to fire home a huge opener which sent Aber in at half time in good heart.
Into the second half and Liam Walsh sent a shot wide for Aber, before Iwan Lewis had another effort blocked. Aber seemed to be on top with a series of set plays which yielded little in terms of goalmouth chances but Town then had a let off when sub Danny Williams scored for Ponty but was flagged offside, then at the other end Billy Kirkman sent a free kick over the bar. Black and Greens Sub Mark Cadwallader made a huge impact and scored within ten minutes of coming on, sneaking in at the near post to convert Kirkman’s corner to double the lead. With Aber’s midfield working ever so hard to press the ball Town seemed in control, but with nine minutes to go a Ponty shot rebounded off Turner for Jones to prod home, and ensure a nervy ending for Town. Surely Aber were safe four minutes from time when Evans surged down the left, and crossed beautifully for Cadwallder to make it three one – but no. A long throw from Cummings fell nicely for Davies to volley home a stunning second for United from out on the left, then in the fifth minute of injury a hopeful ball into the box from Davies fell nicely for sub Elliot Richards to nod home a gut-punching equaliser, which was wildly celebrated by the visiting side.
Overall this was a strong performance from Town who can claim to have dominated the majority of the game, but some crucial lapses of concentration in the last fifteen minutes cost Aber two points. Manager Anthony Williams will be hoping his side can maintain this level of performance, and keep things tighter at the back next Friday as Aber visit relegated Airbus UK Broughton for a 7.45pm kick off.