Nathaniel MG Cup Third Round
Tuesday 20th September
Cardiff Met 2 Aberystwyth Town 2 (Met win 5-3 on pens)
Aber Town and Cardiff Met played out a thrilling Cup Tie at Cyncoed Campus last night in front of a large, freshers week boosted crowd, with Met prevailing on penalties to leave the visitors gutted. Goals from Charley Edge (27 mins) and Alex Darlington (34 mins) had put the visitors in pole position and thrilled the sizeable away following, but the Capital club struck back through Matt Chubb (45+2) and Sam Jones (78 mins), and then scored all five of their penalties to progress to the next round.
The Black and Greens came into the game in good spirits following a morale boosting win at home to Connah’s Quay last Friday, and started the game positively. Harry Arnison intercepted but aimed his shot straight at Max Manson in the home goal, then Iwan Lewis sent an attempt wide. Lewis Webb in Aber’s goal made a point blank save, but then Sam Litchfield saw a header saved, before Niall Flint went on a great run down the right and crossed only for Edge to be denied by keeper and defenders. Lewis Rees sent in a grass tickler for Webb to gather, then back at the other end Jack Thorn headed over from a corner, before Darlington was expertly picked out down the left, and he crossed for Edge to tap in a well deserved opener. Rees had another shot saved before crossing for Chris Baker to head over – but then Darlington gathered the ball from fully 30 yards out, spotted Manson off his line and lobbed him sumptuously to double the lead and bring delirium to the away supporters. Flint hit the post from an offside position and Aber looked solid, with Litchfield commanding at the back, but then in injury time Rees took a free kick from out on the right which dropped perfectly for Chubb to nick a crucial goal and spark home hopes of a revival.
This cup tie continued on its fascinating trajectory after the break: Webb parried a near post header from Baker, Emlyn Lewis headed wide for Met, then a neat Aber move almost ended in glory for the fleet footed Sam Phillips, but Alaric Jones blocked his attempt. Harri Horwood made a swashbuckling run all the way from right back to the edge of the area before being blocked, and with sub John Owen putting himself about, the next goal was vital. Edge curled an attemot over the bar for Aber, and Alaric Jones sent a header in which was saved by Webb, but then with seventeen to go Cymru Prem top scorer Sam Jones gathered the ball on the right, cut inside and sent a bullet shot into the far corner for a crucial equaliser. Both sides defended stoutly: Rees headed over for Met, Baker volleyed wide and an Edge volley from distance was fumbled, then gathered by Manson, and the game ended in an honourable stalemate and a great watch for a decent crowd.
The match then went straight to a penalty shoot out. Harry Owen, Jones, Rees, Chubb and Lewis converted Met’s attempts while Aber’s Phillips had a penalty saved, meaning that Thorn, Edge and Flint’s goals were academic. From an Aber Town perspective this was a disappointing conclusion to an engrossing game, but there is no doubt that their level of performance over the past two match has significantly improved. This was attested to by the fulsome applause they received at the end of the game from the Black and Green Tifosi, and Manager Anthony Williams celebrated his birthday with a performance to build on. Good luck to Cardiff Met in the next round: Aber move on to a league match at Penybont on Friday night. Reassemble Green Army!!