JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 27th August
Pontypridd United 2 Aberystwyth Town 1
Aberystwyth Town were inchers away from snatching a draw, but ultimately fell to defeat away to newly promoted Pontypridd United at the USW Sports Park on a sunny afternoon in late August. Owain Jones, who left Town in the summer, scored United’s opener on 26 minutes and sub Ben Ahmun doubled their lead with sixteen minutes remaining. Alex Darlington snatched a goal back for Aber on 86 minutes, and despite dominating the end of the game the Black and Greens could not quite grab a second.
Another excellent following turned up to support the Black and Greens, playing yesterday in Yellow and Black, and they were pleased with what they saw in the opening stages. Newly signed Louis Bradford went on a marauding run down the right but was blocked off, Iwan Lewis hung in a decent ball from the right which Charley Edge headed wide, then Niall Flint surged down the left to set up Darlington, who swivelled and shot wide. Sam Phillips then made good progess down the right wing to set up Darlington again, but his effort was somehow blocked on the line. As the half progressed however the hosts got back into it: Lewis Twamley surged right through but shot wide in a big let off for Aber, then Jones shot wide from Joe Hunt’s cross, before Luke Cummings crossed for Jones to nod home at the near post for a crucial opener. Darlington had a header saved from Edge’s free kick but then Ponty dominated the latter period of the half. Danny Williams had a shot deflected for a corner, Twamley slalomed around the home defence before being denied by big Sam Litchfield, and Aber cleared a header off the line to stay in the game. Flint almost connected to a great through ball by Jack Thorn, but then Clayton Green was blocked by the hard working Phillips, and the half time whistle blew with Ponty 1-0 up.
The chances continued to come after the break. Flint and Phillips both went close for Aber but the hosts were also threatening, with Lewis Rees claiming a flicked back header to keep the score at one. Sam Phillips took a corner, and Bradford nearly scored with a header before Flint saw a shot blocked, and the game was wide open. Twamley went on another trademark run before firing over, then Jarrad Wright headed over a Cummings free kick, and finally Ahmun tapped home to double the lead from a Williams back heel, after his original effort had been parried onto the bar by Rees. Ahmun then hit the crossbar but once again Aber ended a game strongly. Phillips had a free kick cleared with Lewis’ goalbound volley caught by Ash Morris in the home goal, and then Thorn’s long throw fell nicely for Darlington to snaffle up a goal at the back post to set up a grandstand finish. Another long throw caused havoc with Lewis’ header missing the target, Flint’s free kick out on the left fell for Litchfield and his header dropped inches wide of the back post, and finally Lewis was inches away from scoring with a last minute volley after a nice move, but Ponty held on for a crucial win.
Anthony Williams’ team started and finished the match well and came agonisingly close to a draw, but in an open game the hosts probably did enough in between to merit the victory. The Black and Greens do not have long to lick their wounds as Cymru Premier Champions The New Saints visit Park Avenue on Tuesday evening for an 8pm kick off. Can Aber repeat their heroics against the Saints last season? There is only one way to find out: see you there!