Friday 30th August
JD Cymru Premier
Cefn Druids 1 Aberystwyth Town 2
A nineteenth minute wonderstrike from Captain Marc Williams, and Geoff Kellaway's 87th minute back post tap in sealed a huge victory for Aberystwyth Town Football Club away to bogey side Cefn Druids, to ensure that the Black and Greens end a tumultuous week sitting pretty in the Top Six, with six points from their opening four matches. Cody Ruberto did equalise for the hosts on 42 minutes but Aber's resolute performance ensured that the Seasiders rewrote the week's narrative in the most positive way possible.
After Monday’s infamous events an astonishing display of solidarity from Aber’s most loyal supporters galvanised the Club before kick off, with at least 35 fans making the long Friday night journey at the Rock to roar their team back into respectability. Connor Roberts, Marc Williams, Lee Jenkins and Matthew Jones returned to the starting line up with new loan signing Adam Hughes also making his debut at left back. On a pleasant evening Town started positively, enjoying good possession and Matthew Jones sent in an early cross for Luke Boundford to head wide. Druids’ Alex Mudimu was forced into a desperate late challenge to deny another attack, and Ryan Wollacott headed a Matthew Jones corner wide. Tyrone Ofiri’s shot was easily saved by Roberts in Aber’s goal, then good work from Paulo Mendes set up Williams, who found space and unleashed a brilliant 25 yard volley into the top corner to delight the vociferous visiting fans and establish a well deserved lead. Iwan Cartwright sent in a cross for Ruberto to head wide for the hosts and then a superb move by Aber ended with Ryan Edwards being denied a killer second in a one on one with Michael Jones in Cefn’s goal. James Rittenberg curled wide for the hosts and then a Boundford ball in just about evaded Williams at the other end. Druids were coming back into the game but with Aber banked up well their chances were limited. Matthew Jones headed one attempt off the line but in the next attack the influential Ryan Kershaw crossed in for Ruberto to head home an equaliser. A Wes Baynes free kick dropped for the impressive Hughes to lob over, and at half time Aber were probably slightly unlucky to be level on the balance of play.
Druids started the second half on the front foot and Mudimu set up Ruberto to scoop wide in the first few minutes. Another excellent free kick delivery from Baynes set up Mendes for a header, saved by Jones, and then Roberts at the other end was called on to make a save after a Kershaw free kick. Matthew Jones crossed for Williams to test the keeper again from close range, Aber had a penalty shout and Williams was again denied by Kershaw’s back tracking, with Aber looking dangerous on the break. Cefn then started to press with a series of free kicks and corners. Mudimu headed over the bar, James Davies curled an effort just wide before heading over from a corner and with the home set pieces racking up visiting supporters were starting to fear the worst. It was tense – but then with just three minutes to go, and the Black and Green tifosi signing their lungs out, Williams bravely tried to win a ball with his head and won a free kick. Baynes dispatched it to the back post and the ball was headed back across the box for Kellaway to stab home from close range, sending Aber’s loyal supporters into paroxysms of delight. The Seasiders defended out the four minutes of injury time and held on stoutly to ensure a huge victory and the perfect ending to the most challenging week: the Celebrations were visceral.
Matthew Bishop’s men knew that this game would likely be a season defining one, with their response to their Bad Bank Holiday showing what they could aim for in 2019/20. Their first win at the Rock since 2016, after a solid and competent performance, leaves Town in the Top Six and looking forward positively, hopefully to an awesome Autumn. Finally the Club would like to sincerely thank all the loyal supporters who made the journey to Cefn last night – we hope it was worth it!