Aberystwyth Town made the journey to North East Wales looking to get back to winning ways after three consecutive narrow defeats in the first three matches of Phase Two.
Manager Gavin Allen made a number of changes ahead of this game, with Steven Hewitt & Jonathan Evans replacing Jack Rimmer and Dan Cockerline, whilst Club Captain Marc Williams returned in place of the suspended Harry Franklin.
Aber, lining up in their all-yellow away kit, were hoping to replicate their performance at this venue from Phase One, when they triumphed 4-0 back in October. The Seasiders started brightly, and after winning two corners in succession, Lee Jenkins offered the first effort on goal with his header just off target.
Both sides contributed to an entertaining opening ten minutes. The game was being played at a good tempo, and the action was end to end with Naim Arsan shooting over for Druids before Lee Jenkins registered Aber’s first shot on target after a pull back from Jamie Reed, who was returning to the club that he started the current season with.
Charley Edge then fired wide for Druids, before Jon Owen had Aber’s next opportunity, also shooting wide. Connor Roberts then had to be alert to deal with a back pass, under pressure from the Druids’ lively forward Niall Flint.
The lively encounter continued with both teams playing good football and creating multiple opportunities. Jamie Reed was next to have an attempt on goal after some good link up play between Aber’s midfield and front line, before Mathew Jones put in an excellent block to deny Naim Arsan at the other end.
Reed was again in action minutes later, forcing a good save from Michael Jones in the Druids goal, before Josef Faux shot over from around 20 yards for the hosts.
As the half drew to a close, Aber took control as Marc Williams was played through one on one with Michael Jones and produced a good finish to give Aber the lead with a couple of minutes to play before the break.
The Black & Greens lead was then doubled on the stroke of half time, with Williams again involved as his superb cross field pass found Jamie Reed, who steadied himself before firing past Jones to give Aber a two goal advantage at half time.
The first action of the second half saw Jamie Reed go down with an injury, with the striker needing treatment for a couple of minutes before play resumed.
Once play restarted, Reeds first involvement after returning to the action, was to put the ball in the back of the net with a typically cool finish to give Aber a 3-0 lead! This was the legendary marksman’s 100th goal in Cymru Premier football, 14 years after his 1st, which also came for Aber in the memorable 5-1 win against The New Saints in August 2007.
Not content with just the two goals, Reed then went looking for his hat-trick, but was thwarted on the next occasion by some good defending from former Aberystwyth Town defender Steff Edwards, who did just enough to stop him from getting a clean shot on goal.
Aber’s back line, who were excellent throughout the match, were then called into action on a couple of occasions as first Naim Arsan threatened to burst through, before Aaron Simpson headed over from a corner.
Jamie Reed then cut in from the left, releasing a 20-yard shot that was deflected over for a corner, before Louis Bradford strode forward with a powerful run from defence and was unlucky to find his progress halted just outside the Druids box.
Druids then had a period of around 10 minutes of sustained pressure, with Green attempting a half volley from the edge of the box, Arsan unleashing a left footed shot that was well held by Connor Roberts, before Green again tested Aber’s no. 1 from long range.
On 82 minutes, iconic Aber Town forward Geoff Kellaway replaced Jonathan Evans for his 350th appearance in the Cymru Premier. 323 of these appearances have been for Aberystwyth Town, with the first coming back in the 2003/04 season. 16 came for Llanelli in 2012/13 and 11 for Carmarthen Town in 2013/14. During this time, Geoff has scored an impressive 80 goals with all but 4 coming in Black & Green.
As the match drew to a conclusion, Gavin Allen made a couple of further changes with Owain Jones replacing Jamie Reed and Rhys Davies replacing Louis Bradford. There was just enough time for Jones to shoot narrowly over before the referee blew the full-time whistle and confirmed Aber’s climb back up to 9th in the league table.
Next up for the Black & Greens is the visit of Christian Edwards’ Cardiff Metropolitan University to Park Avenue this coming Friday (23rd).
Everyone at Aberystwyth Town would like to congratulate Geoff Kellaway and Jamie Reed on their respective achievements this evening. Llongyfarchiadau, both!
ATFC: Roberts, Hewitt, Jenkins, Bradford (Davies 89’), M. Jones, Thorn, Veale, Evans (Kellaway 82’), Williams, J. Owen, Reed (O. Jones 75’).
Subs not used: Pennock, G. Owen, Ricketts, Saunders
Goals: Williams (43’), Reed (45’, 48’)
Photo Credit: Mike Plunkett