Aberystwyth Town made the trip to Bala Town yesterday evening, for what was the Seasiders fourth match in 11 days, and the third away from home in that time. The Black & Greens were joined at Maes Tagid by the Sgorio cameras, with this match being the first time Aber Town have gone live to the nation since lockdown.
Before the match, both teams paid tribute to two club stalwarts who sadly passed away in the week; Bala Town’s Dei Bri Roberts and our own Tony Payne. A minute’s silence was well observed in the ground and Sgorio paid their own classy tribute during the television broadcast. Both men will be sorely missed by their clubs and our thoughts are with their families and friends.
Gavin Allen made one change to his side who triumphed 4-0 at Cefn Druids on Tuesday night as Gavin Jones came in for his first Cymru Premier start in place of the injured Jonathan Evans. It was Jones who had the first shot on target, testing Bala keeper Ramsay from 20 yards in the opening couple of minutes.
Bala then had their own opportunity to open the scoring, as Will Evans capitalised on a loose ball and lifted the ball over Connor Roberts, but it cleared the crossbar also and dropped behind for a goal kick. The hosts then continued to create chances, as a Steven Leslie free-kick was deflected and Connor Roberts had to pull off a magnificent save, diving to his right having been wrong footed and clawing the ball away, before Chris Venables tried an acrobatic overhead kick which went wide.
On 23 minutes, Aber took the lead. A sublime cross from Mathew Jones was met by captain Marc Williams, who outjumped two Bala defenders and goalkeeper Ramsey to put the Seasiders 1-0 ahead, with his second goal in as many games.
Following the goal, Gavin Jones had another long range effort which was deflected wide, before Connor Roberts had to be alert to deny Chris Venables when the former Aber goal machine was sent through one on one.
With seven minutes to go until half time, the hosts pulled level as Will Evans met Steven Leslie’s corner with a powerful header. Connor Roberts then showed fantastic reactions to deny Nathan Peate from another corner, but Bala did go into the break a goal ahead as Evans found Sean Smith, who fired under Roberts to make it 2-1. Aber were also forced to make their first change at this point; Rhys Davies replacing an injured Mathew Jones.
Bala started the second half the brighter of the two teams and Nathan Peate headed wide from a corner on 48 minutes, before referee Dean John awarded the hosts a penalty on 58 minutes as Louis Bradford was deemed to have pulled down Chris Venables. It was Venables who stepped up to take the penalty, and he made no mistake, smashing the ball past Connor Roberts to make it 3-1.
A minute later it was 4-1 as Venables met a Mendes cross to give Bala a commanding lead, but Aber didn’t let their heads drop and were back in the game on 67 minutes as Steff Davies was pulled down by Anthony Stephens and Aber were awarded a penalty. Steven Hewitt converted to register his first goal for the club.
Aber pushed to try and claw back the deficit and Gavin Jones had another attempt at goal, but the game was over on the 81st minute as Raul Correia met a Sean Smith cross to make it 5-2.
There was just time for Connor Roberts to once again show why he is rated so highly by everyone at Aberystwyth University Park Avenue Stadium, as he denied Nathan Peate from point blank range before tipping over a Henry Jones free-kick, as the rain lashed down at Maes Tegid, and the game ended 5-2 to the hosts.
Gavin Allen gave an honest assessment after the match. “We’ve gone 1-0 up but unfortunately we’ve conceded some bad goals. We defended well for the first couple of corners but maybe fell asleep for three or four of the goals. We know Bala play the percentages of the game, from corners and free-kicks, but they get results at the end of the day and you’ve got to say well done to them. At times we’ve played some decent football; we’ve kept the ball well, but we just need to address a couple of areas”.
Next up for the Black & Greens is the visit of The New Saints to Aberystwyth University Park Avenue on Friday night. Whilst supporters are still not allowed to be admitted into the ground, you can follow all the action on our Twitter @AberystwythTown and you will be able to catch our next away match live on Sgorio again, as the cameras will be present at The Oval when we visit Caernarfon Town on Saturday 24th (5.15pm KO).