Two late goals from substitute Rob Hughes sunk Aberystwyth Town on a wet and miserable evening on the North-East coast of Wales.
The Silkmen had led thanks to a first half strike from last season’s top scorer Mark Cadwallader before the experienced Hughes added gloss to the score line.
The pitch was heavy and muddy as North Wales had been battered by the conditions over the previous 24 hours. However, it had passed an early morning inspection and the game was allowed to go ahead.
Manager Gavin Allen made three changes to his starting charges with local duo Jonathan Foligno and Steff Davies returning from injury as well as a return from suspension for Owain Jones.
In front of the Sgorio cameras, Aber started brightly and enjoyed the opening spells of possession. Looking to break a run of defeats, Allen’s men were looking to utilise the wings and force pressure in the box. Despite having the upper hand, it took until the 16th minute to muster the first opportunity of note as Matthew Jones fired over from the edge of the box following a half cleared corner.
Disaster was to strike for Town when Davies’ injury flared up again and had to be replaced by Jonathan Evans. Top scorer Marc Williams came into the centre forwards role to deputise for the former Penrhyncoch man.
As the game progressed, the hosts settled and began to gain a foothold in the game and were rewarded with just five minutes to go until the break. The Seasiders lost possession in the Silkmen’s half which allowed Alex Jones to play in Cadwallader who made no mistake slotting the ball home past Connor Roberts.
It was a bitter blow for Aber who’d arguably been the better side in a very tight affair through the opening 45.
The second half started much in the same ilk as the first stanza had with Aber enjoying large spells of possession but little in the way of clear goal scoring opportunities. A succession of corners came to nothing and at the other end, former Aber man Wes Baynes came within a whisker of doubling the advantage for the home side.
On the 70th minute mark, Neil Gibson introduced Hughes to the fray and within seconds, the former Prestatyn and Nomads man was in the thick of the action. His rasping shot from 25 yards ended up just wide of the post.
But it was fifteen minutes later he made his telling contribution. Substitute Richie Ricketts, who’d only been on the field a matter of moments, felled Hughes inside the area and from twelve yards, he put the game beyond the reach of Town.
There was still time for further heartbreak for Aber as whilst pushing men forward in a desparate attempt to salvage anything from the contest, Flint pushed forward with a counter attack. Hughes capped off a memorable night for the men in Black and White as he stroked the ball home despite the exasperating lunge of Jack Rimmer on the line to get prevent further misery for the men from Ceredigion.