JD Cymru Premier
Tuesday 9th November
Aberystwyth Town 1 The New Saints 0
Aberystwyth Town are in dreamland this morning after Jon Owen’s 86th minute winner earned them a hugely impressive victory over League Leaders The New Saints at a sodden Park Avenue last night. A crowd of 335 were there to watch the Seasiders inflict Saints’ first defeat of the season, and all of a sudden two great results in a row means the Black and Greens’ fortunes are looking up as we move towards the Festive season.
Aber were heavily impacted by absences last night, especially in defence, and with Louis Bradford unavailable to play against his host club, Jack Rimmer suspended and Rhys Davies injured, Captain Jack Thorn and Owen Orford stepped into the back line, and with an impeccably observed last post resounding around Park Avenue, the match kicked off. Aber showed attacking intent, winning an early corner, but then home stopper Gregor Zabret was out well to deny Dan Redmond what would have been a crucial opener, and he was at it again soon after punching Louis Robles’ shot to safety. Jon Owen flicked a Matty Jones free kick goalbound but Paul Harrison chucked his cap on the effort, and with Aber superbly organised and TNS dominating possession the game fell into a familiar pattern. Zabret gathered a cross from Dan Davies, and then Harry Franklin got the Dias Stand singing, showing impudent trickery to dance through a few challenges before being felled for a free kick. Franklin then turned provider by curling in a great cross which Owen volleyed over from a good position, to show that Aber were not just there to sit in. As the half wore on the hosts needed to concentrate hard to prevent anything more than half chances, with Lee Jenkins, Thorn and Alex Darlington providing an insurmountable wall in front of Aber’s goal: Ryan Brobbel headed over from Davies’ past post header, and Zabret saved another attempt on the goalline. Franklin sent another shot Harrison’s way before the break, and Ben Clark fired wide for TNS, but Aber were good value for a goal-less half time scoreline.
With the rain still driving and defiant umbrellas popping up like mushrooms around Park Avenue, the second half started with Redmond volleying wide for the visitors. Aber were strong in the tackle, well organised and back to setting up chances as not for the first time the talismanic Owen played in Jonathan Evans, only for Ryan Astles to snuff out the chance. Jamie Veale saw a shot deflected after a nice move, and Matty Jones’ subsequent corner was cleared off the line. Dan Davies then cut inside and volleyed over at the other end as an exciting game ensued. Lee Jenkins sent in a tackle in his own box so strong it almost set up Jon Owen for a shooting chance at the other end, but he was flagged offside. Zabret got down well to deny Declan McManus, and with some more stout defending Aber got to the three quarter point even stevens. Franklin for the third time played his way into a great position but his shot went wide, and substitutions followed, including referee Iwan Griffiths, who had to be replayed by fourth official Mark Petch in the middle. With Manager Antonio Corbisiero kicking every ball, Aber’s chances of a commendable draw were increasing by the minute. TNS Sub Adrian Cieslewicz found a rare opening down the left, but curled an effort narrowly past the post, and Aber survived a let off. Then with just four minutes remaining Sam Phillips made a huge interception, galloped down the right flank and delivered a wonderful cross for Owen to touch and finish under Harrison, and send Park Avenue into scenes of delirium. The Porthmadog poacher made the goal look easy, but it was a true striker’s finish which will live on in the memory of Black and Green supporters. Zabret then punched clear a TNS corner, and McManus was denied by Lee Jenkins’ goal line clearance. Owen’s hold up play bought Aber some much needed time during five minutes of injury time, and the League leaders’ frustrations were shown as Chris Marriott dived in on Franklin and saw yellow. The Dias Stand once again raised their voices to help The Seasiders over the line and in the last minute young Jamie Jones, brother of Matty, came on for an unforgettable debut at right back, and Aber saw the game out, amid joyous scenes on the Ceredigion coast.
Jon Owen’s acca cracker earned Aber a great result last night which they will enjoy celebrating during a ten day break in matches, and yet more pleasing is that the result was fully deserved for a strong and disciplined performance - but Antonio Corbisiero’s men will now look to build on two extremely positive results as they move forward to face Cardiff Met away a week on Friday. We can’t wait!
Photo courtesy of Colin Ewart