JD Cymru Premier
Friday 3rd December
Aberystwyth Town 0 Connah’s Quay Nomads 1
In a classic game of two halves Paulo Mendes’ 31st minute header proved crucial for Connah’s Quay, who after 45 minutes of dominance, survived a second half onslaught from the hosts and held on for a crucial win at Park Avenue last night.
On a chilly evening a respectable crowd of 352 showed up, encouraged by the Black and Greens’ November resurgence under Manager of the Month nominee Antonio Corbisiero. However it was the visitors who showed their Champions credentials early on by dominating possession and creating some good chances. Home keeper Gregor Zabret was called on early to punch an effort clear before Ryan Harrington bobbled the rebound wide. Zabret had to pull out a second brilliant save minutes later, and as Kris Owen’s free kick deflected to safety Town were defending stoutly and hanging on. Going forward Jack Rimmer was Aber’s best outlet, sending in two promising crosses for Jon Owen, but in general Aber were struggling to get a foothold in the game, and after Zabret denied George Horan’s header, the floodgates finally opened when Declan Poole sent in a right wing cross and Mendes rose to power home a header and open the score. Zabret saved from Horan again, then denied Kris Owens, Callum Morris fired wide and there followed a lengthy delay after a nasty clash of heads between Ollie Byrne and Danny Holmes. Holmes was unable to continue and everyone at Aberystwyth Town FC wish him a speedy recovery from his injury. After eight minutes of injury time the whistle went with Aber in truth relieved to have kept the score to one at the break.
The Black and Greens changed their formation at half time and saw an instant positive response, enjoying more of the ball in midfield and creating plenty of chances. Lee Jenkins had a shot blocked and the soon after Matty Jones was denied in a similar way, after Harry Franklin’s swashbuckling run down the left. Franklin then appeared to be upended in the box but received a yellow card rather than a penalty, which looked harsh from the hosts’ point of view. Then Jamie Veale’s deep free kick was headed back across the box by Louis Bradford and Franklin was again really unlucky to see a goalbound effort deflected for a corner. Aber then seemed certain to score when Player of the Month nominee Jon Owen was released down the right side, and unleashed a bullet strike, only for Byrne to pull off a brilliant reaction save to keep his side in front. With Franklin starting to purr a home goal was looking increasingly likely, with the visitors content to sit in and defend their narrow lead. Owen had another shot deflected for a corner, and Byrne saved from Matty Jones next. A rare attack at the other end saw Poole setting up Jamie Insall, but Zabret saved his header, and normal service was resumed with Rimmer firing over from the right. Jonathan Evans was next to go just wide with a snapshot from inside the area, and when Lee Jenkins was fouled on the edge of the area, surely Aber’s big moment had come? Sadly Veale’s free kick was repelled by a very impressive Noamds backline. Alex Darlington had an effort blocked, Matty Jones saw two corners cleared off the line and Owen clipped a shot wide - and Connah’s Quay had survived the Alamo. Insall rounded Zabret but found the side netting in injury time and the Champions had survived an almighty onslaught to hold on to the three points.
Aber’s first half was not one of their best last night, but their dominance of the second half against the Champions was a sight to behold, surely worthy of a point at least and must give Corbisiero’s men huge confidence going forward. Their next JD Cymru Premier assignment comes on Friday evening with a home match against Newtown (ko 8pm), and if you get what you deserve in football Town are due a slice of luck! See you there.