Five Consecutive Home Wins Sees Super Seasiders Surge Into Top Six: Aberystwyth Town 2 Pontypridd United 1 Match Report
JD Cymru Premier
Friday 18th November
Aberystwyth Town 2 Pontypridd United 1
Aber Town gained their fifth home League win in a row last night at home to Pontypridd United, a result which took them into the uncharted waters of the Top Six with eight games left before the split. The Seasiders’ best home run since 2014 was confirmed by a double strike from local lad Jonathan Evans, who scored on 3 and 32 minutes, with a response coming from Clayton Green on the half hour, and the Black and Greens defended stoutly thereafter to hold onto the precious three points.
On a wintry evening in Aber, with the change of season confirmed by the fair’s presence in Town, the hosts started on fire, competing for and winning their challenges and had already had a corner from Niall Flint cleared off the line when Jack Thorn’s throw in was headed on for Evans to pounce in the box and smash home a volley into the near post for one nil and a dream start. The hosts went on to thoroughly dominate the first 45, with the indefatigable Flint just clearing the far post with a low volley, Steff Davies heading wide, the returning Harri Horwood seeing a ball in gathered by Ash Morris, and Evans also firing wide. Sam Litchfield and Louis Bradford were defending heroically at the back, but then Ponty scored with their first effort on target as a decent save from Leigh Jenkins was recycled for Green to volley home an equaliser, against the run of play. However two minutes later another throw from Thorn was flicked on by Davies for Evans to score again with a left foot swinger which faded away from the keeper into the net, and Aber’s legendary bus driver celebrated joyously in front of a rapturous Nark’s Corner. Flint volleyed wide with Aber threatening to kill the contest, and then had another cross deflected for a corner. Ponty threatened when a right wing cross fell nicely for Ben Ahmun, but his header brought another decent save from Jenkins and Aber ended the half deservedly ahead, though the match was by no means won yet.
The second half developed into a more defensive effort for the Black and Greens, with Ponty threatening from set pieces. The hard working Harry Arnison seemed to be on the wrong end of some tough challenges, with the game lacking in real quality. Jon Owen returned from injury to replace Evans, but then had to be replaced by Alex Darlington after just eleven minutes, then the visitors’ Kieran Lewis rattled the crossbar with a free kick to add to the home nerves. Ahmun was again denied by the impeccable Jenkins as Ponty enjoyed a purple patch, and Green volleyed over soon afterwards. Aber were inches away from a third when Darlington’s free kick flew just past the post, then Jenkins saved a low shot from Twamley, with the home defence holding out manfully. There was widespread relief when another free kick from Lewis from a dangerous position flew over the bar in the nineteeth minute, then in the five and a half minutes of injury time Steff Davies flashed a shot past the post for Aber, Darlington headed off the line from one corner, then Jenkins was fouled in saving another attempt, and Aber held out yet again for a huge result which had them dancing on the ceiling in the dressing room after the game!
This fifth home win in a row leaves Aber on eighteen points from fourteen games, and standing proud in sixth place overnight, with Cardiff Met and Flint still to play on Saturday. Irrespective of what happens in those matches, Anthony Williams and his hard working side can go into a two week break extremely proud of their record so far this season, and looking forward confidently to a decisive December. With Aber’s job done, all attention turns to the World Cup. C’mon Cymru!!
Photos courtesy of Rhys Barron