A superb strike from Jamie Veale was not quite enough for Gavin Allen’s men to register their first away win of the season on Friday night, as the Seasiders succumbed to an 85th minute equaliser at Latham Park.
The Black & Greens fielded an unchanged starting 11 following last week’s impressive 3-1 victory over Flint Town United, with the only change coming on the bench where new signing Jack Thorn was included against the side that he had a loan spell with last season.
Newtown, still looking for their first win of the season, had the better of the opening exchanges. Two early free kicks flew dangerously across the Aber box, but didn’t trouble Connor Roberts who was once again looking a commanding presence in goal following his return on loan last week. On 12 minutes long throw specialist Jake Phillips launched his first aerial attack, but the Aber defence dealt with it well.
Jamie Veale then had Aber’s first attempt on goal, a free kick from 20 yards which Dave Jones in the Newtown goal did well to hold. The home side then had the ball in the net through Nick Rushton, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
By this point, the game had started to open up into an entertaining and enjoyable spectacle, with both teams enjoying chances as the half progressed. Jamie Breese shot just wide for Newtown under pressure from Lee Jenkins, before a well measured ball forward from Louis Bradford almost found Jonathan Evans. However, Newtown keeper Jones was alert and headed clear from the edge of his box.
On 35 minutes, the game really sprang into life as Jack Rimmer burst down the right flank, finding Jonathan Evans in the box. Evans looked to get his shot away, but was blocked and instead found Jamie Veale, whose first time shot flew into the back of the Robins net to give Aber the lead. It was a tremendous strike from Veale for his first goal for the club, which capped another accomplished display from the midfielder.
A minute later, Aber almost doubled their lead through Jonathan Evans. His first shot was well saved by Jones in the Newtown goal, before he shot just wide with the follow up.
Aber were dominating the game now and on 39 minutes, a controversial moment occurred when Evans found Steff Davies, who managed to get himself goalside of Newtown’s James O’Neill, only to be pulled down by the centre half. Referee John Jones brandished a yellow card to the surprise of representatives from both sides, who thought the defender may well have denied Davies a clear goalscoring opportunity.
The Seasiders still continued to control the game for the remainder of the half, and just before the break a Harri Rowe made a surging run down the left, finding fellow full-back Jack Rimmer who took aim from the edge of the box. His shot looked like a certain goal, but Dave Jones pulled off a superb save to deny Rimmer his first goal since returning to Park Avenue in the summer. The half ended with Aber a goal to the good.
Newtown started to re-exert their influence on proceedings after half-time, with Jamie Breese hitting the side netting from a Ryan Edwards corner, and Jake Phillips’ throw causing concern once again.
On 55 minutes, Jack Thorn was introduced for his first appearance in a Black & Green shirt and he was soon involved in the action – receiving a yellow card just four minutes later for a challenge on Breese.
The home side were starting to take back control of the game and Roberts had to be at his best to deny both Breese and substitute Jordan Evans. He was assisted in defensive duties by the centre half pairing of Jenkins and Bradford, both only 18, who showed composure beyond their years all through the match and dealt well with the physical presence of the experienced Breese.
As the game neared its latter stages, Adam Davies & Ilan Hughes were introduced into the action; replacing Jonny Evans and Steff Davies who had both once again worked tirelessly throughout their time on the pitch. Lee Jenkins then cleared off the line on 82 minutes, before Roberts was cautioned for supposedly delaying the restart of play.
The home side’s pressure finally paid off on 85 minutes, as a deep cross from Jack Kelly was headed back across goal and Neil Mitchell pounced to make it 1-1. It was a cruel blow to the Black & Greens, who had up until this point managed the game well.
Newtown pressed for a winner following their goal, but Connor Roberts was once again more than a match for their efforts and saved well on a couple of occasions before referee Jones sounded the full time whistle.
Full Time: Newtown 1 -1 Aberystwyth Town
Gavin Allen, although frustrated at conceding a late goal, was full of praise for his team’s efforts:
“We had some great chances first half; I think their keeper kept them in the game to be honest, but that’s how football is. We’re a young squad – we’re going to learn from this, learn quickly and we’ll move on”.
“We haven’t lost in three games. I can’t ask for any more from a young side and at times again tonight we looked decent when we passed the football”
Aber can now look forward to a mouth-watering clash with reigning champions Connahs Quay Nomads on Wednesday. The match will be played at Deeside Stadium with a 7.45pm kick-off, but unfortunately there will be no admittance for spectators once again.
Aberystwyth Town: Roberts, Rimmer, Jenkins, Bradford, Rowe, Owen (Thorn), Veale, Evans (Hughes), M. Jones, Williams, S. Davies (A. Davies).
Subs Not Used: R. Davies, Saunders, Ricketts, G. Jones
Newtown: Jones, Phillips, Kelly, McAllister (Evans), Mills-Evans, O’Neill, Mitchell, Rushton, Breese (Ofori), Edwards, Hughes.
Subs Not Used: Steventon, Davies, Williams